Tuesday, 18, May, 2021

It is planned to resume regular direct flights between Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia. This was discussed during the visit of the Uzbek government delegation to Saudi Arabia.

Along with other Saudi officials, the Deputy PM/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umrzakov also met in Riyadh with Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih, Dunyo reported.

The parties reportedly discussed prospects for new joint energy, agriculture, chemical industry, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, tourism, transport and logistics projects.

Particular attention was paid to the possibility of attracting additional investments from Saudi Arabia in the field of energy and infrastructure development. In March this year, the Board of Directors of ACWA Power approved a new program for the development of electricity generation capacity in Uzbekistan. The program envisages the implementation of additional projects in the Syrdarya province and the Republic of Karakalpakstan worth total of US$ 3 billion.

Noting the interest of large Saudi companies to Uzbekistan as a country with huge economic and investment potential, the Minister Khalid al-Falih expressed readiness to work closely to attract Saudi investment in the implementation of additional projects. In this regard, an agreement was reached to organize mutual visits of business delegations and hold joint business forums in Tashkent, Riyadh and Jeddah in May-June this year.

The parties touched upon promoting tourists flow between the two countries through the resuming of direct regular passenger flights and noted that there was a significant potential for the development of pilgrimage tourism in both directions, and the parties agreed to further step up cooperation in this area.

Uzbekistan Airways suspended flights to Jeddah and Madinah on February 27, 2020. The decision was prompted by the Saudi government's temporary ban on the entry of citizens of 25 countries, including Uzbekistan. Saudi Arabia, for its part, said the ban was aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID19.

As reported earlier, the Uzbek Migration Agency is expected to open a representative office in Saudi Arabia.

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