Tashkent hosted the eighth meeting of the Uzbek-French intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation on May 10 chaired by the Deputy PM/Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov and the French Minister-Deleagte for Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Frank Riester, the MIFT said.
Reportedly, the meeting was attended by over 50 officials of departments, executives of major French companies and banks, as well as heads of relevant ministries, departments, industry associations and commercial banks from the Uzbek side.
The agenda of the event covered a wide range of issues of trade, economic and investment cooperation in industry, energy, agriculture, housing and communal services, tourism, transport and other areas.
The key topic of the meeting was measures to enhance investment cooperation. Currently, there are 44 French-invested companies in Uzbekistan, in construction, tourism, agriculture and services sectors.
The sides commended the outcomes of the joint projects with French companies - Airbus, Total Eren, Eiffage, Thales, Vinci, Rungis, Orano, Suez, Leroy Merlin, Sanofi, Fives, as well as banks Natixis, Credit Agricole and Bpifrance.
According to the parties, there is potential for deepening investment cooperation in the alternative energy, geological exploration, infrastructure development, agriculture, transport and logistics, tourism, the banking and financial sectors. The possibilities for attracting French companies to buy stakes in the state-owned assets were discussed separately.
During the meeting, an agreement was reached that the parties will step up efforts to boost trade, removing barriers in mutual trade, as well as establishing direct ties between manufacturers of the two countries. Steps are outlined to attract direct French investments and technologies in the sectors of the economy of Uzbekistan.
Following the meeting, a roadmap was signed on bilateral economic cooperation for 2021-2030 between the MIFT and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness of France.
A protocol was also signed on project finance to set up an international Beldersay-Chimgan-Nanai all-season resort. The concept and economic model of the resort were developed by a consortium of French companies Orex Loisirs, Compagnie des Alpes, Geode, Egis, Epode and Patriarch. The project’s estimated cost is US$ 480 million. As part of the project, it is planned to develop tourism infrastructure, including the construction of suspension bridges and ski slopes. In the future, additional types of services will be organized in the tourist zone based on the development of goat, camel breeding and beekeeping.
In addition, a protocol was signed on project financing for the modernization and management of the water supply system in Tashkent, to be implemented by Suez. As previously reported, the total cost of this project stands at 185.4 million euros, which will be used to modernize the city's water supply and sewer networks, as well as improve management in line with international standards.
A financial agreement was signed for the construction by Total Eren of a photoelectric power plant in the Samarkand province with a capacity of 100 MW. The financing package of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and a division of the French Development Agency Proparco includes loans totaling 87.4 million euros.
A cooperation agreement was signed with the French Development Agency for 2021-2025. As previously reported, the agency intends to draw 1 billion euros for the implementation of projects in Uzbekistan in the field of water supply and sanitation, energy, agriculture and environmental protection.