UzExpoCenter hosted INNOPROM exhibition for the second time. Last year, the Ekaterinburg’s Industrial Forum made its debut abroad for the first time in Tashkent harvested $3.2 billion worth of contracts and agreements.
The organizers of this exhibition are also counting on a large and long-term effect: the results of more than 20 specialized open sessions, as well as meetings closed from the eyes of the media, have not yet been announced. Nevertheless, current and last year's communications and promises are two more differences due to the onset of geopolitical cataclysms.
It is no coincidence that in the release handed out to journalists before the opening of INNOPROM, the emphasis was placed on its purely economic aspect. “The format of the exhibition, which is far from politics, this time will sparkle with new colors of constructiveness,” the organizers promised, and, perhaps, they kept their promise.
The Uzbek officials already on the opening day outlined new important trends for themselves, which they plan to develop at the exhibition site, which is turning into a regular format. At the main plenary session, Deputy PM/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov spoke in detail about the unifying the potential of the countries of Central Asia, which opens up huge opportunities not only for the countries themselves, but also for its partner countries. It was felt that Sardor Umurzakov was mentally looking for some new outlet for this idea, which, as it turned out, was quite tangible and geographical.
Peering into the hall filled with people in almost identical costumes, he was able to discern this vector: “I see that the diplomatic corps is here, I see the distinguished ambassador of Turkey, perhaps he is also eyeing to participate more actively next year [in INNOPROM] ],” the Deputy PM noted at the time, offering new horizons for cooperation.
Sardor Umurzakov said that Uzbekistan is actively developing trade and investment contacts with Pakistan, including through Afghanistan, significantly reducing transport costs. “Why not invite businesses from these countries too?” – he added.
National expositions of Uzbekistan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tajikistan, as well as stands of companies from France, Hungary and Italy presented their products during the last three days. We did not find the declared representatives of India and Benin, apparently due to the large influx of more than 1,300 delegates from 200 foreign companies. The region of Transcaucasia was represented by the delegation of Armenia headed by the Minister of Economy of this country Vagan Kerobyan.
The Russian side in the open space of INNOPROM also tried to focus on cooperation with Uzbekistan and the countries of the region.
On the sidelines of the exhibition the Russia’s Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov told journalists that the issues of supplying components to Russian automobile plants, which are in dire need of them lately, are being discussed with the Uzbek side.
“Now we are open to proposals for the supply of components, but there are no specific new developments yet,” said Azizbek Shukurov, Deputy Chairman of the Board of UzAuto, answering a question about the possibility of such supplies for the Russian auto industry. He recalled that at present, enterprises of the automobile industry of Uzbekistan are already supplying Russian automobile plants, in particular, AvtoVAZ and GAZ, with outdoor lighting systems, cable and wire products and body parts.
How quickly the parties can resolve emerging issues in the implementation of projects, even in the current difficult time, is proved by the example of cooperation between Uzbekistan and one of the largest Russian retailers, Magnit.
On Tuesday, Magnit opened the first MСosmetic store in Uzbekistan in the Sergeli district of Tashkent. Magnit President and CEO Jan Dunning told reporters about plans to open five such stores in the country in the near future.
The secrets of such rosy optimism of the Russian network were revealed by the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) of Uzbekistan Davron Vakhabov. “They had questions about certification. We, as a chamber of commerce, have found a solution to this issue - to obtain a serial certificate for the annual [volume of supplied products], so that these goods reach the shelf faster,” the head of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry noted at one of the INNOPROM panel sessions.
According to him, the chamber also proposed to reduce import duties for those goods that are imported for the store from outside the CIS until their release is localized in the republic.
Davron Vakhabov also said that Magnit could receive agricultural land in Uzbekistan for growing products, as well as purchase fruits and vegetables in the republic under a futures contract. “So that our goods are on the shelf at a good price, and also the goods of the Russian Federation are on the shelves for public consumption at a real price, so that [the price] is competitive,” he added.
The consumer and social sectors of the economy are becoming niches that may determine the cooperation between Uzbekistan and the countries of Central Asia with Russia in the near future. Gazeta.uz has already written about agreements at INNOPROM in the pharmaceutical industry. The second day was devoted to the development of technological thought in transport, construction and energy, and today INNOPROM closes discussions in the educational field.