By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Development and strengthening of bilateral cooperation between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan is of strategic importance not only for the future of two peoples but also for ensuring peace, stability and security throughout the region.
The volume of trade between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan after the January fall was able to recover in February 2019, reports Asia Plus.
For the first two months, the two neighboring countries gained $ 29,9 million between them. Tajik exports were worth $ 15,67 million, and goods worth 14,2 million were imported from Uzbekistan, according to the Customs Service under the Government of Tajikistan.
The Tajik-Uzbek bilateral trade increased by 3 percent (by $ 987,000) in January-February 2019 compared to the same period last year. The trade turnover between the two countries was $ 28,9 million In January-February 2018.
Meanwhile, the volume of Tajik exports exported to Uzbekistan decreased by $ 3 million, while the import of Uzbek goods in Tajikistan grew by almost $ 4 million.
Despite this, Uzbekistan remains the only neighboring country with which Tajikistan has a positive balance, exports prevail over imports by $ 1.4 million.
Bilateral trade between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan declined significantly in January after continuous growth in recent years.
According to the Statistics Agency under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to slightly more than $ 10.2 million in January 2019, which is almost 35 percent less than the same period last year.
Prior to this, over the past four years, the Tajik-Uzbek trade increased almost 22 times, from $ 13 million by the end of 2014 to almost $ 287 million in 2018.
Tajikistan supplies the neighboring republic with primary aluminum, electricity, cotton fiber, ore, cement, raw skin, cocoon, raw silk, various fabrics, alcoholic beverages, carpets, etc.
Natural gas, textile products, mineral fertilizers, plastics, footwear, ceramic products, non-ferrous metals, electrical and mechanical equipment are imported from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan.
Diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were established on October 20, 1992.
Having come to power in December 2016, the current head of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev firmly stated that he intends to improve relations with neighbors. In November 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan announced "deep changes in the Tajik-Uzbek relations".
Since the beginning of 2018, more than 10 checkpoints have opened on the border of the two countries. Uzbekistan has restored the Galab-Amuzang railway line.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev visited Dushanbe with an official visit on March 9-10, 2018. In two days, the President of Tajikistan and the head of Uzbekistan signed over 27 documents. In particular, the parties determined the deadlines for demining the Tajik-Uzbek border, abolished visas and agreed to fully restore air traffic.
It is planned to open air communication between Dushanbe and the Uzbek cities of Bukhara and Samarkand in 2019, where a large number of ethnic Tajiks live.
Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are counting on an increase in trade turnover to $ 500 million by 2020.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz