By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Uzbekistan and Turkey have signed a package of 62 agreements worth $455 million.
The documents were signed on July 22-23 at the fifth meeting of the Uzbek-Turkish Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation held in Ankara. A delegation of Uzbekistan led by Deputy Prime Minister Eler Ganiyev attended the meeting. Vice-President Fuat Oktay headed the Turkish delegation.
On July 22, the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Ankara organized a presentation of publications about Uzbekistan and bilateral relations with Turkey, including the magazines “New Uzbekistan” in Turkish and “New Turkey” in Uzbek.
In his speech, Oktay praised the state and prospects for bilateral relations between Turkey and Uzbekistan, emphasizing the friendly nature of strategic partnership.
Uzbek-Turkish business forum was held on July 23. Members of delegations of the two countries, representatives of more than 450 Turkish companies, heads of ministries and departments, as well as the general public and the media attended the business forum.
At the opening of the meeting, Ganiyev spoke in detail about the processes of economic liberalization, a favorable investment climate, which are an important factor for the further development of mutually beneficial cooperation. He recognized Turkey as an important trade and economic partner of Uzbekistan and identified as a priority the attraction of direct investments, advanced technologies to the economy and an increase in export volumes.
In turn, Oktay pointed out that Turkey today is among the top five foreign trade partners of Uzbekistan, occupies leading places in terms of bilateral trade (over $2 billion), as well as the number of joint ventures and foreign enterprises with the participation of Turkish capital (over 1,000).
He stressed that both sides need to exert even more efforts in order to achieve the fulfillment of the instructions of the heads of the two states - bringing the volume of bilateral trade to $5 billion in the near future.
During the negotiations, the parties reached a number of important agreements, including on the introduction of a visa-free regime for Uzbek drivers and the cancellation of a duty on transit documents for them from 2020.
Turkey is the leader among foreign countries in the number of tourists visiting Uzbekistan. In 2017, the number of tourists coming to Uzbekistan from Turkey amounted to about 18,000, and in 2018 this figure more than quadrupled to 78,000.
The main export items from Uzbekistan to Turkey are non-ferrous metals and products from them, fruits and vegetables, services, nitrogen fertilizers, and refined products.
Uzbekistan, in turn, imports from Turkey cosmetics, various mechanical and electronic equipment, plastics and products from it, textile, chemical, pharmaceutical products, means for tanning and dyeing leather.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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