Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to boost economic cooperation, trade

ASTANA (TCA) — On March 14 Astana hosted the 17th meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Bilateral Cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, co-chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin and First Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Ochilboy Ramatov, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.

The parties noted the high dynamics of mutual trade growth. The trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in 2017 amounted to $2 billion, which is 31.2% higher compared to 2016. Exports from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan in 2017 grew by 35% to $1.3 billion. Imports to Kazakhstan from Uzbekistan increased by 25.1% to $735.2 million.

The parties agreed to take further coordinated measures to ensure the growth of trade turnover to $3 billion in 2018 and to $5 billion by 2020.

The interaction of business circles and investments plays an important role in bilateral cooperation. Over the past year alone, two large business forums have been held, and commercial agreements worth more than $1 billion have been signed. Joint ventures (four trading houses) operate in the areas of food supplies, petrochemicals and chemistry. The constituent documents on a trading house of the pharmaceutical industry have been approved.

Within the framework of the Agreement on long-term cooperation between Uzbek automobile producer Uzavtosanoat SC and Kazakh carmaker SaryarkaAvtoProm LLP, a joint project is being implemented to export products to foreign markets, including the EEU market.

The meeting paid particular attention to the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan. It is planned to hold more than 200 events in the sphere of economy, tourism, cultural and humanitarian area.

“The decision of the Heads of our States to hold the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan in 2018 and the Year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan in 2019 is a clear indication of the unprecedentedly high level of trust and partnership relations between our countries,” First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin emphasized.

The parties agreed to consider building an international Cross-Border Cooperation Center, a transport and logistics center (Dry Port) in the border areas of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Following the 2017 results, the growth of mutual volumes of rail transportation by 8% was recorded, amounting to more than 20.5 million tons. During the first two months of 2018, traffic volumes increased by 44% compared to the same period of 2017.

The parties also agreed that regular railway passenger trains along the Samarkand—Astana route will start operation in April this year.

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Times of Central Asia