Uzbekistan president to visit China in mid-May

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will pay his first state visit to China in mid-May, the official Jahon information agency reported.

The forthcoming visit should open a new page in the relations between the two countries. As the Uzbek First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Javlon Vahabov said, the anticipated outcomes of the visit can be judged by a remarkable package of documents projected to be inked in China. “They number as many as two dozen. The agreements include a range of commercial contracts and memoranda between the business entities and enterprises of our two nations.”

The program of the visit includes negotiations with Chinese President Xi Jinping, members of the State Council of China, and chiefs of leading enterprises and major financial and economic bodies of China, Vahabov said.

In Beijing, the President of Uzbekistan will also participate in the high-level conference One Belt, One Road, organized for the first time by the Chinese government.
“Put forward by the leadership of China four years ago right here in Central Asia, the concept is fully supported by Uzbekistan,” Vakhabov added. An integral part of the idea is the Silk Road Economic Belt program, which, according to Chinese officials, is to cover almost 4.5 billion people in 65 countries.

When asked about the purpose of participation in this forum, the First Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that the principal goal is to make use of the opportunities, potential and resources of China for the development of trade, enhance the supply of Uzbek products with higher added value to China and other nations located along One Belt, One Road.

Uzbekistan intends to utilize investment instruments of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank with a volume of $100 billion and the Silk Road Fund with authorized capital of about $40 billion. “We intend to attract preferential investments and open new loan opportunities for funding the advancement of basic branches of the national economy. The key priority is the development of infrastructure, industry and Uzbekistan’s active involvement in transport and communication projects implemented in the region,” Vahabov said.

Trade between Uzbekistan and China is characterized by stable growth. According to the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, in 2016 the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to more than $4.7 billion. In the first quarter of 2017, the figure stood at $1.2 billion. Today, Uzbekistan is home to 704 enterprises with Chinese investments, including 88 with 100% Chinese capital.

Sergey Kwan

TCA