“It’s time to work by rolling up our sleeves,” “$ 5 billion is an intermediate figure, the volume of bilateral trade should reach $ 10 billion, but it is not the limit!” Statements like these reflected the spirit of the Uzbek-Russian business forum that took place in Tashkent with the participation of the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov, the Minister of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Elyor Ganiev and the head of Uzbekistan’s State Committee for Investments, Azim Agzamkhodjaev.
The keynote of the event - the expansion of trade and economic cooperation - is very similar to the recently held business meetings of representatives of Uzbek companies and their colleagues from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey and other partner countries. The only difference is that the Russian Federation steadily takes the position of the major foreign trade partner of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Therefore, it is quite logical that the strategic partners strive for mutually beneficial cooperation, which was clearly expressed in the speech of the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov. He highly appreciated the ongoing economic reforms in Uzbekistan, and expressed readiness of Russian industrialists to use the opportunities provided for successful business activities. He noted in particular that the Russian side is willing to enhance the range of supplies in such a way that there is no conflict of interests with Uzbek producers. In particular, for pharmaceuticals, it can be anti-tuberculosis, antiviral and antitumor drugs, in medicine - goods for people with disabilities. In the engineering industries, the Russian companies are ready to supply the most competitive models of agricultural and road construction equipment.
As another strategic direction of development D.Manturov considers cooperation in the framework of major infrastructure and industrial transformations of the manufacturing sector of Uzbekistan. “Now the country with the participation of Russian companies is already implementing a number of projects to modernize generating capacities in the electric power industry, to supply equipment and machinery for the oil and gas and mining industries. We can also assist in ensuring the transfer of cement plants to a ‘dry’ mode of production - such a decision was made by the President of Uzbekistan. We have a number of concrete proposals on new projects in these areas. I suggest that interested companies working on them take into account that the Russian side can provide not only the supply of production assets, but also full engineering support for these projects,” the minister said.
Hitherto, a serious obstacle to cooperation, according to Manturov, was “the absence of an official conversion of the national currency, and that prevented the manufacturers from planning to purchase volumes and calculate the economy. The decree on the free conversion of currencies signed by the President of Uzbekistan will remove all these problems.”
Despite the increase in the volume of trade, the participants in the meeting spoke in favor of finding new directions for its further growth. The focus was on the creation of new industries in Russia and Uzbekistan in such areas as automotive, machine tool construction and agricultural machinery.
In 2016, the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation amounted to just over
$ 4 billion, and in January-August 2017 the volume of mutual trade exceeded $ 3 billion.