Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have outlined measures that will upturn bilateral trade to US $ 1 billion, almost double the figures of 2020, when the trade exchange between the two countries was estimated at US $ 527 million.
The relevant agreements were reached during the visit to Turkmenistan of the government delegation of Uzbekistan headed by Deputy Prime Minister – minister of investment and foreign trade Sardor Umurzakov.
Umurzakov held separate talks with the Turkmen Deputy Prime Ministers in charge of the financial and economic block, the agro-industrial complex, the trade sector, and foreign policy.
During the negotiations, the parties coordinated a number of steps designed to create a favorable environment for expanding a multifaceted economic partnership.
In particular, the issues of opening cross-border trade zones were discussed. The measure will encourage the trade in agricultural and household appliances, food, construction materials, petrochemical products.
In the transport and communication sector, it was agreed that the relevant ministries would explore the possibilities of resuming air traffic and international road traffic in compliance with sanitary and epidemiological requirements.
Work will also be carried out on the preparation of a “Road map” for the development of transport corridors connecting Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The map will provide for joint efforts to build up the capacity of border crossing points, eliminate tariff and non-tariff barriers and increase the transit potential of the two countries.
A separate “Road map” will be developed for the industrial cooperation. It will specify the joint projects and partners. The promising areas of partnership include deep processing of fruit and vegetable products, production of finished textile, leather and footwear and pharmaceutical products, household and agricultural machinery.
In addition, the parties agreed to create a joint working group to study and coordinate issues of increasing the volume of mutual trade.
Special attention was paid to the enhancing cooperation between certain regions of the two countries – between the Bukhara region and the Lebap province, as well as the Khorezm region and the Dashoguz province.
A regular meeting of the Turkmen-Uzbek intergovernmental commission will be held in Uzbekistan in the near future. The second meeting of the bilateral business council is expected to be held on the sidelines of the meeting.
According to the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan, the mutual trade with Turkmenistan has increased 3 times over the past three years. From January to June 2021, the trade turnover increased by 9 % year-on-year. /// nCa, 6 August 2021