Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan to Consolidate the Strategic Partnership
As it was reported earlier, the Uzbek President Islam Karimov paid an official visit to Kazakhstan on November 24-25 at the invitation of President Nursultan Nazarbaev.
During the talks in a traditionally friendly setting marked by mutual understanding and openness, the heads of our two states discussed key issues in the evolution of relations between the two nations, prospects of enhancement of bilateral cooperation in the trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian and other areas, along with pressing regional and international topics of shared interest.
Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbaev stressed that the steadfast advancement of interaction across diverse spheres in the spirit of the Strategic Partnership Treaty between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, inked in Tashkent in June 2013, meets the vital interests of the two peoples, their historical and cultural community, the potent bonds of friendship and neighborliness tested by time. Moreover, the consistent enlargement of such cooperation facilitates the consolidation of peace and stability in the region as well as sustainable development and prosperity in it.
As Uzbekistan’s leader pointed out, the visit has been regarded by the two sides as a logical extension of the dialogue at the highest level and as a good opportunity to inquire into the entire spectrum of multifaceted relations between our countries.
Global developments are marked currently by instability, and the repercussions of the world financial and economic crisis have still been acute. In this respect, the two parties expressed willingness to bolster the trade-economic and investment cooperation. The leaders of the two countries underscored also the availability of considerable capacities for cementing the interaction and vowed to shore up the cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan within the frameworks of prominent international and regional organizations, institutions and forums.
The heads of our two states exchanged views also on the situation in Afghanistan. They agreed that achieving peace in that country is of decisive significance for cementing the security and stability in our region and beyond it.
Given the common responsibility of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan in securing robust peace and steady economic development in Central Asia, Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbaev agreed to boost the bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking and arms smuggle, as well as other challenges and threats to regional and international security.
The major emphasis in the negotiations between the leaders of the two countries was placed on issues pertinent to building up economic relations.
Kazakhstan traditionally ranks among Uzbekistan’s important trade partners, and the bilateral commercial ties are characterized by dynamic and steadfast growth. Notwithstanding the apparent unpredictability and turbulence in the global economic processes, our two nations have been able to not only maintain, but also uplift the indicators of mutual trade. Thus, the bilateral turnover grew by 14 percent in 2013 to exceed 3.2 billion US dollars, while the increase in the first nine months of this year amounted to more than a quarter and surpassed 3 billion dollars.
Nonetheless, the two sides have greater opportunities and capacities to raise the cooperation to higher levels. To this end, the governments of the two countries have been tasked with boosting up measures to further augment the volumes of mutual trade, diversify the range of goods swapped, create favorable environment for transportation of products and for the promotion of interaction among entrepreneurship entities. The two leaders ordered to bolster the activities of the joint intergovernmental commission for bilateral cooperation to secure a timely and quality fulfillment of provisions of the 2007-2016 Economic Cooperation Strategy between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Another key aspect of the relations between our two countries is the enhancement of mutually advantageous partnership in the field of transportation and transport communications, in particular in cashing in the enormous transit potential of our two nations. President Islam Karimov noted that to further this goal, it is important to offer reciprocal tariff preferences when arranging the transit and supply of goods. It includes the railway transport, which in turn will allow for uplifting the competitiveness of transport corridors in comparison with alternative routes and for ensuring their higher workloads.
Among the issues considered during the negotiations was the activity of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFSA) that offers a unique and universal platform for the interaction among the countries of the region to implement scientific and practical projects and programs designed to improve the ecological situation and address socio-economic issues in the areas suffering from the impact of the Aral catastrophe.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan have supported regional and international efforts dedicated to the effective realization of the third phase of the action plan to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin. In this regard, Kazakhstan highly appreciates the outcomes of the international conference to discuss the cooperation in the Aral Sea basin aimed at weathering the repercussions of the environmental disaster, held in October 2014 in Urgench, Uzbekistan, as part of our country’s presidency in the IFSA.
Also under focus were issues related to the expansion of cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere, which is built on the spiritual proximity and ages-old traditional bonds between our two peoples.
A range of documents were signed during the visit to reinforce the bilateral cooperation across a variety of areas.
In Astana, the President of Uzbekistan, accompanied by the leader of Kazakhstan, visited the recently launched Nazarbaev Center, a multi-functional scientific-analytical and humanitarian-enlightenment institution. The facility is a distinctive museum fund that contains artifacts reflecting the history, culture and the contemporary lifestyle of the Kazakh people as well as the activities of the country’s President.
Noting Kazakhstan’s remarkable accomplishments made during its independence years, the head of our state conveyed an elevated appraisal to undertakings in the field of education and enlightenment, in nurturing the youth in the spirit of patriotism and respect for national and universal values.
It was highly symbolic that the Astana summit meeting happened to take place on the eve of the Kazakh people’s great holiday – the Independence Day. The Uzbeks and Kazakhs have always been reliable neighbors and cousins tested by life and time. Thus, every meeting of the leaders of our two countries is in demand and is welcomed by the two peoples with inspiration, the very peoples who realize perfectly that not only long-term prospects of bilateral multilayered relations, but also the stability and sustainable development of our entire wider region are contingent on this kind of dialogue amid especially the current swiftly changing and intricate world.
One can state with firm conviction that President Islam Karimov’s latest visit to Kazakhstan and the outcomes of the trip will open up new, broader horizons in the interaction between our two countries and will facilitate the mobilization of the tremendous potential of cooperation that caters to the interests of the Uzbek and Kazakh peoples.
(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Uzbekistan and Russia Discuss Development of Trade-Economic Relations
The Sixteenth session of the intergovernmental commission on economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Russia was held in Tashkent on 26 November 2014.
First Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov headed the Uzbek delegation at the session, while Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak led the Russian delegation.
During the session, Rustam Azimov underlined that Uzbekistan is carrying out preparation to upcoming visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Uzbekistan, which is scheduled for December 2014. He said that the session of the commission is important step to develop practical measures to expand bilateral trade-economic relations to fill it with concrete and important mutual beneficial measures.
Russia is an important trade partner and despite crisis in world economy, trade relations between two states are at high level, Azimov said. He noted that trade turnover between two states exceeded US$7 billion in 2013 and US$4.5 billion in nine months of 2014. He underlined that compared to 2000, the bilateral trade rose seven times.
Uzbek Vice Prime Minister said that there are about 900 enterprises with Russian capital in such industries as fuel-energy, transport, telecommunication, machinery, electrotechnical, production of construction materials, textile and food industries, services. He said that potential of bilateral trade-economic cooperation is not used fully.
Azimov said that Uzbekistan is ready to consider proposals of the Russian side on supply of goods, first of all equipment and other industrial products, for needs of growing economy of the country.
Dmitry Kozak underlined that Russia is interested in purchase of products of agro-industrial complex of Uzbekistan. He said Russian side submitted proposals of the regions and Ministry of Agriculture of Russia to Uzbek side and two countries should work on formation of large party of such products to supply to Russia. He said the Russian side will create all conditions and preferences for it.
At the session, the sides considered implementation of the decision of the 15th session of the intergovernmental commission, which was held on 15 January 2014 in Moscow, perspectives of trade-economic and investment cooperation, further expanding legal base of cooperation, development of ties in transport, scientific-technical areas, environment protection, etc.
The sides critically analyzed current state and perspectives of trade-economic cooperation and determined barriers, which hinder for further development of bilateral trade.
The Russian side underlined that Uzbekistan hiked excise duties for some Russian goods by 30-50% this year, which resulted in fall of Russian exports of goods, on which excise duty should be paid, to Uzbekistan by 26%.
The Uzbek side also pointed to discrimination measures in relation to exports of automobile, ready textile products to Russia, difficulties of transit of agriculture products and raw materials. Uzbek side underlined that discrimination measures resulted in fall of sales of the Uzbek cars in Russia by 30%.
The Uzbek and Russian side agreed to take into account existing problems and issues during negotiations on agreement on main directions of development of economic cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan for 2015-2019.
Uzbekistan and Russia pay great attention to development of mutual beneficial cooperation. Russia is largest trade partner of Uzbekistan. In 2013, the bilateral trade made up US$7.056 billion and in nine months of 2014 – US$4.559 billion.
Currently, there are 878 enterprises with Russian investments, of which 727 are joint ventures and 151 are with 100% Russian capital. At the same time, some 512 enterprises with Uzbek capital operate in Russia.
Industrial Output of Uzbekistan Exceeds 54.401 trillion soums in Jan-Sep
Industrial output of Uzbekistan reached 54.401 trillion soums in January-September 2014, which grew by 8.4% year-on-year, the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said (currency rates of CB RU from 27.11.2014 1$= 2401.09 soums).
The increase of labor productivity in industry by 6.6% to January-September 2014 has led to the growth of industrial production.
The creation of a favorable business environment for small business development has led to the increase in the share of small business in industrial production in comparison with the similar period of the last year by 3.2 percentage points, amounting to 31.1% in January-September of the current year versus 27.9% in same period of 2013.
Within implementation of the Programme for deepening localization of production of finished products, components and materials, under which in January-September 2014, Uzbekistan produced goods for 1.992 trillion soums.
Measures were taken to stimulate and support domestic producers contributed to increase of production of consumer goods, which total volume in January-September 2014 reached 21.621 trillion soums (+11.3%), of which food products – 8.644 trillion soums (+7.9%) and non-food products – 12.977 trillion soums (+13.6%).
The share of consumer goods in the total volume of industrial production increased to 36.5% in the first nine of 2014 versus 33.4% in January-September 2013.
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