Within the framework of reforming the national economy, the Ministry of Foreign Trade is carrying out purposeful work to liberalize foreign economic activity and increase the export potential of Uzbekistan.
First of all, special attention is paid to expanding and strengthening trade and economic relations with foreign countries. The following figures show the effectiveness of the work carried out in this direction: in January-November 2017, the trade between Uzbekistan and foreign countries increased by 16.1%, including exports grew by 24.5%, and imports – by 8.5%.
This positive dynamics is also observed in all major foreign trade partners of Uzbekistan – mutual trade with the PRC grew by 16.5%, Russia – 17.8%, Kazakhstan – 13.2%, Kyrgyzstan – 56.2%, Tajikistan – 20.1% %, Afghanistan 19.2%, South Korea – 34.4%, Turkey – 30.4%, Germany – 18.9%.
One of the brightest events of the past year was the launch of joint production of domestic products abroad for the first time in the history of modern Uzbekistan, assembly production of GM Uzbekistan cars was started in Kazakhstan, work is underway to organize the industrial assembly of cars, agricultural machinery, electrical products, construction materials and textiles in Kyrgyzstan.
Last year’s numerous visits and summit meetings contributed to the intensification of economic dialogue and the expansion of multifaceted practical cooperation, filling the agenda of cooperation with a qualitatively new, concrete content. So, following the results of 21 visits, more than 700 documents were signed in the trade, economic and investment spheres for a total of about $ 55.6 billion, including $ 11 billion in trade.
Intergovernmental commissions on economic cooperation with foreign countries play an important role in steadily increasing and diversifying the volume of mutual trade, developing long-term investment cooperation. So, within the framework of the preparation of events at the highest levels in 2017, Intergovernmental commissions meetings on economic cooperation with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Belarus were organized.
Undoubtedly, the ongoing transformations in the development of the economy, liberalization of the country’s foreign exchange market positively affect the dynamics of exports. Among the important decisions in this area it is possible to single out the removal of all export restrictions, the introduction of the procedure for exporting goods without prepayment and guarantee obligations, the exclusion of excessive and outdated licensing procedures, the expansion of the tax benefits, the abolition of the mandatory sale of foreign exchange earnings, which was actually an export tax.
In addition, the current rates of import customs duties and excise tax on food products, consumer goods not produced in the republic, and raw materials used in the production of finished products have been reduced. As a result, the arithmetic average rate of the customs duty in Uzbekistan is 6.45%.
It should be noted that in 2017, more than 950 new enterprises were involved in export activities, with exports amounting to over $ 0.6 billion, 118 new types of goods exported, and the geography of supplies expanded to 62 new sales markets. The share of finished goods with high added value in exports increased from 28.5% to 34.5%, exports of cars grew 3.3 times, electric and cable products – 1.7 times, pharmaceuticals – 1.2 times, textile – 1,3 times.
The program for creating the infrastructure of trading houses and trade representations, permanent exhibitions in traditional sales markets was adopted and is being actively implemented. Today there are more than 1000 trading houses of enterprises of Uzbekistan abroad, of which 75 were created last year. 26 of them are in the countries of Central Asia.
Undoubtedly, the abovementioned achievements of Uzbekistan deserve wide discussion among the world community and cause great interest among business communities of foreign countries. In order to inform the representatives of foreign business circles about the results of the ongoing reforms over the past period of this year, domestic enterprises took part in more than 80 international exhibitions and fairs in 20 countries of the world and organized 3 national exhibitions. These forums are an effective platform for popularizing Uzbekistan’s achievements in various sectors of the economy, establishing mutually beneficial long-term contacts with foreign businessmen, attracting investments in the national economy.
Another area of activity of the Ministry of Foreign Trade is the preparation of marketing research. Thus, branch and regional enterprises transferred more than 30 studies, including an analysis of the competitiveness of products produced by domestic enterprises, on the basis of which the relevant proposals for diversification and development of new markets for the sale of goods with high added value were developed.
At the same time, the Concept for the Development of Export Activities of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2018-2022 was developed to further increase the volume of exports, involve new enterprises in this process and develop the export of new products based on integrated marketing research. This document provides for an increase in exports by 2022 to $ 30 billion, which is 2.6 times more than current export indicators.
In order to reduce the transport component for the current year, discounts of up to 40% on transportation of mineral fertilizers, cotton fiber, fruit and vegetable products and non-ferrous metals across the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran were received.
As part of the formation of efficient and reliable alternative transport and transit corridors, a pilot auto rally on the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China road corridor was organized, and the first meeting of the Working Committee of the Ashgabat Agreement was organized for the practical implementation of the international transport and transit corridor Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman “. It should be added that the implementation of these projects will provide the shortest access to the markets of the Asia-Pacific region and Europe, will allow to have a stable income from the transit of foreign goods between China, EU and Middle East countries.