Uzbekistan, China Step up Mutually Advantageous Cooperation

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May 25, 2014

Uzbekistan, China Step up Mutually Advantageous Cooperation

As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has arrived in the People’s Republic of China to take part in the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and President of the PRC Xi Jinping met in Shanghai in the residence of the Chinese leader. During the conversation, the two sides highly appraised the current state of relations between our two nations and stressed the importance of such meetings in defining the prospects in the further development of cooperation.

The head of our state underscored the favorable dynamics in the promotion of interaction and expressed sincere gratitude to his Chinese colleague for a warm and cordial reception.

In his turn, the leader of the People’s Republic of China stated his firm commitment to the consolidation of truly strategic partnership between our two nations. Xi Jinping underlined his willingness to keep maintaining close personal dialogue with Uzbekistan’s leader, pushing for even greater achievements in bilateral relations.

China’s leader said he stands for an even closer contact between the two countries in regional and international affairs. Having noted that Uzbekistan is an important nation in the region, Xi Jinping proposed to unite efforts with our country to cement trust among the nations of Asia, promote peace and stability and assist the socio-economic development in the region.

It was also pointed out that the first state visit by the current President of the PRC to Uzbekistan in September 2013 became a genuinely historic event in the evolution of bilateral ties, an indication of the consolidating underlying foundations of relations between our two countries and peoples. Following the talks in Tashkent, Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping inked the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation and the Joint Declaration on the Further Development and Enhancement of Bilateral Relations of Strategic Partnership. The documents signed between the two countries included an intergovernmental agreement on technical and economic cooperation as well as a range of documents dedicated to bolstering the interaction in the economic, financial, hydrocarbon and public education spheres.

Currently, the bonds between Uzbekistan and China have been developing across all the areas in the spirit of the Treaty on Partnership Relations of Friendship and Cooperation as well as the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of Strategic Partnership. Interaction covers the whole range of relations and carries a mutually advantageous nature. They are built on personal contacts of the heads of two states that are characterized with reciprocal trust and respect. Regular are the exchanges in visits and meetings at the highest and high levels.

The steadfast rates of growth in the mutual trade deserve positive assessment. Thus, the volume of turnover between our two countries has increased nearly six-fold in the last six years to reach 5.2 billion dollars in 2013.

Let us remind that during the visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the PRC in June 2012, a package of documents was penned for a total of more than 5.3 billion dollars envisaging the realization of over 30 investment projects.

As part of the September 2013 state visit of the Chinese President to Uzbekistan, 31 documents were signed for the implementation of projects for a total of 15 billion dollars that envision drawing 7.7 billion dollars of financial resources from China, including direct investments of Chinese companies for 1.3 billion dollars, loans of Chinese banks for 6.1 billion dollars and state grants for 0.3 billion dollars.

466 enterprises with the participation of Chinese capital, including 77 enterprises with 100-percent Chinese investments, operate currently in Uzbekistan. 71 companies from the PRC have representative offices accredited in our country.

The investment partnership in non-crude and high-tech spheres has also been evolving dynamically. Signed in 2010 between the governments of Uzbekistan and China, the Cooperation Program serves as bedrock for a fruitful interaction on this front.

Uzbekistan supported the initiative put forward by the Chinese leadership in 2011 to establish a Sino-Uzbek industrial park of high technologies with the involvement of companies from China. In March 2013, that park was established in the form of a special industrial zone Jizzakh with a branch in Sirdarya region. Manufacturing of mobile phones, construction materials and other produce has been already launched in the SIZ in June 2013.

In the current year, the realization of more than 15 joint projects with the attraction of direct investments of Chinese companies for a sum exceeding 50 million dollars is envisaged at the SIZ Jizzakh.

Successful has been the cooperation with the PRC in the fuel and energy complex. The transit of all four stripes of the Central Asia – China natural gas pipeline through the territory of Uzbekistan is indicative of the highest level of mutual trust and close cooperation in the hydrocarbon area.

The China National Petroleum Corporation takes part not only in the exploration and development of promising deposits of oil and gas, but also in the implementation of a project on deep reprocessing of natural gas at the Mubarek Gas Chemical Complex.

An actual strategic issue in the bilateral economic cooperation is the creation of the shortest railway route between our two nations, which will allow for securing an optimal access for the PRC to the countries of Central Asia and further on to those of South Asia. This includes a project to build a railway between Agren (in Tashkent region) and Pap (Namangan region). Its layout with the engagement of Chinese partners was launched in June 2013, when the state railroad stock company Uzbekiston Temir Yullari and the company China Railway Tunnel Group signed a contract for the construction of pass tunnel on the Angren-Pap railway line for a total sum of 455 million dollars.

Active has been the bilateral cooperation in the financial sphere, notably with China Development Bank and the Exim Bank of China. The aggregate portfolio of loans of Chinese financial institutions has exceeded 4.5 billion dollars, including 3.5 billion dollars without the state guarantees.

It is noteworthy that China Development Bank has been taking part in a variety of projects in sectors of energy, transport, telecommunications, healthcare, education and others for a total sum exceeding 3.8 billion dollars.

Starting from 2005, funding for 32 projects totaling 1.15 billion dollars has been approved by the Exim Bank of China.

The further development of cultural and humanitarian relations, cooperation in science and technical development, tourism are also priority areas. It is noteworthy that the opening of China’s first Center for Research of Uzbekistan and Education Exchanges at the Public Diplomacy Research Institute at Shanghai University took place in Shanghai on 15 May 2013. Sister city ties have been established between Tashkent and Shanghai, Navoi and Zhuzhou (Hunan province), Tashkent region and Hunan province, Samarkand and Sian (Shensi province), Samarkand region and Shensi province.

The current meeting of the heads of our two states will afford a new impetus to the development of mutually advantageous cooperation and serve the further consolidation of strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and China.

Following a fruitful conversation and exchange of views, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov visited an official concert of the masters of arts of China to honor the heads of state of the CICA summit at the initiative of President of the PRC Xi Jinping.

The visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the People’s Republic of China continues.