Uzbekistan – South Korea: New stage of the strategic partnership

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November 24, 2017

Uzbekistan – South Korea: New stage of the strategic partnership

As previously reported, on November 22, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in the Republic of Korea with a state visit at the invitation of President Moon Jae-in.

The main events of the visit were held on November 23.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in South Korea – Uzbekistan business forum with participation of heads of economic and financial structures, leading businessmen of the two countries.

A welcome message of the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in was read at the opening ceremony of the forum with participation of more than 700 people.

The President of our country in his speech noted the dynamic development of trade-economic relations of the two countries, the conditions and opportunities for doing business in Uzbekistan, the interest of our country in further development of cooperation with South Korean entrepreneurs.

The Head of our state proposed to establish a Korean business center in Uzbekistan.

Representatives of financial and business circles of South Korea highly appreciated the conditions created in Uzbekistan for active business and expressed their readiness to further develop trade-economic cooperation.

Presentation of the book “President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev” in the Korean language, published in circulation of 50 thousand copies and dedicated to the first anniversary of activity of Shavkat Mirziyoyev as President of Uzbekistan, was also held here.

The President of our country visited the National Memorial Complex, where almost 170 thousand people who sacrificed their lives for the independence of the Republic of Korea are buried, paid tribute to the memory of the fallen and laid a wreath at the Memorial column.

The official meeting of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held at the residence of the President of the Republic of Korea, Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House). A guard of honor was lined up in honor of the honored guest. National anthems of the two countries have sounded. The Presidents passed the guard of honor.

During the negotiations in a narrow format, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Moon Jae-in exchanged views on priority areas of further development of bilateral cooperation for the long term, as well as current regional and international issues of mutual interest.

People of Uzbekistan and South Korea are bound by a long-term friendship, they have similar culture and mentality. Koreans, who by the will of fate found themselves in Uzbekistan, have become full and active members of our society. Our compatriots of Korean nationality sit in the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, local Kengashes of people’s deputies, work in the state governing bodies, in all branches of socio-economic life.

The large Korean diaspora plays an important role in supporting friendly relations between our states and further rapprochement of our people. This diaspora is the largest in the CIS (more than 180 thousand people), by number is on the fourth place in the world. This year, our country widely celebrated the 80th anniversary of the ethnic Koreans living in Uzbekistan.

Relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea are consistently developing on the basis of the Joint Declaration on strategic partnership signed in 2006, the Joint Declaration on further development and deepening of the strategic partnership adopted in 2014. These relations contribute to raising bilateral relations in political, trade-economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian spheres to a qualitatively new level.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and noted that friendly relations between our people are consistently strengthening.

The Republic of Korea and the Republic of Uzbekistan are strategic partners. South Korea is well known throughout the world as a highly developed state with high economic, scientific-technical, innovative and intellectual potential. We highly value our cooperation based on openness, mutual understanding and respect for interests, said the Head of our state.

Moon Jae-in warmly welcomed Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who arrived with a state visit, and expressed readiness to continue and further develop traditional contacts at the highest level.

We are glad that Uzbekistan is one of our leading partners, and our relations in various spheres are consistently developing. South Korea now seeks to pursue new policy that aims to promote peace and prosperity in Eurasia. At the center of this plan, there is Uzbekistan, which is a key nation in Central Asia, noted the President of the Republic of Korea.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, 14 meetings have been held at the level of heads of states. In recent years, these contacts have become even more active, which finds its expression in the most important sectors of the economy and humanitarian sphere.

Political relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea are developing in the spirit of mutual support in the international arena. The positions of the sides on issues of global and regional importance are similar or close.

Presidents continued the dialogue at the meeting with participation of official delegations of the two countries. The sides discussed issues of expanding cooperation in trade-economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian spheres.

Today, close contacts between governments, ministries, departments, financial, banking institutions and business structures of our countries are constantly strengthening. Inter-parliamentary relations are developing, consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs are regularly held.

The Republic of Korea is one of the leading trade, economic and investment partners of Uzbekistan in the Asia-Pacific region. Following the results of 2016, the trade turnover between our countries exceeded one billion US dollars. The share of Uzbekistan in South Korea’s trade with the countries of Central Asia is almost 50 percent.

During the high-level meeting, it was noted that the existing potential and opportunities for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation are not fully used, in the coming years new steps will be taken for further improvement of indicators in this area.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the successive reforms that are being implemented in Uzbekistan are based on the noble idea, according to which people must not serve the Government bodies, rather the Government bodies must serve the people, drawing attention to the fact that it is consonant with the main idea in South Korea – people are true owners of the state.

The President of the Republic of Korea noted that Uzbekistan pursues a wise people-oriented policy, their interests, which serves as an important factor in the dynamic development of the country.

Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea has acquired a wide scale. The volume of investments of South Korea attracted into the economy of Uzbekistan exceeded 7 billion US dollars. There are 461 enterprises with participation of South Korean capital in our country, including 386 joint ventures and 75 enterprises with 100% South Korean capital. These enterprises are successfully operating in the oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical, mechanical engineering, electrotechnical and textile industries, spheres of information and communication technologies, transport, logistics and tourism.

Relations in the energy sphere are developing dynamically. In 2016, the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex was built in cooperation with South Korea. 4 billion dollars were invested in this large project, which is a vivid example of trade, economic and investment partnership of our countries.

There are highly developed and investment-attractive free economic zones in South Korea. This country is helping in organization and development of such zones in Uzbekistan. There are 20 enterprises with participation of South Korea, China, Italy, Singapore, India, the UAE and other countries in the FEZ “Navoi”. In addition, Korean Air has been carrying out cargo transportation through the Navoi airport since 2008, introducing advanced technologies and effective control systems in this air harbor.

In May this year, a plant on production of cosmetic products was launched in the FEZ “Navoi” jointly with “CNP Dream” company, which is currently exported to the countries of Central Asia.

Extensive cooperation has been established in order to use best practices of South Korea in city management, development of the transport system, housing and communal services based on widespread use of modern technologies.

The delegation led by the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of South Korea Kim Hyun-mee, consisting of representatives of such large companies as “Korea Eximbank”, “Korea Expressway”, “Hyundai Engineering Co., Ltd.”, “POSCO Engineering and Construction”, “HSnK Architects Group”, visited our country on October 24 of this year for becoming acquainted with the project of the international business center “Tashkent City”. Investors, having given priority to modern technologies and construction of “smart cities”, noted the favorable conditions created in our country for doing business, especially the measures taken on liberalization of foreign exchange policy.

Korea International Cooperation Agency and Export-Import Bank of Korea are implementing a number of projects, such large corporations as “Samsung” and “LG” are creating joint ventures in our country. In particular, “Samsung” has established the production of household appliances in cooperation with “Artel” company.

Cultural and humanitarian relations further strengthen the cooperation between our countries. Days of culture of the Republic of Korea were held in Uzbekistan.

Relations are developing dynamically in the sphere of education. The universities of our country are cooperating with more than 30 scientific research institutions of South Korea. Centers of Korean language and culture are opened in a number of educational institutions. In 2014, Inha University was opened in Tashkent, which raised cooperation in this direction to a new level. This higher educational institution is the first foreign university that prepares highly qualified IT specialists at the level of international standards. Today, more than thousand students are studying at the university on information technologies, engineering and logistics.

During the negotiations, the sides expressed their readiness to consistently continue the dialogue at the highest level, to further intensify cooperation in such spheres as economy, energy, finance, investment, high technologies, increase the volume of mutual trade, expand humanitarian ties.

Following the negotiations, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in signed the Joint Statement on comprehensive deepening of relations of the strategic partnership.

More than 60 documents, such as the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Personnel Management of the Republic of Korea, the Memorandum of Cooperation between the ministries of justice of the two countries, the Agreement of cooperation on implementation of the National electronic commerce platform in Uzbekistan between the Ministry for Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of the Republic of Korea, the Intergovernmental Memorandum of Cooperation on accession of Uzbekistan to the World Trade Organization, the Cooperation Program for 2018-2020 between the ministries of foreign affairs of the two countries, the Memorandum of Understanding on the Knowledge sharing Program between the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement on loans of the Economic Development Co-operation Fund for 2018-2020 and the Agreement on financial cooperation between the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan and the Export-Import Bank of Korea, were signed.

The state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Korea continues.