On March 1 of this year, the Uzbek-Spanish business forum was held at the International Hotel Tashkent, organized by the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain. This was reported by the press service of the MIIT.
The Forum was attended by Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan Oybek Khamraev, Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism of Spain Shiana Mendez, heads of ministries, departments and over 100 leading companies of both countries.
In their speech, the speakers noted the effectiveness of the reforms carried out in Uzbekistan, including the liberalization of the foreign exchange market, the reduction in the number of taxes, the creation of free economic zones, the adoption of the Development Strategy, the implementation of administrative reform, the reliable protection of private property, the implementation of industrial policy, the development of entrepreneurship and others. Uzbekistan has received the status of a beneficiary of the EU’s GSP+ Generalized System of Preferences, and active work is underway to join the WTO. Thanks to the measures taken, the investment climate is improving and the volume of foreign trade is increasing.
Thus, thanks to the status of a GSP+ beneficiary in 2022, the export of Uzbek products to the EU market increased by almost 50%, and to the Spanish markets – by almost 2.5 times. At the same time, along with a significant potential for the development of bilateral trade, the need was noted for providing additional support for the business circles of the two countries in order to expand the list and increase the volume of goods supplied.
During the event, the Uzbek side came up with initiatives to enhance the use of the competitive advantages of the two countries to expand bilateral investment cooperation in priority sectors of the economy. The most promising are the automotive industry and the production of components, the pharmaceutical, textile, food industries, agriculture, the development of public services and infrastructure development. Moreover, both states are members of large regional associations with free trade regimes, which creates additional prerequisites for expanding trade relations between entrepreneurs of two countries.
On the sidelines of the Forum, the heads of delegations held a meeting in narrow format. The focus of the parties is the next joint steps to develop trade, investment cooperation and industrial cooperation. The parties agreed to mobilize untapped resources and opportunities, including by increasing the volume of mutual supplies of pharmaceuticals, textiles, non-ferrous metals, agricultural products, electrical equipment, opening trading houses, holding joint business forums and exhibitions “Made in Uzbekistan” and “Made in Spain”.
As the result of the forum, a number of agreements were signed in the areas of water management and the construction of hydrotreatment facilities in different regions of Uzbekistan and the introduction of new approaches and technologies for the development of sericulture and astrakhan breeding. In addition, B2B negotiations were also held as part of the business forum program, during which entrepreneurs and investors were able to establish direct ties, find points of intersection of interests and discuss new promising projects in the food sector, green energy and building materials production.
In the afternoon, the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Kingdom of Spain on trade and economic cooperation was held, which was attended by the heads of relevant ministries and departments of the two countries. Among the key agreements is the development of a “Roadmap” for the implementation of further joint measures to expand bilateral trade, eliminate trade barriers, organize mutual exhibitions and fairs, and open joint ventures for the production of goods with high added value.