23 April 2022

Uzbekistan and Japan discuss opportunities to expand economic partnership

Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov held talks with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan Koichi Hagiuda in Tokyo.

On the agenda were issues of further strengthening bilateral ties in the field of investment, industry and mutual trade.

It was announced that in recent years, thanks to regular bilateral contacts at the level of the leadership of the two states, as well as ministries and departments, the economic partnership between Uzbekistan and Japan has been progressively developing.

So, according to the results of three months of this year, the volume of mutual trade was twice as much as the same indicator last year. Exports from Uzbekistan to Japan are dominated by chemical products, services, non-ferrous metals, textile products, food products, vegetable juices and extracts, while vehicles, plastic products, machinery and equipment are most often imported. Active work is underway to increase the export to Japan of Uzbek textiles, fruits and vegetables, chemicals and alloys.

Significant progress is also being observed in the investment sector: at the moment, there are 46 enterprises with the participation of Japanese investments in Uzbekistan, of which 30 are with one hundred percent Japanese capital. Representatives of 15 large Japanese companies are accredited, the main areas of activity of which are the oil and gas, petrochemical, engineering and chemical industries, the production of equipment for energy industry facilities, transport and logistics services, trade operations, education and tourism.

The parties reviewed the implementation of 22 projects worth $4.3 billion, signed following the visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Japan in 2019.

During the dialogue, significant opportunities were noted for expanding cooperation in the fields of energy, health, transport infrastructure and information and communication technologies. An agreement was reached on establishing a mechanism for close interdepartmental cooperation on the exchange of specific project proposals in these areas, as well as promoting their practical implementation.

The Uzbek side welcomed the initiative of the Japan Agency for International Cooperation (JICA) to apply a new private sector financing tool in Uzbekistan without the need to attract state guarantees focused on financing the energy sector and supporting small and medium-sized businesses.

The practical aspects of a number of implemented projects were substantively considered, such as a project for the construction of a medical center for neurology and stroke in Tashkent, a project for equipping medical clinics in the cities of Samarkand and Andijan, large projects in the field of energy and other areas.

In a separate order, the parties discussed the possibility of the Japanese side organizing internships and trainings for Uzbek specialists in Japanese industrial test centers. This will help strengthen the personnel potential of Uzbekistan in the field of standardization, certification of products and services, metrology and quality management, which, in turn, will contribute to improving the quality and competitiveness of domestic products and its compliance with modern international standards.

Following the meeting, an agreement was reached on close joint work on the accelerated implementation of current and approval of the projects being worked out, as well as mutual commitment to deepening Uzbek-Japanese cooperation.