A regular meeting of the working group of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan at the level of deputy heads of government was held in Astana, the press service of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan reports. The participants reviewed the progress in the implementation of joint projects, investment agreements and trade contracts scheduled for implementation following the talks between the presidents of the two countries in December 2022.
Vice Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan Serik Zhumangarin and Jamshid Khodjaev noted the active promotion of individual projects of joint road maps and discussed ways to resolve emerging barriers in improving the effectiveness of partnerships.
Bilateral documents have planned major projects in various sectors of the economy. In particular, a project to launch the production of Artel household appliances in the Karaganda region is being implemented in a timely manner. The project is divided into several stages, the start of the launch is 2025. Under the Artel brand, it is planned to produce cookers, vacuum cleaners, TVs, mini-ovens, and washing machines. The development potential is $8.95 billion, of which $7.97 billion is for export. Currently, the development of design and estimate documentation has been completed, construction and installation work is underway, about 10% of the equipment has been delivered.
According to the plan, the establishment of the production of small-scale assembly of Chevrolet Onix cars in the Kostanay region is moving forward. The launch of the project is scheduled for the 1st quarter of 2024 on the basis of the SaryarkaAvtoProm plant. Contracts have been signed and equipment for welding, painting and assembly shops is being manufactured.
In Shymkent and the Turkestan region, projects to create textile complexes are being actively implemented. In April 2023, the parties agreed on the experimental sowing and subsequent processing of Uzbek varietal cotton seeds at the Zhanassyl plant. Now 30 hectares have been sown in the region with new seeds “Namangan – 77”.
In addition to major infrastructure projects, the parties are actively cooperating on projects in the agro-industrial complex. This is the construction of a plant for processing fruit and berry crops, refining sunflower oil, building a feedlot for 20 thousand head of cattle and a meat processing complex, etc.
At the working meeting, in order to increase the efficiency of interaction, the participants discussed the possibility of increasing the throughput capacity of border points, increasing tariffs for the transportation of Kazakh coal to Uzbekistan, and activating the multimodal transport route China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran.
Particular attention was paid to discussing the possibility of reducing tariffs for the transit of Kazakh flour products through the territory of Uzbekistan. The volume of flour exports from Kazakhstan to Afghanistan through the territory of Uzbekistan at a historical maximum in 2017 reached 1,209 thousand tons. In subsequent years, this figure decreased significantly: in 2021 – 536 thousand tons, in 2022 – 816 thousand tons. For 6 months of the current year – only 275 thousand tons.
Given the significant potential of our country for the export of flour to Afghanistan, the Kazakh side turned to the Uzbek side with a request to consider the possibility of granting tariff preferences to the base tariff for transit transportation through Uzbekistan to Afghanistan by rail. The meeting participants agreed to establish a joint expert working group to discuss favorable tariff conditions for rail transportation and develop specific proposals.