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Home / Other / World / Yerik Utembayev: Economic Relations Need New Subst...

Yerik Utembayev: Economic Relations Need New Substance

The last week was full of events that have a direct impact on the enhancement of Uzbek-Kazakh cooperation.

On December 15, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and the leader of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke over the phone, on December 14 Tashkent hosted another round of ministerial consultations to discuss the improvement of the normative base of bilateral relations, on the 13th the Embassy of Kazakhstan organized a roundtable discussion “New the possibilities of interaction between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the era of global economic trends”.

The Heads of state expressed their firm conviction that they would continue the constructive, transparent and open dialogue. Nursultan Nazarbayev invited Shavkat Mirziyoyev carry out a state visit to Kazakhstan. The invitation was accepted.

At the roundtable discussion, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan Yerik Utembayev held a presentation of the current state of trade and economic cooperation, shared plans for the development of industrial cooperation in the priority clusters, the implementation of which has the potential to increase the bilateral trade to $5 billion.

The real picture of the state of bilateral relations was described by the Kazakh diplomat in his interview to Uzbekistan Today.

“Mr. Ambassador, at the panel discussion you have noted the readiness of Kazakhstan’s Embassy in every possible way to promote Uzbek companies to your country’s market, but Uzbekistan is also ready to attract investments from your side...”

“During my recent trip with Uzbek businessmen to a forum in Shymkent, when crossing the border between the two states, we encountered an interesting meeting. Tourists from Italy were passing through the customs and border procedures along with us. Their surprise knew no bounds: why are so many people without the necessary, in their view, freight standing in the queue in the direction of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. I smiled to their ideas and asked them to just ask those people why they are so "light" in traveling to another state. I had to become an interpreter, but I got a great pleasure from this process. Because the answers of ordinary people were confirming the correctness of the policies of our presidents, and the need to find new areas of collaboration.

Nursultan Abishevich was among the first to congratulate Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev on a worthwhile victory, and invited him to pay an official visit to Kazakhstan. The independent Uzbekistan faces the next stage of development.”

“Improvement of the legal base of relations was the main item on the agenda of the recent ministerial consultations. What does it include today?”

“Historians usually emphasize that our community is determined by thousands of years of unity, language, cultural diversity, religion. Political scientists continue: it is on this basis today both states have created a secular form of government, we have large stocks of hydrocarbon raw materials, and our communication systems are identical. And we have one goal, namely, to improve the lives of our peoples. That is why Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the two leading states in Central Asia, are active in cooperation in all areas. The key cementing documents are the Treaty on Eternal Friendship (1998) and the Strategic Partnership Agreement (2013). Our President's visit to Uzbekistan in June 2013 was special not only because they signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement, which defines the main principles and priorities in the political, economic, trade, transport and communication, water and energy, environmental, cultural, humanitarian, military-technical and other areas of bilateral cooperation, but also because the documents on interaction between the ministries of the interior and the customs services of the two countries were signed.

In general though, today our countries have extensive normative base for bilateral relations, which includes 11 interstate, 69 intergovernmental and 52 interagency agreements.”

“Speaking about the prospects of economic cooperation, you voiced the figure $5 billion. Is that the volume of trade, which we jointly plan to achieve?

“Trade and economic cooperation is the main indicator of the level of mutual relations. Today our countries have reached a stage of development when the economic ties require intensification, new forms and new content. Significantly expand the possibilities of bilateral cooperation, if they concentrate specifically in the industrial, chemical, agro-food, textile, infrastructure and transport and logistics clusters. It is necessary to strengthen interregional cooperation of our countries, set up joint ventures to promote goods and services on foreign markets. And the embassy is actively engaged in this.

In 2015 the total share of Kazakhstan's Uzbekistan’s trade turnover made up 12% (third largest after China and Russia).

According to the information of the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan, in the 10 months of 2016 the bilateral trade totaled $ 1.7 billion and decreased in comparison by approximately 25% compared to the indicators of the same period of 2015. This is a consequence of crisis manifestations in the global economy.

“What can change the situation?”

“These figures may change significantly by the cooperation in the transport and logistics sector, cross-border trade and, of course, the regular meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission to discuss topical issues in trade and economic, financial, customs, water, transport and logistics sectors.”

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