Astana, Kazakhstan: The first quarter of year of 2018 has recorded historic increase of bilateral economic cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
According to available data, the growth of mutual volumes of cargo transportation was 8% in 2017, amounting to more than 20.5 million tons while cargo traffic volumes has increased by 44% compared to the same period of 2017 during the first two months of year 2018.
It is pertinent to mention that since April, regular passenger rail services have also been launched along the Samarkand-Astana route.
Amazing increase in bilateral trade and connectivity is result of recent meetings of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and Uzbek Shavkat Mirziyeva. During the opening of the year of Uzbekistan in Astana, both countries agreed on ensuring the growth of trade turnover to $ 3 billion in 2018 and to $ 5 billion by 2020 (in 2017, it amounted to $ 2 billion). During the two major business forums held in 2017, commercial agreements worth more than $ 1 billion had already been signed.
An agreement was reached to continue joint work to create a technical opportunity for transit supplies of Kazakh gas through the territory of Uzbekistan to the south of Kazakhstan.
In general, within the framework of the year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan, more than 200 events in the sphere of economy, tourism, cultural and humanitarian area are planned.
Kazakhstani flag carrier Air Astana has already launched additional flights to Tashkent while regular bus routes have started. Meanwhile, reconstruction of a large interstate road is underway. Two checkpoints were opened on the M-39 motorway. Within the framework of the Kazakh-Uzbek cooperation, a car assembly project has been launched.
The relationship between the two countries is based, inter alia, on an agreement on the main directions of trade and economic cooperation signed on September 22, 2016. The document indicates the creation of a network of joint trading houses in such areas as the mutual sale of oil and oil products, electrical engineering, machine building, automotive, pharmaceutical and agro-industrial products.
It is planned to establish cooperation between the national holding company Baiterek and the National Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Uzbekistan. It is planned to establish a large-scale assembly of passenger cars, buses and agricultural machinery produced by Kazakhstani and Uzbek enterprises “Asia-Auto”, KazKioti, “SamAuto” and GM Uzbekistan.
The main goods that are exported from Kazakhstan to Uzbekistan are wheat and meslin, wheat-rye and wheat flour, semi-finished products of unalloyed steel and iron, zinc concentrates and ores, and also raw aluminum.
Trade (Import and export) base between the two countries is solid and trade and economic turnover of the two countries is almost $ 2 billion which can easily increase because domestic and foreign policy of Uzbekistan are now proactive for enhancing trade relations among neighbouring countries.
Uzbekistan has long expanded the list of goods that allows for export of wide range of agricultural products and both countries are considering to enhance trade in food industry, metallurgy, machinery, pharmaceuticals, as well as Kazakh wheat and flour, which are very popular not only in Uzbekistan, but also in all neighboring countries.