Russia Cements Central Asian Silk Road Initiative with Uzbekistan Deals
Russia and Uzbekistan have agreed to US$27 billion worth of investment deals with Russia at the first Russian-Uzbek Inter-regional Cooperation Forum, held last week in Tashkent.
Some 800 trade and investment agreements and memoranda were signed at the event, including the establishment of 79 joint ventures, 23 trading houses, and 20 new wholesale distribution centers in Uzbekistan.
The speeches made at the event by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Russian President Vladimir Putin, outlining their mutual trade and investment areas of cooperation can be read here.
The investments include an US$11 billion nuclear power plant, Central Asia’s first. The nuclear power plant, set to be completed by 2028, has strategic significance for Moscow, which is looking to reassert its economic and political clout in Central Asia amid fierce competition from China and other players.
According to the Russian Rosatom nuclear energy agency overseeing the project the plant’s output should account for a fifth of Uzbekistan’s overall power generation. Putin suggested on Friday that the facility — the first of its kind in ex-Soviet Central Asia — might also help provide power to other countries in the region
Russia and Uzbekistan are both members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Moldova, and Tajikistan. The CIS effectively extends from the borders of China to the borders of the EU.
|Land Mass:||447,000 sq km.|
|GDP (PPP):||US$221 billion|
|GDP Per Capita:||US$7,000|
|GDP Growth Rate:||6%|
Bilateral trade between Russia and Uzbekistan jumped by more than 30 percent year-on-year to US$3.7 billion in 2017, meaning there is plenty of room for growth in the Russia-Uzbek trade corridor as Russian businesses seek to expand opportunities eastwards in the wake of sanctions against the country by the West.
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