Russia, Uzbekistan Discussing ‘Positive Dynamics’ Of Mutual Trade

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Denis Manturov, Russia’s Minister of Trade, and Jamshid Khodjaev, Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade have been meeting in Moscow to discuss the positive dynamics of mutual trade.

The discussions are significant as Uzbekistan recently became an observer nation to the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and is considering joining as a full trade partner. The EAEU includes Russia along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, filling the geographic space between China and Europe. Having Uzbekistan, one of the most liberal Central Asian economies join the bloc would be a major boost. Uzbekistan possesses significant trade agreements with both the European Union and United Kingdom.

Within the EAEU, Russia is by far the largest economy and trade partner, meaning Uzbekistan will be especially interested to discuss what trade benefits it can enjoy with Moscow especially, with immediate 2022 trade indicators showing increases in both imports and in exports. Current Uzbek-Russian bilateral trade is about US$6 billion. while Uzbek-EAEU trade (excluding Russia) adds another US$1 billion. Both sides wish to see the overall EAEU figures with Russia reach US$20 billion by 2032.

Within the pharmaceuticals industry, the Geropharm, Russia’s largest producer of insulin, is planning to localize the production of insulin analogues in Uzbekistan, while Russia’s Pharmasyntez are looking to set up operations to manufacture anticancer drugs. These investments will be attractive to Uzbekistan as it seeks further foreign investment. At the same time, it is also selling off stocks in several of its State Owned Enterprises in a policy of reform and development.

Another area of cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan is light industry. Uzbekistan is one of the main suppliers of cotton yarn to Russia, with Russian investors keen to develop cooperation in this sector. The prospects for the development of industrial cooperation and mutual supplies of fittings are being discussed.

Representatives of more than 40 regions of Russia will be visiting Uzbekistan on official visits by the end of 2022 as the two sides look to impress each other with Uzbekistan’s suitability for EAEU membership.

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