Russia, Uzbekistan Look To Increase Bilateral Trade

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Another push east as Russia seeks to replace EU markets 

Uzbekistan and Russia are considering further steps to increase mutual trade turnover, according to the Uzbek Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade.

This issue was discussed on the sidelines of the “Innoprom. Central Asia” International Industrial Exhibition between the Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov and the Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation Denis Manturov.

During the meeting, an agreement was reached to study the structure of mutual trade in order to identify specific commodity items that are promising in terms of increasing mutual deliveries of products that are in demand in the markets of both countries.

Mutual readiness for interaction to remove existing trade barriers and create favorable conditions for enhancing bilateral trade was indicated.

In addition, opportunities for deepening industrial cooperation and building interconnected value chains in high-tech and investment-intensive industries such as metallurgy, energy, engineering, production of specialized transport, agricultural and road construction equipment, chemical, pharmaceutical, and IT sectors were studied.

Uzbekistan is an important market for Russian – and Chinese – investors as it possesses a substantial trade agreement with the European Union, meaning that under certain conditions, Russian-owned or JV manufacturing units in Uzbekistan can export to the EU. Uzbekistan also recently acquired observer status with the Eurasian Economic Union, which Russia would be keen to see join. The two countries are also trade-tied by membership of the Commonwealth of Independent States, with the two having their own trade agreement.

Uzbekistan is landlocked, and is accessed from Russia via Kazakhstan by rail, or via the Caspian sea from Russia’s Volga River delta and via Turkmenistan rail connections.

Current Russia-Uzbekistan bilateral trade is running at about US$6 billion, with Russian exports making up about 2/3 of this. Russia exports lumber, oil, and metals, while Uzbekistan exports gas, ethylene and cotton. Bilateral trade has been growing at rates of 6% but this can be expected to increase.

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