Baku, Azerbaijan, June 13
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Indicators of trade and economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan can be improved by several times by developing direct partnership relations between business circles of the two countries and expanding the investment cooperation, Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to Uzbekistan Huseyn Guliyev said in an exclusive interview with Trend June 13.
“Ties should be developed in the banking and financial sectors,” he added. “The list of export goods and services of the two countries should be reconsidered as this is of great importance for the expansion of the dialogue between businessmen.”
"The current level of trade and economic relations is not satisfactory,” Guliyev said. “At the end of 2017 the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $31.2 million, of which $26.2 million accounted for exports of Uzbekistan’s goods and only $4.9 million accounted for imports. To expand cooperation in this sphere, both sides should intensify efforts to fully use the existing potential."
He stressed that free economic zones, which are special economic areas with tax, customs, credit benefits for doing any business, including small business, were created upon Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s order to attract investments to Uzbekistan.
“The exemption of economic entities from the main tax burden gives ample opportunities for their rapid expansion, especially when the matter rests in using foreign investments in the authorized capital,” Guliyev added.
"As for Azerbaijan’s investments in Uzbekistan’s economy, I would like to stress that presently 82 Azerbaijani enterprises operate in the republic, of which 71 are joint enterprises and 11 enterprises have full Azerbaijani capital," the ambassador said.
“Trade, engineering and metalworking, finance and insurance, real estate operations, energy, services, jewelry production and repair, food and light industries are the main spheres of activity of those enterprises,” Guliyev said.
"Azerbaijan is interested in using Uzbekistan’s potential, which is the heart of Central Asia and has huge economic and strategic opportunities," he said. “The development of trade, economic and investment ties is a priority direction of bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan."
Guliyev stressed that for this purpose, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan together with the National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ Organizations held the first Uzbek-Azerbaijani business forum and cooperation exchange with participation of businessmen of two countries with the assistance of the Azerbaijani embassy in Uzbekistan on Feb. 19-20.
The Azerbaijani delegation included representatives of companies engaged in such sectors as construction, food, software, tourism, finance, textiles and others. The visit was aimed at supplying Azerbaijani products to the Uzbek market, establishing business contacts with Uzbek businessmen and acquaintance with the investment climate in Uzbekistan. An agreement on cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan's National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ Organizations was signed at the end of the forum.
Follow the author on Twitter: @FDolukhanov