Uzbekistan needs even more reforms to attract Japanese companies (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 12
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Uzbekistan needs to secure the status of a reliable business partner in order to attract even more Japanese companies willing to invest and cooperate with Uzbek enterprises, Manabu Shimoyashiro, Director General of the Tashkent Office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), told Trend Oct. 12.
He noted that reduction of import tariffs from January 2019, simplification of import procedures, reforms being carried out and planned in the tax sphere promote interest from the Japanese side, adding that these reforms are only the initial stage of attracting Japanese companies.
“Given the particular geographical location of Uzbekistan (the need to cross the territory of two states to access the oceans), which, in fact, is inconvenient for doing business, the country needs to carry out even more reforms to increase the country's commercial attractiveness,” Shimoyashiro said.
JETRO Tashkent Director General particularly emphasized the abolition of entry visa to Uzbekistan for Japanese citizens, noting that although this decision has only an indirect influence on development of trade relations between Japan and Uzbekistan, it has led to increasing number of guests from Japan.
“According to our data, in 2017, about 7,000 Japanese visited Uzbekistan. After the introduction of a visa-free regime for 30 days, in just eight months of 2018, over 10,000 Japanese visited Uzbekistan, which is 1.5 times more than in the same period of 2017,” Shimoyashiro said.
In January-August 2018, trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Japan amounted to $219 million (a 2.1 times increase), of which $8.9 million accounted for exports from Uzbekistan, and $210.1 million for imports from Japan.
Main goods imported from Japan are vehicles and components, equipment, electrical machinery and other electrical equipment.
The Japanese investments in the economy of Uzbekistan exceed $2.5 billion. Japan invests in projects in railway transport, oil and gas, energy, mining, automotive, telecommunications, electronics, textile industry.
Representative offices of large Japanese corporations, such as Mitsubishi, Marubeni, ITOCHU are operating in Uzbekistan.
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