Uzbekistan, Austria discuss prospects for cooperation

Uzbekistan Materials 23 May 2012 14:05 (UTC +04:00)

Uzbekistan, Tashkent, May 23 / Trend D.Azizov /

Cooperation with Uzbekistan for Austria is one of the priorities in the relations with eastern countries, the co-chairman of the co-joint Uzbek-Austrian commission on trade and economic cooperation, the general director of foreign economic relations of the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth of Austria, Franz Wessig said at the fifth meeting of the commission held in Tashkent on Tuesday.

The Austrian delegation included representatives of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, the Federal Chamber of Economy, Academy of Sciences and other ministries. The meeting was attended by the Charge d'Affaires of Austria in Uzbekistan Michael Postl.

"Our commission intends to develop proposals to enhance Austro-Uzbek economic relations. During the visit we intend to visit the regions of Uzbekistan and in particular, Samarkand, Urgench and Bukhara," Wessig said.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan Shavkat Tulyaganov said Austria currently holds 26th place among the trading partners of Uzbekistan and the eighth among European countries.

Following the results of 2011, the mutual trade turnover amounted to $96.9 million. During January-March 2012 the volume of bilateral trade amounted to $15.945 million.

The potential of the two countries allows them to increase this figure 10 times, the representative of Uzbekistan noted.

A presentation of the economic and investment potential of a number of industries in Uzbekistan, including agriculture, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics, food processing industries was shown at the meeting. Significant prospects for cooperation are in small business and entrepreneurship, including the free economic zones of Navoi and Angren.

In accordance with an agreement between Uzbekistan and the EU countries, a most favoured nation basis has been established in the bilateral trade between Uzbekistan and Austria.

Trade and economic Uzbek-Austrian relations are regulated by a number of agreements, including 'On the bilateral foreign economic cooperation', 'On promotion and mutual protection of investments', 'On the air service' and the convention 'On the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion in the income and assets' and other documents.

Some 31 joint ventures with Austrian capital and 10 enterprises with one 100 per cent Austrian investment exist in the footwear and textile industry, printing, pharmaceuticals, construction materials production and trade operations in Uzbekistan.

Some 10 representative offices of the Austrian company whose main areas of activity are the production and sale of pharmaceutical drugs, equipment supply, consulting and services, are accredited in Uzbekistan.

The first meeting of the joint Uzbek-Austrian commission on trade-economic cooperation was held in 2000 in Tashkent, the previous fourth meeting was held in Vienna in 2009.