The situation in the world economy remains ambiguous and uncertain, the process of its recovery after the 2008 downturn is going slowly. Under the current circumstances, the attraction of foreign capital and high technology is one of the important factors of sustainable advancement of the state.

In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan is consistently working to attract the foreign investments, assisting domestic exporters in promoting their products to the world markets, as well as participating in the realization of the Strategy of Actions for 2017-2021 by enhancing international cooperation and strengthening our country's image on the world arena.

As is known, contacts between the leaders of the countries play an important role in the development of interstate relations. After all, only with the political will at the highest level, we can talk about the development of cooperation in trade and economic, investment, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres. Only for the period from September last year to the present, that is for 9 months, 12 high-level visits were organized. In particular, state visits by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and China are especially noteworthy: 239 contracts and agreements worth about 37.7 billion US dollars were signed on their results.

Large-scale work was carried out at the intergovernmental level. For this period, 12 meetings of intergovernmental commissions (IGC) on trade, economic, investment and technological cooperation with foreign partners were conducted. 130 economic delegations of Uzbekistan visited to discuss the expansion of mutually beneficial relations in foreign countries. In addition, 266 business delegations from abroad visited our country. The results of these visits are impressive. For example, following the visit of the representatives of Uzbekistan to Turkey in early March, 81 documents were signed for $ 1.25 billion. And during the next meeting of the Uzbek-Turkish IGC and the investment forum taken place in Tashkent in May, it should be recalled that the prospective directions and projects of business partnership for the amount of about $ 2 billion were identified.

An agreement was reached with Afghanistan to increase the volume of trade to 1.5 billion dollars. As a result of recent Uzbek-Kuwaiti inter-ministerial consultations in Kuwait, agreements were signed to co-finance housing construction projects in rural areas in the amount of $ 60 million during 2017-2019.

In general, over the past period, with the assistance and active participation of the Foreign Ministry, more than 320 trade and investment agreements and contracts were signed with foreign partners. Their total amount exceeds 44 billion US dollars. In order to ensure the unconditional and full implementation of the concluded documents, action plans (or "road maps") were approved with 13 countries.

The role of the foreign policy organization in expanding the export of domestic goods is invaluable. With the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, national companies have concluded contracts for the supply of fruit and vegetable, textile products, construction materials, automotive, agricultural and electrical appliances to the countries of the near and far abroad. In addition, the negotiations are underway to open trading houses of Uzbek enterprises in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a number of other states.

Active measures are being taken to attract foreign grants and technical assistance from international organizations and foreign countries. Only in 2016 foreign partners allocated $ 240 million to Uzbekistan in this line.

The cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is one of the authoritative international financial institutions, is entering a new phase: in the next few years, the EBRD intends to allocate 1.5 billion US dollars to our country. These funds will be used to implement projects in the areas of small business and private entrepreneurship, communal services, transport infrastructure.

An agreement on cooperation with the European Investment Bank is expected to be signed. And the European Parliament approved the so-called "textile protocol" on amending the Agreement on partnership and cooperation between Uzbekistan and the European Union in connection with the abolition of the system of double licensing in the trade of light industry products. The entry into force of this document will increase exports to the EU markets of Uzbek products, and will also be a positive signal for the western investors to invest in Uzbekistan. Another sign may be the currently worked out possibility of issuing multiple entry visas in a simplified order to businessmen from Turkey and China. Currently, businessmen from 13 countries - Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Malaysia, Thailand, France, the Czech Republic, Switzerland and Japan - use this privilege.

Speaking about the improvement of the visa system, we cannot fail to mention the sphere of tourism, the development of which is also part of the tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Activity of the ministry in this direction is aimed at increasing the tourist flow to the republic, ensuring the participation of leading foreign companies in the realization of joint projects for the development of the tourism industry. Only in January-April this year, the diplomatic missions in various countries carried out more than 500 events in the form of seminars, presentations, round tables, briefings, days of culture, exhibitions.

Only this year, over 100 representatives of foreign media, including Chinese CCTV, Japanese NHK, Malaysian TV3, Turkish TRT, Australian media company David Adams Films, Belgian edition of Travel Magazine, Magazine National Geographic Russia and others visited our republic to highlight the rich history, unique culture and dynamic progress of Uzbekistan.

Upon their return to their homeland, many of them wrote articles, prepared stories and photo reports, documentaries that contribute to boost the recognition of the Uzbek brand abroad.

“Jahon” Information Agency

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