The Uzbekistan-Belarus business forum, organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was held in Samarkand as part of the 10th joint meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
On the Belarusian side, the forum was attended by more than 60 representatives, including heads of ministries and concerns, representatives of more than 40 enterprises from the fields of industrial production, mechanical engineering, light and food industries, woodworking, pharmaceuticals, veterinary medicine, and wholesale trade.
From the Uzbek side, more than 250 representatives of government agencies and business circles were participating in the event.
Even before the start of the forum, representatives of the business community of the two countries had the opportunity to hold B2B negotiations and discuss specific ideas and projects for further mutually beneficial partnership.
The forum was opened by welcoming speeches by the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan Davron Vakhabov, Chairman of the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mikhael Miatlikov, Deputy Khokim of the Samarkand Region Oybek Khamraev, First Deputy Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee Nadezhda Lazarevich.
The speakers emphasized the great interest of Belarusian business and the business of Uzbekistan in mutual cooperation – not only in trade, but also in joint cooperation projects, as well as the readiness of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry to organize platforms in both countries for personal meetings of business circles and search for partners.
In particular, the Chairman of the BelCCI spoke about the agreement reached to hold a meeting with Uzbek business in Minsk early next year, with the signing of a number of contracts in those areas that today seem promising. He invited enterprises from both countries to take part in this event.
Assessing the interest of business, Mikhael Miatlikov noted that it is not limited to bilateral interaction. It is attractive to enter the markets of third countries through Uzbekistan, where the products of Belarusian woodworking, mechanical engineering, and light industry are widely represented. Moreover, the supply of both finished products and intermediate goods, raw materials may be organized – including through the opening of a wholesale logistics center of Uzbekistan in Belarus.
As the head of the CCI of Uzbekistan Davron Vakhabov noted, there are 186 enterprises in the country with the participation of Belarusian capital, but there are all the prerequisites for this number to increase. "We are interested in increasing the number of joint ventures. Today, more than 250 representatives from all regions of Uzbekistan have come to the forum, and this indicates the interest of the business community in developing cooperation with Belarus," he said.
The forum continued with addresses by the First Deputy Minister of Industry of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Ogorodnikov, heads of the Uzbek associations "Uzeltekhsanoat" and "Uztekstilprom", senior representatives of banks and organizations of the two countries, who presented promising projects for the development of bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation in the fields of instrument engineering, textile industry, livestock farming and veterinary medicine, mechanisms for supplying Belarusian agricultural machinery to Uzbekistan in the form of a comprehensive technological solution using various financial instruments, as well as the features of mutual settlements between business entities of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The participants summed up the results of the Uzbekistan-Belarus business forum in the presence of distinguished guests – the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Roman Golovchenko.
"Uzbekistan is one of Belarus' main trading partners in Central Asia and the CIS region (third biggest trading partner in the CIS)," Roman Golovchenko noted as he met with business people. He emphasized that the dialogue between Belarus and Uzbekistan is a paragon of bilateral relations.
"This is facilitated, among other things, by the well-developed cooperation infrastructure. We are not competitors to each other, our economies are complementary," the prime minister said.According to him, over the past three years, the bilateral trade has almost doubled to hit more than half a billion dollars. The two countries are determined to make the most of their manufacturing, scientific, technical, and innovative potential and to reach an ambitious target of one billion dollars in trade.