Uzbekistan is one of Belarus’ main trading partners in Central Asia and the CIS, Belarus’ Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko said at the Uzbekistan-Belarus business forum in Samarkand, BelTA has learned.
The Uzbekistan-Belarus business forum was organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Belarusian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Belarus’ Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko took part in the business forum alongside Uzbekistan’s Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov.
According to the Belarusian prime minister, a number of important events have taken place in 2023, the year when Belarus and Uzbekistan mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Among them is the Belarus-Uzbekistan medical forum that has recently been held in Belarus.
Roman Golovchenko noted that Belarus is an open and export-based economy that relies on “the economic diplomacy” in its domestic and foreign policy, and “the open economy” is the core principle of this “economic diplomacy”.
He emphasized that Belarus seeks to build and promote mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries. The prime minister added that the key goals of Belarus’ economic policy are diversifying exports and maintaining and strengthening its foothold on traditional markets.
“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.
“The business community plays a key role in promotion of bilateral trade and economic cooperation. The ability of the business to quickly adopt to changes on the market and changes in consumer demand is highly instrumental in increasing trade and output of goods and services,” noted Roman Golovchenko.
He believes that business forums offer a good opportunity to show new products and do effective networking, because “nothing can replace personal meetings and human communication.”
Speaking with representatives of the business community, Roman Golovchenko noted that Belarus has something to offer: mechanical engineering products, food products, services, the latest scientific and engineering solutions and much more.
“In turn, Belarusian consumers know and appreciate Uzbek textiles, high-quality fruits and vegetables. Belarusian factories are interested in purchasing metals and rolled metal, component parts and superstructures for equipment from Uzbekistan,” the prime minister said.
“It is gratifying that in recent years we have seen more Uzbek products on the Belarusian market,” he added.
According to Roman Golovchenko, in order to bring economic cooperation to a new level, it is necessary to switch to mutual investment and joint production.
“We are already successfully implementing joint projects in Uzbekistan to assemble special-purpose equipment and to manufacture agricultural machines for cultivating soil and cotton. This year, we have launched the first joint venture to make milk formulas. It supplies products made from Belarusian raw materials to manufacturers and processing companies in Uzbekistan, and sells these products in the neighboring countries. There is a joint venture that makes footwear together with the Belarusian manufacturer Marko in the city of Qarshi. We are studying prospects to produce BELARUS tractors, as well as diesel generators and compressor units in Uzbekistan,” the prime minister said. He remarked that there is great cooperation potential in the woodworking industry and furniture production. According to Roman Golovchenko, Belarusian producers have good prospects on the market of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan also expressed its readiness to take things up a notch. The Belarusian president is expected to visit Uzbekistan next year upon the invitation of his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
A reminder, Aleksandr Lukashenko’s visit to Uzbekistan had been previously discussed in September at the meeting of the Belarusian president with Chairwoman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva. Back then Aleksandr Lukashenko recalled that he had visited Uzbekistan several times. Together with Shavkat Mirziyoyev he had toured the south of the republic that he found stunningly beautiful. The president of Belarus admitted that he would like to visit the mountainous regions of this country in winter. “I will try to make time to visit your mountains in the near future,” he said.