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TASHKENT (TCA) — In his address to parliament on January 24, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev analyzed the country’s achievements in 2019 in social, economic and political spheres and set new tasks for the years to come, the president’s press service reported.

The president said that in 2019 — the Year of active investments and social development, direct foreign investments in Uzbekistan amounted to US $4.2 billion, by $3.1 billion more than in 2018.

The president said that an important task for the country remains further improvement of the business environment, adding that Uzbekistan is taking all the necessary steps to enter the top 50 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business ranking.

Speaking about agriculture, the president said that this year, Uzbekistan’s export of fruit and vegetables should reach $2 billion and grow 3- to 4-fold in the next 5-7 years.

Another important task is to increase the number of foreign visitors to Uzbekistan up to 7.5 million this year.

President Mirziyoyev also spoke about the necessity of expanding economic integration with member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.

“Today 80 percent of our foreign-trade cargoes are transited through Russia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Moreover, 50 percent of [Uzbek] exports of finished products, and for certain items — over 80 percent, fall on these countries. With this in mind, as well as for ensuring favorable conditions for our citizens working in Russia and Kazakhstan, the issue is currently under consideration for establishing Uzbekistan’s interaction with the Eurasian Economic Union. In this serious issue, we will first of all pursue the interests of our people. Therefore, our parliament members and senators should consider the issue and speak out their justified opinion,” Mirziyoyev said.

The president also said that switching to a digital economy will become Uzbekistan’s priority task for the next five years.

For this purpose, the head of state suggested declaring 2020 the Year of development of science, education, and digital economy in Uzbekistan.

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