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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on October 14 held a government meeting to discuss the progress in the implementation of joint trade, economic, investment and humanitarian projects with China and the Republic of Korea, the president’s official website reported.

It was said at the meeting that China and South Korea are strategic partners for Uzbekistan. During high-level visits, numerous agreements were reached and roadmaps were adopted to provide for the execution of projects in the trade, economic, investment, humanitarian and other spheres.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has affected the global economy, and lockdown restrictions led to a reduction in foreign trade relations, transport links and delays in the fulfillment of investment projects.

On October 6, President Mirziyoyev talked over the phone with President Moon Jae-In of the Republic of Korea. The sides agreed to speed up joint programs and projects, assist in their execution and, if necessary, attract soft loans.

Interaction with China is also developing dynamically. Preparations are underway for the forthcoming state visit of China President Xi Jinping to Uzbekistan.

For 8 months of this year, the volume of trade between Uzbekistan and China reached $4 billion, with South Korea it amounted to $1.4 billion.

The President noted the availability of enormous potential for building up cooperation with these countries, stressing the lack of noticeable results. Mirziyoyev pointed to failures in the enforcement of roadmaps and the shortage of systemic work in this direction.

This year, export indicators have decreased in some areas. In particular, over the past eight months, exports to China decreased by 42.3 percent in the textile sector, by 33.1 percent in the chemical and petrochemical industry, and by 18.1 percent in agriculture.

During the same period, passiveness was registered in Surkhandarya, Bukhara and Kashkadarya regions in terms of exports to South Korea.

Mirziyoyev stressed the need to effectively cash in such favorable factors as the open economic policy of China and the advantageous geographical position of Uzbekistan, to organize the exports of goods with higher added value to the South Korean market by air transport.

Beijing and Seoul are also major investors in Uzbek economy. Over the past three years, $3.9 billion of investments came from China and $850 million from the Republic of Korea.

However, the realization of some investment projects lags behind schedules.

The President urged the officials to prompt full-scale cooperation with China and the Republic of Korea, find new areas of interaction, elaborate joint projects and ensure oversight of their realization.

“Times change, so do requirements. We have been analyzing the state of affairs across industries. Decisions are made on their streamlining. And the results should correspond with our efforts. Economic sustainability is guaranteed by growth in export and investment indicators,” Mirziyoyev said.

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