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Uzbek-Korean economic partnership is gaining momentum

On October 25 negotiations were held between Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov and Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Korea Hong Nam-ki in the format of videoconference.

During the VC meeting, the parties discussed issues of cooperation in combating the spread of coronavirus, deepening investment, trade and economic cooperation as well as preparation for a series of bilateral events.

The Uzbek side expressed gratitude to the Government of Korea for the assistance rendered to Uzbekistan in combating the pandemic, in particular for the decision to provide Uzbekistan with an additional grant of $5 million for implementation of the “COVID-19 Emergency Response Program”.

Possibilities of expanding investment cooperation were discussed: the formation of a new package of new mutually beneficial investment projects was announced, which are under scrutiny of experts from relevant ministries and agencies of both countries.

Further steps to accelerate the implementation of agreed projects with the Korea Eximbank, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) were outlined. Possibilities of establishing cooperation with the Economic Development Promotion Facility (EDPF) to implement promising projects in Uzbekistan without sovereign guarantees were also considered.

The sides discussed the progress of joint efforts over preparation of a draft Free Trade Agreement between Uzbekistan and Korea. The parties expressed commitment to intensifying efforts on coordination of existing issues and preparation for signing in the near future.

In addition, the sides considered holding meetings of the Deputy Prime Ministers of the two countries, the Uzbek-Korean Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation as well as a business forum with the participation of business circles of Uzbekistan and Korea by the end of this year in Seoul.

Following the meeting, an agreement has been reached to intensify joint work to promote the discussed areas of cooperation with the involvement of relevant ministries and agencies of the two countries.