Russia, Uzbekistan discuss investment projects with potential worth of $28bn

By Muzaffar Ismailov in Tashkent October 9, 2023

Russia and Uzbekistan have discussed the potential implementation of more than a hundred joint investment projects worth $28bn, Russian President Vladimir Putin told media on October 6, following talks with Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Moscow.

Plans to produce Atom electric vehicles (EVs) in Uzbekistan, localise the production of railway equipment in the country and cooperate in the light, chemical and pharmaceutical industries were discussed.

Multifaceted economic cooperation, including at the regional government level, was also on the agenda.

Russia’s investment in Central Asia’s second largest economy lately exceeded $13bn.

The Tashkent Metallurgical Plant, as well as Lada and KAMAZ automobile plants and the industrial parks in Chirchik and Jizzakh were launched with Russian participation.

There are 3,000 Russian companies operating in Uzbekistan, while 700 Uzbek companies operate in Russia.

At an interregional cooperation forum in Kazan in southwestern Russia, Russian and Uzbek companies signed agreements for projects that, if they are all realised, will be worth $3.5bn. A roadmap for industrial cooperation at the regional level, in mechanical engineering, metallurgy, textiles and other industries, is to be developed.

Trade turnover between Russia and Uzbekistan has grown by around 14% in the year to date. According to Mirziyoyev, in two or three years it could reach $20bn.

There have been shifts in the structure of bilateral trade. Previously raw materials were dominant, but now 70% of trade is accounted for by goods with high added-value.

Tashkent and Moscow have agreed to increase mutual settlements in national currencies. Russian figures show that in 2022, the ruble accounted for 47.5% of commercial transactions with Uzbekistan. Some 17 Uzbek banks have c0nnected with the financial messaging transmission system of the Central Bank of Russia.

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