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Uzbekistan, UAE Sign $119 mln Trade Deals


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TASHKENT — Uzbekistan and UAE have signed a deal to jointly invest $119.5 mln in projects with leading UAE companies, organisation of mutual visits of business circles and implementation of financial and technical assistance, according to a report. The deals were agreed upon during the second session of the Uzbek-UAE Intergovernmental Economic Cooperation Commission held recently.

The commission discussed ways of expanding trade and economic relations, increasing bilateral trade, implementation of investment projects to create high-tech production facilities in Uzbekistan, expansion of financial and technical cooperation, and cooperation in the tourism and transport sectors, it said.

Some 68 companies, created with UAE capitals are carrying out their activities in Uzbekistan, part of which are wholly owned companies with UAE capital.

The foreign trade companies of the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade signed export contracts with UAE firms for the supply of goods worth more than $73 mln.

Uzbekistan exports to the UAE include raw cotton, silk, and agricultural products, and imports mechanical and electrical equipment, coffee, tea, furniture, plastic and rubber products, motor vehicles, clothing, and sports equipment, it added.

Following the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, the UAE developed increasingly close relations with the Muslim states of Central Asia, including Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan. These relations included both the development of bilateral trade and UAE investment, both public and private. More generally, however, while displaying sympathy for fellow Muslims, by mid-2000 the Emirates’ foreign policy showed little sign of a specifically Muslim content.

Situated in the south-east of the Arabian Peninsula, with its northern coastline on the Persian Gulf and its eastern coast on the Sea of Oman, the country strategically commands the Straits of Hormuz, through which the bulk of the world’s oil exports pass every day. Even if the Straits themselves were closed by the actions of other powers, UAE territory could be used to provide entrance to and exit from the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean. Complementing this factor, the UAE is also ideally situated to provide a key transit point for the import and re-export of goods, not just within Arabia, but in the whole north-western arc of the Indian Ocean and, overland, into the emerging economies of Central Asia. In recent years, Dubai, the UAE’s commercial centre, has become the region’s leading warehouse. ■

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