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This was stated by the Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State, podrobno.uz reported.
"I would like to note that since the beginning of the year the trade between Uzbekistan and the CIS countries has increased by more than 20 percent. Uzbekistan is also interested in implementing new concrete projects in the trade, investment, innovation and financial spheres with the CIS member countries. We are ready to jointly develop venture projects and industrial zones," he said.
Transport and communications, the development of an effective integrated transport system in the Commonwealth space, the fullest utilization of the region's huge transit potential are strategically important areas, according to Mirziyoyev.
The key aspects of this work, he believes, should be the improvement of administrative procedures and regulations, mutual provision of preferences for transportation and transit of goods.
The Commonwealth countries have great prospects in the sphere of tourism, according to the Uzbek leader.
"In our opinion, the vast opportunities and enormous tourism potential, unfortunately, are still not fully utilized. For a joint analysis of the implementation of the Strategy for the development of cooperation of the CIS member states in the field of tourism for the period up to 2020 and the development of a plan of concrete actions we are ready to host one of the regular sessions of the Commonwealth Tourism Council in Samarkand," he said.
The expansion of applied scientific and technical cooperation and educational exchange will not be left aside, according to Mirziyoyev.
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a free association of sovereign states formed in 1991 by Russia and 11 other republics that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The organization coordinates its members' policies regarding their economies, defense, immigration policies, environmental protection, and law enforcement.
The CIS united Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine. However, in 2008 Georgia withdrew its membership.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has kept the forecast for GDP growth in Uzbekistan in 2017 and 2018 at the level of 6 percent annually.
This was stated in the fund's October report 'World Economic Outlook'.
Uzbekistan's inflation will grow from 8 percent in 2016 up to 13 percent in 2017. The growth of inflation in 2018 will be at the level of 12.7 percent, according to the report.
Fund experts predict that the current account balance of Uzbekistan's balance of payments in 2017 will amount to 0.9 percent of GDP against 1.4 percent in 2016. This figure will amount to 0.3 percent in 2018, the IMF report said.
The IMF emphasizes that Uzbekistan can experience inflationary pressures in connection with the currency reform.
The inflation forecast increased under the influence of various factors including the devaluation of the soum. The Central Bank of Uzbekistan devalued the national currency - soum - by almost two times on September 5, setting the official exchange rate of US dollar at 8,100 soums/USD compared to 4,210.35 soums/USD on September 4.
Simultaneously, restrictions were lifted for legal entities and individuals to convert the national currency.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev ordered to remove restrictions from September 5 on currency exchange for the population. Previously, he announced upcoming liberalization of the banking sector and transition to a system of free currency conversion.
Currently, Uzbek people can buy foreign currency solely on plastic payment cards, which can be used abroad without any restrictions.
Earlier, individual entrepreneurs and farmers in Uzbekistan were allowed to withdraw foreign currency from their bank accounts.
In addition, legal entities can purchase foreign currency in banks without restrictions for payment on current international transactions - for the import of goods, works and services, repatriation of profits, repayment of loans, travel expenses and other non-trade transfers.
At the time, physical persons can only sell currency to banks through exchange offices.
A network of centers for the integrated service of farms, dehkan farms as well as the owners of household land will be established throughout Uzbekistan in the near future.
This decision was recently approved by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The new centers will be created at the district councils of farms, dekhkan farms and landowners, podrobno.uz reported.
Their main tasks include providing consulting services to producers of agricultural products, including consulting in the legal, economic, technological spheres and assistance in drawing up business plans.
In addition, they will engage in intermediary services in the sale of agricultural products in the domestic and foreign markets, the delivery on a contractual basis of necessary material resources, seeds and seedlings, containers, equipment and other means to farmers.
Another important area of their work is providing consulting services to attract bank loans, funds and grants from international and foreign financial organizations. The agrarian's qualification advancement will not be left aside. The centers will conduct training and practical courses for retraining and advanced training in the sphere of agriculture.
The creation of new cooperative chains among farmers in the production, harvesting, storage, processing, and export of agricultural products is also an important direction of the centers' operation.
The country's economy depends heavily on agricultural production. Last year the volume of gross agricultural production in Uzbekistan reached 47.4 trillion soums. As of January 1, 2017, the number of operating farms exceeded 132,000 and dekhkan farms - 4.7 million.
In total, 8.2 million tons of grain, 2.9 million tons of potatoes, 11.2 million tons of vegetables, over 3 million tons of fruits and berries, 1.7 million tons of grapes, 2 million tons of melons and 2.9 million tons of raw cotton were produced in the country last year.
Because of the risks associated with a one-crop economy as well as from considerations of food security for the population, Uzbekistan has been trying to diversify its production of other agricultural products, while reducing cotton production.
The Central Asian nation intends to decrease production and public procurement of raw cotton up to 3 million tons by 2020.
Thus, Uzbekistan aims to increase production of grain crops up to 8.5 million tons with the growth rate of 16.4 percent by 2020 due to optimization of lands and introduction of modern agriculture technologies. It is also planned to increase production of potatoes by 35 percent, other vegetables by 30 percent, fruits and grapes 21.5 percent, meat by 26.2 percent, milk by 47.3 percent, eggs by 74.5 percent and fish by 2.5 times.
Tajikistan offers Uzbekistan to enter new markets under a single joint brand.
This would allow the two countries to achieve success in trade and economic cooperation, according to the chairman of the Tajik Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sharif Said, podrobno.uz reported.
Today, the volumes of bilateral trade between the countries are unsatisfactory, despite the dynamics of growth of these indicators in recent years, he noted.
"To achieve this goal, we could use modern methods such as e-commerce, leasing, the creation of joint innovation productions, and in this way to enter the markets of other countries under the joint brand 'Tajikistan-Uzbekistan', using the privileges and preferences of the existing free economic zones," the chairman said at the business forum in Tashkent.
He believes that Uzbek entrepreneurs, using this potential, can significantly increase their share and investment activity in Tajikistan.
"The opportunities for cooperation are large, but they do not meet all the requirements yet, and we must effectively use all resources and opportunities to strengthen trade and economic relations between the business communities of our countries," Said noted.
A business forum of the two countries was held within the framework of the Tajik National Exhibition of Products. Representatives of ministries and companies responsible for such spheres as light industry, power engineering, machine building, metallurgy, automotive industry, transport and logistics, food, chemical industry, construction materials, agriculture and tourism participated in the forum.
Following the event, promising agreements were reached to develop cooperation in the fields of the chemical industry, transport communications, light industry, agriculture, tourism and industrial production.
Currently 24 enterprises with the participation of Tajik capital, including one with one hundred percent foreign investment, operate in Uzbekistan. At the same time, 9 enterprises were created on the territory of Tajikistan with the participation of Uzbek residents.
In the first nine months of the current year, the Uzbek-Tajik trade reached a mark of $178.2 million. The Trade House of Uzbekistan was opened in Dushanbe in June.
In 2016, the trade turnover between the two countries hit $69 million, which is almost 6 times more than in 2015.
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, the two Central Asian nations, continued their efforts in bringing the relations to the highest level as Tashkent hosted a meeting of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev on October 5.
In a short time, due to the will of the two presidents, a historic level of mutual understanding between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan was reached, Mirziyoyev said, the press service of the Kyrgyz President reported.
He warmly welcomed the high guest, noting that this state visit is a symbolic continuation of the agreements concluded during the historic state visit to Bishkek.
"I think the peoples of the two fraternal countries will appreciate it. After our meetings in Beijing, Astana, historical negotiations in Samarkand, we achieved great results in all directions. If we talk about our political relations, then there is no unresolved issue left. We support each other within the UN, the CIS and the Islamic Cooperation Organization. In trade and economic relations, as we agreed, we will not interfere with our entrepreneurs," Mirziyoyev said, adding that the business forums in Bishkek, Tashkent confirm the establishment of contacts between entrepreneurs.
He went on to say that the greatest gratitude of citizens, especially residents of border areas, is connected with the opening of checkpoints, which people have waited for many years. These events are positively regarded by residents, according to the Uzbek leader.
The head of Uzbekistan also noted the cultural and humanitarian cooperation of the two countries. Currently, Bishkek holds the days of culture of Uzbekistan, in connection with which the famous creative collectives, writers and other representatives of the creative intelligentsia came to the capital of Kyrgyzstan.
Mirziyoyev also said that this state visit would open up new cooperation directions in a number of spheres, in particular, in the military-technical area.
Atambaev, in his turn, also emphasized with what joy the residents of the country took the news about the opening of checkpoints, which have been closed for years.
Following the meeting the sides signed more than 10 bilateral documents on various areas of cooperation.
Both presidents signed the Declaration on Strategic Partnership, Strengthening Friendship, Good-Neighborliness and Confidence between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, UzA reported.
During the press conference which was held after the meeting, the sides noted that the talks were held in a spirit of mutual understanding and sincerity and that the parties are united on all strategic issues.
It was stressed that the dynamically developing trade, economic and cultural-humanitarian ties, the activities of the open border checkpoints and the expansion of direct contacts between the regions are of great importance in the further strengthening of bilateral relations.
Mirziyoyev's visit to Kyrgyzstan on September 5 of the current year was the first by an Uzbek leader in 17 years.
Along with the signed border agreement during the visit, the sides voiced desire to reconsider the water and energy issues which caused controversy in the past.
A number of recent diplomatic meetings between Kyrgyz and Uzbek officials have indicated a significant improvement in bilateral ties between the two countries.
The parties also stressed that one of the key factors of Central Asia's well-being is the integrated use of water and energy resources, taking into account the interests of all the states of the region. The importance of open dialogue and the search for mutually acceptable solutions in this sphere were underlined in this regard.
The two countries' trade turnover rose by twofold in the first half of the current year and it is expected that the volume of bilateral trade will total $280 million in late 2017.
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