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Uzbekistan - Afghanistan: New prospects for investment, trade, energy and transport

26 May 2021

On 25 May, in the city of Termez, within the framework of the visit of the government and business circles of Afghanistan to Uzbekistan, negotiations were held between the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov with the head of the Presidential Administration of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Shakir Kargar.

During the talks, the sides discussed topical issues of cooperation in the political, investment, trade, economic and transport spheres.

The key theme of the road project was the project for the construction of the Mazar-i-Sharif - Kabul - Peshawar railway, as well as the practical aspects of its implementation. The parties considered the issues of field expeditions, preparation of design estimates, project financing, for each of which appropriate decisions were made. Further actions are outlined to accelerate the implementation of the agreements reached during the meeting of the high-level trilateral working group in Tashkent in February this year.

Along with this, the parties welcomed a pilot motor rally in April-May from Pakistan to Uzbekistan and back through Afghanistan. The parties agreed to cooperate in this direction of transport and transit development of the two countries.

The urgency of intensifying work to expand investment partnership between the two countries with an emphasis on industrial cooperation was emphasized. The most promising in this regard were the light industry, electrical engineering, production of building materials, agriculture, leather and footwear and food industries.

Opportunities for deepening trade and economic cooperation were also expanded. It was noted that over the past four years, the volume of mutual trade has grown by one and a half times, amounting to about ГЫ$800 million by the end of the year. The parties confirmed their readiness to implement joint measures to measure the growth of the Uzbek-Afghan trade up to the mark in the next 2 years of trade. An agreement was reached that in order to intensify trade cooperation, the relevant ministries and departments of the two countries will accelerate the approval of the draft Agreement on preferential trade in order to sign it by the end of this year.

The great potential of the free trade zone "International Trade Center Termez" was also noted. The parties agreed, as soon as possible, to use the resources of the two countries to attract efforts to attract resources for this platform.

Issues of interaction in the energy sector were discussed, in particular, the acceleration of the implementation of the Surkhan-Puli-Khumri power transmission line project. The parties prepared a format for practical cooperation in preparing the necessary documentation and outlined further steps to start construction work.

Prospects for establishing cooperation in the field of health care were considered. Use of cross-border assistance means.

Also during the discussion, the prospects for the current year in Kabul of the next meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan were discussed.

Following the talks, further actions were agreed to promote joint projects and initiatives within the framework of the discussed joint projects and initiatives.