ASTANA – Approximately 400 business persons participated May 22 in the first Kazakh-Uzbek business forum in Shymkent, the press service of the South Kazakhstan region’s akimat (administration) reports.
Forum participants discussed trade and economic cooperation. Uzbekistan is Kazakhstan’s largest trade partner in Central Asia. Bilateral trade increased almost 50 percent in the first quarter this year and is expected to reach $3 billion by the end of the year, from around $2 billion last year.
Akim (Governor) of the South Kazakhstan region Zhanseit Tuimebayev said the forum would expand trade between the two countries.
“Uzbekistan is one of Kazakhstan’s key strategic partners in Central Asia and relations between our countries are very friendly and reliable. As you know, this year was declared the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan. This once again confirms the fraternal character of relations between our peoples. This forum would ensure a solid foundation for further economic and business cooperation between our countries,” Tuimebayev said.
During the forum organised by the regional Chamber of Entrepreneurs, the parties discussed creating joint projects and investment opportunities and deepening trade cooperation.
Bilateral trade between the countries increased 31.2 percent in 2017 year-on-year, and trade between the South Kazakhstan region and Uzbekistan already reached $125.7 million in the first quarter of this year. The volume of exports of goods from the region increased 143.6 percent to $73.1 million, as the volume of imports grew 108 percent to $52.5 million.
“Over the past five years, small and medium-sized businesses ensured the growth of the gross regional product (GRP) by two times, as the share of industry in the economy increased to 27 percent. More than 1,000 enterprises cooperate with entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan in trade, industry, agriculture and construction,” Tuimebayev noted.