ASTANA — Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov and Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov signed the Roadmap to Accelerate the Establishment of the International Center for Industrial Cooperation (ICIC) Central Asia and the Joint Plan of Practical Actions in Labor Activity and Migrant Workers’ Rights at the 20th bilateral Intergovernmental Commission in Tashkent on May 5, the Prime Minister’s press service reported.
Smailov emphasized the relevance of constructing the ICIC Central Asia and modernizing transit and transportation infrastructure to boost trade relations.
“We are interested in developing the China-Kazakhstan-Uzbekistan route. Several big railway projects will increase this direction’s throughput capacity, including the Darbaza-Maktaaral line, a bypass around Almaty, and the building of the Dostyk station,” Smailov said.
Although trade between the two countries makes up roughly 80% of all trade in Central Asia, Smailov said there are still opportunities for deepening cooperation in agriculture, including the expansion of mutual trade in the agro-industrial complex and the food industry, as well as to further develop industrial cooperation.
Uzbek Prime Minister Aripov agreed that expanding industrial cooperation should be prioritized when deepening economic ties. He said Kazakh-Uzbek ties are developing through a strategic partnership, with nearly 1,200 enterprises with Kazakh capital operating in Uzbekistan, a figure that was nearly six times lower five years ago.
“Based on the results of our Presidents’ discussions in Tashkent, we adopted a Roadmap that encompasses all priority sectors, including the implementation of specific projects worth $10 billion,” Aripov said.
The Kazakh Prime Minister further stressed the need to cooperate in ecology and water use, as these factors have a direct impact on the livelihoods of the citizens of the two nations.
Smailov underlined that the continuous work of the Kazakh and Uzbek governments aims to establish favorable conditions for developing business relations.
During his visit to Tashkent, Smailov met with Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to whom he conveyed President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s warm regards.
The interaction between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is a vivid example of a strategic alliance based on trust and understanding, according to the Kazakh PM.
Smailov and Mirziyoyev concurred that constructing the ICIC Central Asia on the Kazakh-Uzbek border would foster industrial cooperation between the two countries.