Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPO)’s Head Hamid Zadboum said that Iran and Uzbekistan are ready to hold the next meeting of their joint economic committee next week, TPO website published on Saturday after an online meeting between Zadboum and an Uzbek official.
As reported, Zadboum and Uzbekistan’s deputy minister of investment and foreign trade explored the ways for bolstering trade relations between the two countries during the online meeting and agreed to set up a committee to start negotiations on finalizing preferential trade agreement between Iran and Uzbekistan.
They also agreed to hold a meeting with the transport ministers of the two countries on strengthening bilateral transport ties.
As announced last month by Iranian Vice President for Economic Affairs Mohammad Nahavandian, the volume of trade between Iran and Uzbekistan increased 40 percent in 2019.
The official made the remarks in a meeting via video conference with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardar Omar Zagov.
Referring to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on reducing the volume of economic exchanges between the two countries in recent months, Nahavandian said that there are various ways to overcome the existing obstacles.
He pointed to Iranian experts' capabilities and experiences in the technical and engineering fields, saying that Tehran is ready to share its experiences with Tashkent in all fields.
Zaqov, for his part, underscored that Iran is a major trade partner of his country, saying, "We are determined to promote cooperation between the two countries in various fields, particularly in the fields of economy and trade."
"We believe that geographical proximity and spiritual commonalities are a good opportunity that can be used to increase the level of economic relations between the two countries," he underlined.
Expressing pleasure over Iranian companies' activities in Uzbekistan, the official said that Tashkent welcomes the presence of Iranian investors and technical engineering companies in the economic and development projects and is interested in the expansion of scientific and technical cooperation between the two countries.
Iran and Uzbekistan also held a meeting of Joint Road Transportation Committee via video conference last month, during which the two sides’ officials emphasized the significance of boosting bilateral ties in the transportation sector.
As reported, the meeting was attended by Iran’s Deputy Transport Minister Abdolhashem Hassan-Nia and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Minister of Transport Davron Dekhkanov, as well as Uzbekistan’s ambassador to Iran, and the representative of Iran’s Embassy in Uzbekistan.
Addressing the virtual meeting, the Iranian deputy transport minister said that expansion of economic relations between Iran and Uzbekistan has been always emphasized by the two sides’ senior officials, and in this due, boosting transport ties between the two countries is seriously pursued by the Iranian Transport Ministry.
Hassan-Nia further announced his country’s readiness to transfer knowledge and experience in the field of transportation to Uzbekistan.
The Uzbek official for his part emphasized the significance of holding such meetings in removing the problems in terms of transport cooperation between the two countries and expressed hope that such meetings will lead to laying a better ground for the expansion of bilateral ties.
Iran and Uzbekistan emphasized the expansion of relations in all economic areas during the two countries’ 13th Joint Economic Committee meeting in Tashkent in mid-December last year.
The meeting was chaired by the former Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani and Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister Elyor Ganiyevand, and representatives of several renowned companies from both sides attended the event.
Speaking in the meeting, the Iranian minister pointed to the presence of 50 Iranian companies in the meeting and holding mutual trade conferences as well as Iran’s exclusive exhibition in Tashkent as indications of the importance that Iran puts on mutual trade and economic collaboration with Uzbekistan.
“Over the past few years, major documents have been signed by the two countries in a variety of areas including trade, transportation, and joint investment, some of which have been already operationalized”, he said.
Rahmani further expressed hope that holding such committee meetings would help the two sides to take major steps for boosting collaboration between the two countries' private sectors.
Later that month, the board chairman of Iran’s Chabahar Free Trade–Industrial Zone Organization announced that Uzbekistan has reached an agreement with Iran for transiting agricultural products and minerals to India through Iran’s Chabahar Port.
According to Abdolrahim Kordi, the agreement was made during the Iran-Uzbekistan’s 13th Joint Economic Committee meeting in Tashkent.
“We reached an agreement with Uzbekistan’s Navoi Free Trade Zone for cooperation in transiting agricultural products and minerals,” he said.
“In the Iran-Uzbekistan Cooperation Document [which was signed at the end of the 13th committee meeting] three specific clauses were dedicated to cooperation between free zones, development of logistic hubs and joint ventures,” Kordi added.