ADDS DETAILS OF ANOTHER MEETING, MORE REMARKS
By Mumin Altas and Abdullah Yasin Guler
TASHKENT, Uzbekistan (AA) – Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the trade volume between Turkey and Uzbekistan increased 93% in the first five months of 2021 compared to the same period last year and reached $1.5 billion, the Turkish vice president said Monday.
Fuat Oktay was speaking at the Uzbekistan-Turkey Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) as part of the 6th Meeting of the Turkey-Uzbekistan Joint Economic Commission at a hotel in Uzbekistan.
“Our goal is to maintain this momentum until the end of the year to reach our 2023 target as soon as possible and to go beyond our target of a $5 billion trade volume,” he said.
Oktay expressed hope that the meeting, which brought together businesspeople from Turkey and Uzbekistan, would be a turning point in bilateral relations.
“Despite the negative atmosphere the world is going through, the increase in our bilateral trade with Uzbekistan is the clearest indicator that we will exceed our targets and reach new records,” he noted.
Turkey, the first country which officially recognized Uzbekistan after its independence, sincerely supports the achievements and development of Uzbekistan, Oktay stressed.
“Mechanisms such as the High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council and the Joint Economic Commission, established under the leadership of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, further strengthen our cooperation,” he said.
“In the coming period, we can strengthen bilateral cooperation with joint investments in the fields of the automotive industry, defense industry, construction machinery, white goods, agricultural product processing, the food industry and pharmaceutical industry,” Oktay added.
Earlier in the day, Oktay held a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Serdar Umurzakov. Delegations from Uzbekistan’s trade and foreign ministries and Turkey's Ambassador to Uzbekistan Olgan Bekar also attended the meeting.
Oktay and Umurzakov also attended a coordination meeting aimed at expanding multilateral cooperation between the public and private sectors of the two countries.
The two sides discussed Turkish investments in Uzbekistan and new job opportunities at the meeting.
During the meeting, Oktay also met with Turkish businesspeople in Uzbekistan.
Oktay also had a closed-door meeting with President Mirziyoyev at the Presidential Palace.
Speaking at a news conference following the meeting, he noted that bilateral ties between the two brotherly countries should be enhanced further.
"We are carrying out work on taking the cooperation in cultural, social, tourism, education, industry, defense and all fields much further," Oktay said.