Russian deputy premier notes "serious interest" in Uzbek energy projects
"I want to express confidence that the forum will make considerable practical contribution to the expansion of economic cooperation between Russia and Uzbekistan, and promote the development of strategic partnership in this sphere," Ivanov said while speaking at the opening of the economic forum "Russia and Uzbekistan: strategic partnership".
He said that most often the issues of energy, aircraft construction, and extracting and transporting uranium ore, as well as agriculture and implementing joint investment projects in the leading sectors of the economy, were discussed during bilateral meetings.
At present, Russia accounts for 22% of Uzbekistan’s foreign trade, and Uzbekistan ranks fourth among CIS countries in terms of its mutual trade with Russia.
"At present, Uzbekistan is one of the main trade partners of Russia in the Central Asian region," Ivanov noted.
Trade between Russia and Uzbekistan made up US$2.3 billion in January-September 2007.
For his part, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev said that investment in the Uzbek economy was worth over US$120 billion, including US$25 billion of foreign investment.
Mirziyoyev also added that Uzbekistan planned to use the bulk of the foreign investment in the oil and gas sector.
"Projects in this field present a serious interest for Russian investors as well. Russian companies like Gazprom, LUKoil and Soyuzneftegaz are successfully operating in the Uzbek market," Ivanov said. He added that the new Hauzak gas deposit would be launched with the participation of LUKoil in Uzbek southwestern region of Bukhara on 29 November.