An Uzbek-Lithuanian Business Forum was held on 20 April in Tashkent directed to boost trade-economic relations between Uzbekistan and Lithuania.
The forum was opened by the Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Uzbekistan Nabijon Kasymov and Deputy Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade Odil Juraev.
In 2006, bilateral trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Lithuania comprised US$42.1 million, of them Uzbekistan’s export totalled US$16 million (up 92% against 2005), and import – US$26.1 million (down 29.4%).
The exports are represented mainly by the plastic goods (46.5%), processed oil products (26.9%), mechanical equipment (9.8%), cotton fibre (4.7%), ferrous metal and metalware (3.3%), fruit and nuts (2.8%), fertilizers (2.4%), and organic chemicals (1.6%).
The imports consist predominantly of vehicles (46%), mechanical equipment (10.5%), dairy products (10.8%), sugar and confectionary (7.2%), ferrous metal and metalware (3.8%), rubber goods (3.8%), processed oil products (2.6%), chemical threads (1.6%), detergents (1.5%), and wood ware (1.5%).
Uzbekistan currently has 15 enterprises set up with participation of Lithuanian investors, 2 of them based on 100% foreign investment.
"We are glad to see that business opportunities are sought not only by our businessmen but also by yours," said the head of the Lithuanian delegation, Director-General of the International Chamber of Commerce of Lithuania Algimantas Akstinas.
"Of course mutual interest is required for the establishment of cooperation between the parties. The delegation visiting Uzbekistan is very interested in the conditions, changes, innovations and prospects open for investors in businesses in your country. Our delegation also includes Swedish investors, who operate on the territory of Lithuania, and Scandinavian investors – the largest investors in our country,” he said.
“I would also like to tell a little about the members of our delegation – they are managers and officers of the largest companies specialised in the organization of exhibitions and fairs, trading in raw materials, consulting, manufacturing of windows and doors, agricultural equipment, thermal insulation, welding equipment, trams and railway cars, vehicles and transport, and food, as well as freight forwarding and storage and trade companies,” Lithuanian official said.
The Uzbek party made several presentations illustrating the economic and trade opportunities of Uzbekistan. Deputy Director of the UzInfoInvest Agency Sh. Usmanov spoke about the investment climate in the country and the opportunities for expansion of investment cooperation with the Lithuanian partners. Deputy Chairman of Transportation and Transport Communication F. Bahadyrov made a presentation on the main transportation routes used in the export of goods from Uzbekistan and the prospects of cooperation in the sphere. The guests showed particular interest in the presentation of the Chairman of the Board of Asaka Bank Kahramon Aripov on "The Development of Financial and Banking Sectors of Uzbekistan".
Another presentation was delivered by a representative of UzbekTourism Company describing the opportunities for cooperation in the sphere of tourism.
Business forum participants emphasized that Uzbekistan was open for Lithuanian entrepreneurs. At the end of the meeting, an agreement was signed between the chambers of commerce and industry of the two countries.
The event was followed by a cooperation exchange, where the business representatives of the two countries discussed specific cooperation opportunities and established direct business contacts. The Uzbek party was represented by some 50 companies.
The forum was conducted in the framework of the visit of Lithuanian delegation to Uzbekistan, taking place on 19-21 April. The aim of the visit is to develop trade and economic cooperation between the businesses of the two countries.