The Uzbek and Portuguese business forum in Lisbon has gathered officials of ministries and government agencies as well as 60 major companies of Portugal.

Prospects of trade and economic relations, investment cooperation and tourist exchange were the main topics of the forum. Speaking at the opening ceremony, executive director of the Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal (AICEP) Elena Malkata underscored the immense potential available for the enhancement of mutually advantageous trade and economic ties. “The purpose of this meeting is to raise awareness among our business entities about the modern economic development in Uzbekistan and the opportunities for doing business in the country. Today, we will define those industries where it is possible to boost the mutually beneficial cooperation. Despite the crisis in the global economy, Uzbekistan continues to impress with its sustainable development, political and macroeconomic stability,” Malkata said. “The processes of reforms and economic liberalization are yielding results in the effective diversification and dynamic progress”. Malkata urged the business community to augment interaction with Uzbekistan.

For entrepreneurs, the Uzbek side provided information on the priorities of economic program for 2016. CEO of the construction company, Monte SGPS SA, Thiago Patricio said that he has had a few opportunities to see with his own eyes the business environment launched in Uzbekistan. According to him, the level of state support provided in this area is very high. “Uzbekistan has the largest consumer market in Central Asia and the third among the CIS countries. Thanks to the development of international cooperation, industrial and road transport infrastructure, the country has become the most attractive economic partner in the region. I believe a good potential for Portuguese companies is available in fields like pharmaceuticals, textile, leather-footwear and food industries, construction materials, electrical products and components. Also of great interest is the program of infrastructure developed in the country.”

The representative of a construction company MSF ENGENHARIA, Pinto da Costa, said that they are currently studying the opportunities offered by the construction sector of Uzbekistan, which has been advancing rapidly. The nation has erected new buildings and facilities, as well as the infrastructure that meets the latest quality standards. “The dynamics of the country’s development can be represented by the pace and scale of construction works. In particular, what is commendable is the establishment of the national highway and the laying of the longest mountain pass tunnel in Central Asia.”