BUSINESS | 10:26 / 19.11.2022
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5 min read

Uzbek-French business forum held in Paris

On November 18, on the eve of the visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to France, an Uzbek-French business forum was held in Paris, aimed at comprehensively strengthening business ties between the business community of Uzbekistan and France.

Photo: MIFT

The event was attended by Deputy PM – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Jamshid Khodjayev, Minister Delegate for Trade of the French Republic Oliver Besht, Chairman of the Uzbek-French Business Council, Chairman of the Board of the “Orano” company Claude Imovin, heads of relevant ministries and departments, industry associations, as well as more than 150 representatives of leading companies, holdings and movements of the two countries.

Opening the event, Claude Imovin noted the consistency, efficiency and timeliness of the ongoing reforms in Uzbekistan to improve the investment climate, develop infrastructure, establish and expand regional and international trade-economic relations, integrate the country into global trading systems, and develop industrial cooperation.

He also emphasized the positive dynamics in the development of relations between the two states and the consistent expansion of economic partnership in priority areas for both countries and called on French business representatives to establish and strengthen cooperation with Uzbek entrepreneurs.

Photo: MIFT

In turn, Jamshid Khodjayev, speaking with a welcoming speech, drew the attention of the forum participants to a number of key aspects that are crucial when making a decision to invest in Uzbekistan. In particular, such factors as lowering taxes and VAT rates, protecting the rights of investors at the legislative level, canceling more than 200 licenses and permits were noted, as a result of which the country's economy grew by 7% in 2021, exports increased by 1.5 times, and the inflation rate fell from 18% to 11%.

The tenfold growth of foreign investment in the economy, the availability of access to the markets of Central Asia with a population of 72 million people and the CIS countries, where 300 million people live, are emphasized. The status of the EU GSP+ beneficiary allows Uzbekistan to export more than 6,000 types of goods to the EU markets on preferential terms, and the government is ready to cover up to 70% of exporters’ transport costs. The presence of qualified, talented and educated youth in the country, a large amount of natural resources with preferential conditions for extraction, the creation of 22 free economic zones in such areas as industrial production, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and tourism were also noted.

The willingness of the government of Uzbekistan to finance up to 50% of promising joint projects, the ongoing deep privatization of state-owned enterprises, as well as the prospects for the construction of the “China – Kyrgyzstan – Uzbekistan” and “Mazar-i-Sharif – Kabul – Peshawar” railways aroused great interest among the forum participants, which, against the background of the unique geographical position of Uzbekistan at the intersection of the most important transport routes, creates profitable transport corridors between West and East, North and South.

Readiness was expressed to provide all possible support to French entrepreneurs in the implementation of joint projects, including in priority sectors such as green energy, automotive and component production, the pharmaceutical industry and food production.

During the business forum, G2B and B2B meetings were also organized between the heads of ministries, departments, leading companies, holdings and movements of Uzbekistan and France, during which the participants were able to work out in detail the financial-technical aspects of creating joint ventures and concluding mutually beneficial trade agreements.

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