0422 GMT January 27, 2020
In an address to the 13th meeting of Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Cooperation Committee in Tashkent, Reza Rahmani added this importance is further highlighted by the participation of 50 Iranian companies in this forum as well as the holding of a bilateral trade conference and an exclusive Iranian exhibition on the sidelines of the meeting in the Uzbek capital, IRNA reported.
The Islamic Republic of Iran gives priority and attaches significance to development of relations with Uzbekistan in all areas, he noted.
Concurrent with the 13th meeting of Iran-Uzbekistan Joint Cooperation Committee, an exclusive expo of Iran’s industrial capabilities and products was held in Tashkent. The two-day exhibition opened in a ceremony on Wednesday.
More than 100 Iranian trade delegations accompanied Rahmani in his trip to Tashkent. In addition, 37 Iranian firms showcased their products and capabilities at the exclusive expo.
Commenting on his visit to Tashkent, the Iranian minister said a number of successful and efficient executive managers of the country’s public and private organizations were accompanying him in the trip.
He added that they are capable of preparing the grounds for expansion of mutual economic cooperation.
Rahmani said the delegations were accompanied by two important members of the Iranian Parliament’s Economic Committee and National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, which indicates that all of the country’s organizations support development of trade relations with Uzbekistan.
“During the past few years, the two countries have signed important documents to further foster collaborations in the fields of trade, transportation, customs affairs, encouraging and supporting foreign investments and promoting tourism, the implementation of a number of which have already begun.”
Turning to his negotiations on Wednesday with Uzbek First Deputy Prime Minister Alyar Ghaniov, he said the two sides agreed on a number of issues and decided to assemble a list of goods eligible for receiving preferential tariff access in their bilateral trade and resolve problems faced by Iran and Uzbekistan in the area of transportation.
“Good negotiations were also held on issues such as ensuring smooth visa processes for the two countries’ nationals and providing port services. The Islamic Republic is willing to enhance cooperation [with Uzbekistan] in these fields.”
He called for an increase in the number of exclusive exhibitions Iran and Uzbekistan have held in the two countries and their exchanges of trade delegations with each other in view of the depth of their relations and growing importance of improving cooperation between Iranian and Uzbek private businessmen and traders.
The Iranian minister expressed hope that the holding of such meetings would help Iran and Uzbekistan take an important step toward expansion of cooperation between their public and private sectors and witness greater interactions.
He expressed optimism that during the meeting, the two sides would take effective steps toward promoting banking cooperation with each other and launching direct flights between Iran and Uzbekistan in light of the two countries’ cultural, religious and historical commonalities and their interest in strengthening trade and economic relations with one another.
Rahmani said also discussed in the meeting were facilitation of customs affairs and reducing tariffs within the framework of making revisions in the list of goods eligible for receiving preferential tariff access in bilateral trade.
He noted that in addition, the two sides talked about cooperation between Iranian companies and their Uzbek counterparts in production of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, auto spare parts, construction materials, oil, gas, petrochemicals and metals in the meeting.
The minister said Iranian firms possess considerable capabilities in the fields of goods production and providing techno-engineering services.
“The Islamic Republic has a good geographical position in the region and can be used by Uzbekistan for transiting goods, particularly cotton and chemical fertilizers, to other countries.”
He added Iran is willing to increase its transactions with Uzbekistan in the field of transit and facilitate and accelerate construction of a railroad connecting the Islamic Republic to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.
In addition, the minister noted, Iran agrees to the implementation of a transit corridor in cooperation with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Oman.
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting on Thursday, Hossein Selahvarzi, the deputy chairman of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, stressed the importance of expanding all-out cooperation between Iran and Uzbekistan, particularly, in the field of providing techno-engineering services.
He added Iran can definitely help provide Uzbekistan with easier access to other countries’ markets due to its strategic geographical position and proximity to the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.
The Iranian official said being members of regional organizations, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has prepared the ground for Iran and Uzbekistan to foster trade and economic collaborations with each other and helped further ensure the regional security.
Selahvarzi noted that Iran has always been at the center of attention in international economic societies in light of its extensive infrastructure, numerous capabilities and capacities in the field of production, skilled workforce and advanced technologies.
“The country is located at the heart of a region which is home to 70 percent and 40 percent of the world’s oil and gas reserves, respectively, and, thus, can play an important role in meeting the world’s energy demand.”
He added Iran, as a transit route, provides fastest access, for goods transportation, from Europe to East Asia and from Central Asian and Caucasus countries to the Persian Gulf littoral states and North Africa.
Selahvarzi said given Iran’s favorable geopolitical position and high security, the country is a lucrative and safe target for foreign investments.
Describing as unsatisfactory the level of trade transactions between Iran and Uzbekistan, he said given the two sides’ capacities and potentials they are required to overcome obstacles to increasing economic relations and trade transactions.