Uzbekistan to attract US$500m Korean investments
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
Uzbekistan and South Korea signed 35 investment projects and agreements for US$500 million after the investment conference "Free Industrial Economic Zone In Navoi City: New Investment Opportunities for Korean Partners in Uzbekistan" in Seoul, South Korea, on 5 March 2009.
The purpose of the conference was to inform the Korean business community of the opportunities of the economic zone, which is to be established in Navoi city, Uzbekistan, and the incentives and privileges offered to foreign investors.
The delegation headed by Rustam Azimov, first deputy prime minister of Uzbekistan, comprising nearly 40 government officials and leading businessmen, took part in the conference.
The conference drew a large crowd of Korean businessmen. More than 1,000 people gathered at the conference, leaving many late participants standing. It is worth to note that the Uzbek side was initially projecting that about 400 to 500 businesses will attend the exhibition.
The range of participants was wide - from large Korean companies such as Daewoo International, Korean Air and Korea National Oil Corp. to medium- and small-sized logistics, recycling and animal drug-producing companies.
The huge participation was a reflection of Koreans’ growing interest in the Central Asian country, industry sources said.
Korea is one of the major investors in Uzbekistan’s economy, and its financial and technical assistance plays an important role in the progressive implementation of economic reforms in the country.
Today, the total amount of Korean direct investment to Uzbekistan has exceeded US$2 billion and the volume of soft loans allocated by the Export-Import Bank of Korea through its Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (EDCF) has totaled US$107 million.
Financial assets rendered by Korea are directed at the realization of joint projects in leading sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy, such as mining, oil and gas, the chemical and textile industries, IT and telecommunications, machinery, agriculture, transport infrastructure, public health services, education, small and private business, the privatization of large enterprises and more, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (ÐšÐžICÐ), which has operated in Uzbekistan since 1995, has been actively engaged in providing the technical assistance of the Korean government to Uzbekistan.
Thus far, more than 830 officials from ministries and government agencies in Uzbekistan have undergone KOICA training programs.
The volume of bilateral trade steadily grows. In 2008, it increased by 83% to nearly US$1.1 billion, with more than 313 Uzbek-Korean joint ventures, including 41 that are 100% Korean-owned, while 73 representative offices of Korean companies are accredited in Uzbekistan.