President of Uzbekistan proposes to develop a joint Strategy for the New Economic Dialogue "China - Central Asia"
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The global economy today faces many uncertainties. Growth is slowing as countries struggle to overcome supply disruptions, contain price increases and inflation, and pay off record levels of debt.
The issues of achieving sustainable development are also relevant for the countries of our region. This dictates the urgent need to join forces to cope with the challenges of containing the pandemic, accelerate economic recovery and make a significant contribution to multilateral trade and economic cooperation.
It is for this purpose that the President of our country, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, put forward an initiative to develop a joint Strategy for a new economic dialogue "China - Central Asia", which can become a general plan of action for the near future.
China, as the Leader of our state noted, is not only a “global factory”, but also a “global market”, and can become the main link in this regard.
For many years, China has maintained the status of Uzbekistan’s largest trade and investment partner.
Over 30 years, mutual trade between Uzbekistan and China has increased 140 times, and in 2021 its volume exceeded US$7.4 billion. More than 20% of all Uzbek export products are sent to the Chinese market today.
Since 2017, the inflow of Chinese direct investment into Uzbekistan has increased 5 times. The total volume of foreign direct investment from China exceeded US$8 billion. Dozens of major projects have been implemented. These are three branches of the China-Uzbekistan gas pipeline, the Pengsheng industrial park, the LT Textile International textile factory in Karshi, the Andijan textile industrial zone, the Ming Yuan Silu glass factory in Jizzakh, as well as new cement plants.
Projects for the construction of the Kungrad soda plant, the Dekhkanabad potash fertilizer plant, the railway tunnel at the Kamchik pass, the supply of equipment for pumping stations and many other major production and infrastructure initiatives have been successfully implemented.
The number of Chinese companies participating in the implementation of projects in Uzbekistan has increased significantly. The total number of companies with Chinese investors has tripled over the past five years and now stands at almost 2,000.
The Strategy is proposed to be based on the adoption of targeted measures to ensure unhindered trade and increase the volume of supplies of finished products from the countries of Central Asia to China. In this context, for the countries of Central Asia, the Chinese market, with its scale and growth dynamics, really has limitless potential.
Last year, China’s economic growth rate was the highest in 10 years, at 8.1%. China’s economy has exceeded US$17.98 trillion. According to forecasts, by the end of the current decade - the beginning of the next, China, in terms of its GDP, can overtake the United States and become the first economy in the world. For the needs of its economy, China imported US$2.7 trillion worth of products in 2021.
Another promising area, which was proposed by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to be identified among the main components of the Strategy for the New Economic Dialogue "China - Central Asia" is industrial cooperation and localization of production of products imported by the countries of the region.
According to experts, over the next five years, China intends to become one of the most technologically advanced and innovative countries in the world, and by 2035 to make a significant breakthrough in innovation (from artificial intelligence to quantum computers and biotechnology). To do this, spending on basic research will increase by more than 7% every year for five years.
The high level of China’s technological development, together with the existing comparative advantages of the Central Asian countries, make it possible to form in the region a common space of industrial cooperation with the production of a wide range of products that are competitive and in demand on domestic and foreign markets. At the same time, significant financial resources that China has at its disposal can be attracted to the implementation of cooperation projects.
The joint implementation of this initiative will undoubtedly contribute to the sustainable growth of the economies of the countries of the region and, most importantly, to the improvement of the level and quality of life of our peoples.
Fanil Kadirov, Deputy Director of the International Institute of Central Asia