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Uzbekistan envoy praises Belt, Road

By Ren Qi | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-08-18 09:17

Uzbekistan will continue its deep cooperation with China in the fields of politics, economics, investment and culture under the Belt and Road Initiative, and more Uzbekistan companies should get involved in the ambitious program, said Bakhtiyor Saidov, the Central Asian country's new ambassador to China.

Saidov also said the two countries celebrated the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, however their links go back in history.

Centuries ago, the area that is modern Uzbekistan was a key participant in the ancient Silk Road. Some of its cities, such as Samarkand and Bukhara, were important stops for merchant caravans.

Uzbekistan envoy praises Belt, Road

"The Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping is aimed at enhancing bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as the renaissance of the ancient Silk Road, which had boosted trade relations and information communications in the region," Saidov said in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

Saidov, who became ambassador to China less than a month ago, said he will work to advance the country's policy of giving full support to Uzbekistan companies' participation in the Belt and Road.

He said direct talks among companies from both countries is essential in order to implement the initiative because cooperation plans reached after discussions are the only way to arrive at fruitful results.

Saidov said China has been one of his country's most important investment partners. Their total investment volume reached $8 billion during the 25 years since Uzbekistan declared its independence. Investment, however, has been rising rapidly.

"In 2016, the bilateral trade volume of the two countries exceeded $4 billion, and the number is expected to be $5 billion this year."

Saidov said the countries have seen large increases thanks to their leaders' good relationship.

Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoev visited China in May and participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The two presidents signed 115 agreements worth more than $23 billion on enhancing their cooperation in electrical power, oil production, chemicals, architecture, textiles, pharmaceutical engineering, transportation infrastructure and agriculture.

"On one hand, both governments are ready to inject strength into the win-win cooperation between China and Uzbekistan; on the other hand, it shows great potential for deepening and enlarging our comprehensive strategic partnership," the ambassador said.

Railway construction cooperation is a perfect example of the cooperation, Saidov said.

(China Daily USA 08/18/2017 page3)

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