Summary of 2017 in foreign trade policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
As a part of the economic system reform of the Republic of Uzbekistan, over the past period the Ministry has initiated several policies on liberalizing foreign economic activity and increasing the export potential of the Republic.
l. In foreign economic sphere, the strategy of expansion and strengthening of trade and economic relations with foreign countries was continued, firstly with China, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Turkmenistan, Turkey, and Germany.
In 2017 the turnover of the Republic of Uzbekistan with foreign countries increased by 11,3%, incl. exports increased by 15,4%, imports - 7,2%. Volumes of trade has grown with all major foreign trade partners, inch with China by 16,8%, Russia - 16,1%, Kazakhstan - 9,7%, Kyrgyzstan - 51,6%, Tajikistan - 20,2%, Afghanistan - 15,2%, South Korea - 27,1%, Turkey - 31,8%, Germany - 15,9% and others.
For the first time in the history of modem Uzbekistan, joint production of domestic products was launched abroad, assembly production of cars of JSC “GM Uzbekistan” has started in Kazakhstan, and the similar projects on establishing industrial assembly of cars, agricultural machinery, electrical products, construction materials and textiles are being implemented in Kyrgyzstan.
2. During the 2017 there were 21 top level visits, 700 documents were signed in the trade, economic and investment spheres for a total of about USD 60,0 billion, including USD 11,0 billion trade contracts.
3. All export restrictions have been removed: the procedure for exporting goods without prepayment and guarantee obligations, expansion of tax benefits for exports has been introduced. Unnecessary and outdated permitting procedures have been eliminated.
The compulsory sale of foreign currency earnings, which in fact was a tax on exports, has also been eliminated.
The rates of import customs duties and excise tax on food products, imported consumer goods, and commodities used in the manufacture of finished products have been reduced drastically. As a result, the arithmetic average rate of customs duty in Uzbekistan became 6,45%.
4. Over the past period, more than 950 new enterprises have been involved in export activities, with exports amounting to over USD 0,6 billion, 118 new types of goods exported, the geography of supplies expanded to 62 new markets.
The share of high added value finished goods in the export of the Republic of Uzbekistan increased from 28,5% to 34,5%, export of cars grew by 3,3 times, electric and cable products -1,7 times, pharmaceuticals - 1,2 times, textile – 1,3 times.
We are working on trade expansion measures through establishing trading houses (with show-rooms) in foreign countries.
Today more than 1 000 trading houses are operating abroad, out of them 75 have been established in 2017, including 26 in the countries of Central Asia.
In 2017 domestic enterprises have taken part in more than 80 international exhibitions and fairs in 20 countries of the world, we have signed export contracts and agreements amounting to USD 1,36 billion.
At the same time, in accordance with the Five priority areas of Uzbekistan's Development strategy for 2017-2021, and in order to further increase export volumes, involve new enterprises in export and develop export of new products, based on integrated marketing research, the Ministry has developed a Concept on development of export activities of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2018-2022. According to this Concept, we are expecting increase in exports of the Republic of Uzbekistan by 2022 to the level of up to USD 30 billion, or 2,6 times more than current export indicators.
5. In order to reduce the transport expenditure component in overall export of goods, Uzbekistan has received discounts of up to 40% on the transportation of mineral fertilizers, cotton fiber, fruit and vegetable products and non-ferrous metals across the territories of Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran.
As part of the formation of efficient and reliable alternative transport and transit corridors, a pilot auto rally on the Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China road corridor was organized (the core direction of BRI), and the first meeting of the working committee of the Ashgabat agreement was organized for the practical implementation of the international transport and transit corridor «Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman».