Mirziyoyev brought multibillion investments from Japan
Japan is ready to invest $6.5 billion in Uzbekistan. These are the results of the visit of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Land of the Rising Sun. The basis for cooperation should be favorable conditions for foreign capital created in Uzbekistan. Mirziyoyev began his visit by visiting one of the most important economic centers of Japan - the city of Nagoya. It's the fourth most populated city in Japan after Tokyo, Yokohama and Osaka. It gained fame thanks to the Toyota car. It also hosts headquarters of the largest automobile company of the same name, which, thanks to Japan's special "Kaizen" approach, after the Second World War, was able not only to make up for losses, but also to break far ahead. In addition to automotive industry, Nagoya is the birthplace of Japan’s last shogun Tokugawa.
Right now sides are talking about creating the Nagoya High-Tech Park in the Uzbek capital, which will work on innovative projects in the field of economics, industry, transport, education, tourism and other priority areas. Such agreement was reached on December 18 during the talks between Shavkat Mirziyoyev and mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura. Parties agreed to prepare a joint work roadmap for 2020.
The topic of joint projects was continued in Tokyo at a meeting with Japanese businessmen and leaders of leading corporations, companies, financial institutions such as JETRO, JICA, JABIC, NEDO, JOGMEC, Mitsubishi, Itochu, Sumitomo, Marubeni, Isuzu.
President of Uzbekistan assured potential investors that the economic reforms that had been launched in Uzbekistan are now irreversible. He called on companies and financial institutions of Japan to actively participate in the implementation of investment projects in Uzbekistan.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed that Uzbekistan created great opportunities for foreign investors. It regulatory adopts legal acts to stimulate and protect foreign investors' activities, destroy obstacles to business development, simplify export-import operation procedures, as well as lift restrictions on repatriation of profits of foreign investors. Measures are being taken to strengthen and ensure independence of the judiciary system.
“As a result of transformation carried out with the aim to improve business environment Uzbekistan took 69th place in the Doing Business 2020 ranking of the World Bank, rising by 100 positions compared to recent years, and it ranked among top 20 reformer states. For the first time our country rose to eighth place in the world in the convenience of opening new enterprises rating," Mirziyoyev told Japanese businessmen.
During the business forum, a number of agreements were signed. Geological surveys with participation of the Japan National Oil, Gas and Metals Corporation (JOGMEC) will be carried out in the Navoi region, while the Japanese Organization for External Technical Assistance in the Field of Nedical Equipment (OMETA) plans to create Japanese-Uzbek medical information center in the center of Tashkent. Large investments will be used in the automotive industry through the collaboration of Japanese Isuzu Motors and Itochu Corporation with Uzavtosanoat JSC. In addition, commercial banks of Uzbekistan signed a series of agreements with MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation. They play to attract additional investments to finance small and medium-sized business projects.
The priorities of small and medium-sized businesses were discussed at a meeting between Mirziyoyev and the head of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Sinichi Kitaoku.
Right now the portfolio of joint projects exceeds $4 billion. During the negotiations, a new long-term cooperation program worth over $3.5 billion was agreed on. It includes projects in the field of energy, modernization of industry and agriculture, infrastructure, environment, healthcare and other sectors.
At the same time, Uzbekistan is not a new country for Japanese businessmen. Cooperation began in the early 2000s, both on bilateral basis and within the framework of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue Regional Format, initiated by Tokyo with the aim to expand cooperation with countries of the region in the areas of trade, investments, transport and logistics, agriculture, tourism , education. During this period, over 160 bilateral agreements were signed.
Cooperation in the economic sphere has become one of the priority areas in development of Uzbek-Japanese relations. A favorable background was created in bilateral trade. Countries realize their export potential in the field of services, engineering, metallurgy and others. In January-October of 2019, mutual trade turnover amounted to almost $360 million.
In 2015, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe visited Tashkent. He signed agreements worth $27 billion. Not all of them were implemented, but Japan’s interest in Uzbekistan didn't vanish. Visit of Uzbek President ended with negotiations with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, President of the House of Councilors of Parliament Akiko Santo, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tadamori Oshima, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Taro Aso. They signed a package of documents worth $6.5 billion in total.
"Visit of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Japan is very important. It organically complements geography of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy activity at the end of the past year. In preparation for it, Uzbekistan was able to focus on the development of regional cooperation with Tokyo in Central Asia, large-scale social and economic transformation in Uzbekistan itself, as well as creation of opportunities for cooperation in the international arena," deputy director of the Institute for Strategic and Inter-Regional Studies under the President of Uzbekistan Sanjar Valiev told Vestnik Kavkaza.
As Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov noted: "Japan is among the strategic partners of Uzbekistan in the investments, trade and economic spheres. The basis for mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation will be favorable conditions for foreign capital created in Uzbekistan."