Deputy Adviser to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Economic Affairs and Director of Center for Economic Research and Reform, Khakimov Obid Arzikulovich praised the great renaissance achieved by the State of Qatar over the past 20 years as a huge success, occupying a leading position in the region.
In a statement to QNA, Arzikulovich said that thanks to Qatar's political will, the country accomplished many achievements in recent years, making it a role model for success and excellence.
The Uzbek official described His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit to Uzbekistan as an important milestone in the Qatari-Uzbek bilateral relations, opening new doors for co-operation in various fields, especially in energy and agriculture.
With the State of Qatar's extensive experience in oil and gas and Uzbekistan's great capabilities in the agricultural sector, they create opportunities for future co-operation and to expand trade exchange in these fields, Arzikulovich said.
Cultural and religious ties also are an important factor in advancing economic co-operation between the two countries, as this contributes to bringing views closer that take into account both parties' common interests, he highlighted.
The Uzbek official expressed his hope that economic relations between Uzbekistan and Qatar would rise to the level of political relations, noting that His Highness the Amir's visit will be an opportunity for all stakeholders in the public and private sectors to strengthen trade and economic co-operation, and search for promising opportunities in investment and joint projects.
In this context, Arzikulovich called to launch an economic forum between the two countries as an opportunity for those interested in the business sector to discuss all possible opportunities to enhance economic co-operation.
He urged both countries' private sector to seize the opportunity and benefit from the distinguished relations between Uzbekistan and Qatar, take initiatives, and enter into serious negotiations to establish promising economic partnerships that benefit both parties.
Opening direct flights between the two countries in the coming period is very important as it will contribute to prompting investors from both countries to invest in new projects related to energy, water, and modern technology, sectors that are of great importance to his country, Arzikulovich stressed.
He indicated that his country's geographical location provides great access to the Asian market, an incentive for Qatari businessmen and investors to reach and access new markets in Asia.
The volume of trade exchange between Uzbekistan and the State of Qatar amounted to $4.82mn in 2022, of which $4.32mn are imports from Qatar to Uzbekistan that include petroleum products and fuels, Arzikulovich said.
Uzbekistan aims to attract foreign investment in the development of the oil and gas industry to expand the exploration and production of hydrocarbons, His Excellency explained.
Given the growth in the consumption of hydrocarbons, Uzbekistan is set to invest about $9.8bn in this industry from 2019 to 2030. This includes $3.5bn for exploration and $6.3bn for increasing natural gas production, which constitutes an opportunity for Qatari investors to join Uzbekistan's booming economy.
The Uzbek official also referred to the possibilities of attracting Qatari capital to invest in the electric power sector in Uzbekistan, a highly-prioritized area, to develop important generation capacities in areas such as thermal power plants, nuclear energy, and renewable energy sources, while attracting foreign direct investment.
Deputy Adviser to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Economic Affairs and Director of Center for Economic Research and Reform, Khakimov Obid Arzikulovich.