The main topic of the meeting was to discuss the achievement of peace in Afghanistan. Mr. Omar expressed gratitude to the Ambassador of Uzbekistan for the participation of the Uzbek representative in the conference on the peace process in Afghanistan, which was held in Doha-Qatar on September 10, 2020.
The Ambassador of Uzbekistan noted that Afghanistan is a close and brotherly country and that peace in Afghanistan, stability and prosperity are very important for the entire Central Asia.
As noted by the President of Uzbekistan: “We see Afghanistan as an integral part of Central Asia. Peace in Afghanistan is peace in the World. President Mirziyoyev proposed creating a permanent Committee at the UN that will listen to the views and aspirations of the people of Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan also built a railway link to Afghanistan with the help of the Asian development Bank and supplies electricity to Kabul.
A trade zone on the border of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan opened in the international logistics center Termez Cargo center in Surkhandarya region in 2019.
In 2018, Afghanistan invested 7 million US dollars in Uzbekistan. In 2019-2020, with the participation of direct investment from Afghan entrepreneurs, it is planned to implement 14 projects in the fields of industry, services and agriculture with a total cost of $ 30 million.
During the visit of the President of Afghanistan, (H.E Dr. Ghani) to Uzbekistan, more than 40 export contracts totaling over $ 500 million were signed, according to which Uzbekistan will supply Afghanistan with electricity, agricultural and pharmaceutical products, as well as construction materials, vehicles and others. The total value of exports from Uzbekistan to Afghanistan amounted to a billion dollars.
Issues related to obtaining visas for Afghan citizens, including businessmen, to the Republic of Uzbekistan were raised. The Ambassador of Uzbekistan reported some difficulties in issuing visas due to the situation in the world (pandemic).
An agreement was reached on further development of relations between the two countries and possible further projects.
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan recently (March 2017) signed 75 contracts worth nearly $1 billion at a Kazakh-Uzbek business forum. The ultimate raft of deals was bigger: 92 agreements worth a total of $840 million.) Both countries jointed declaration on “Further Enhancement of Strategic Partnership and Strengthening Good-neighborliness,” an agreement on “Interregional Cooperation, Strategy of Economic Cooperation for 2017-2019,” and an agreement on “International Road Transport.”
Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are the region’s largest states. Uzbekistan has the population advantage, with more than 30 million to Kazakhstan’s 17 million; but Kazakhstan has had the economic advantage with a GDP of $184.4 billion in 2015, to Uzbekistan’s $66.7 billion.
Uzbekistan, however, has not seen its GDP fall in the way Kazakhstan has in the past few years as Russia’s economy tanked and oil prices collapsed. (This graph of World Bank data is telling in this regard. Interestingly, prior to 1998, Uzbekistan had the GDP upper hand.)