Uzbekistan Signs US$15 Billion Worth Of Agreements With China At SCO Summit

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Uzbekistan and China signed agreements worth a total of US$15 billion in trade, investment and financial and technical cooperation at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State meeting in Samarkand on Thursday (September 15).

The deals were signed during a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Uzbek leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and according to a statement by the Uzbek Presidency, China and Uzbekistan agreed to expand trade and economic cooperation, develop e-commerce and implementation of industrial cooperation projects, and invest in areas such as the automotive industry, green energy, agriculture and infrastructure development as well as Free Trade Industrial zones.

Calling for “intensification in inter-regional exchanges,” Xi and Mirziyoyev stressed the need to continue joint efforts to promote the peace process in Afghanistan and the war-ravaged country’s economic recovery. They also called for “systemic interaction within the framework of international and regional structures, including the Central Asia-China mechanism,” the report added.

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Xi said the two sides need to “expand energy cooperation, jointly ensure the safe operation of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline and extend cooperation to new energy, with a view to fostering a new pattern of all-dimensional energy cooperation. China and Central Asian countries have a shared future and a deep stake in each other’s security and stability.”

“China is ready to work more closely with Uzbekistan to firmly oppose external interference in internal affairs, firmly safeguard domestic stability and firmly defend the security interests of the region,” he said.

In Samarkand, China, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan also signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation on a railway connecting the three countries, while a trial run of the multimodal road-rail link from China to Afghanistan is also being planned.

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