Turkey and Uzbekistan aim to increase the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion, the Turkish president said Wednesday.
Speaking at a joint news conference with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the capital Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: “We have exceeded $1 billion in both exports and imports for the first time in bilateral trade relations, but there is still a long way to go.”
“We define our relations with Uzbekistan as a strategic partnership based on strong brotherly ties with our common history, language and culture,” Erdogan added.
He said that Turkey is witnessing with appreciation reforms in Uzbekistan under the leadership of Mirziyoyev, and added that Turkey is always ready to extend support to Uzbekistan in the comprehensive reform process.
The Turkish president said Uzbekistan has taken firm steps towards becoming a center of attraction in its region, with its young and dynamic population approaching 34 million, rich natural resources, industrial potential and strong agricultural production.
“We encourage our entrepreneurs to invest in Uzbekistan. According to Uzbek statistics, only last year, 430 Turkish companies started operating in Uzbekistan and the number of our companies rose to 1,306.”
Erdogan pointed out that they exchanged views on how they can improve cooperation in the fields of transportation, energy, health, tourism, education and defense industry.
The two leaders also signed a joint declaration following the first meeting of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Ankara.
Mirziyoyev, for his part, said the first meeting of the High Level Strategic Council opened a new page in the history of both countries' friendly relations.
He said improving cooperation in commercial, economic and investment fields is Turkey's and Uzbekistan's primary task.
Both leaders will attend tomorrow the opening ceremony of Turkey's largest library.
The Nation's Library project was spearheaded by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and realized through intense efforts by leading Turkish intellectuals, librarians, NGOs, and groups representing the disadvantaged working in harmony.
By Zuhal Demirci, Tevfik Durul, Ferdi Turkten