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South Korea and Uzbekistan agreed to cooperate on joint projects

2012/09/23 | 75 views |  | Permalink | Source

South Korea and Uzbekistan agreed on September 20 to work together to boost their joint construction and development projects in the Central Asian country and enhance cooperation in the legal, tourism, and financial sectors (photo courtesy of Cheong Wa Dae).

South Korea and Uzbekistan agreed on September 20 to work together to boost their joint construction and development projects in the Central Asian country and enhance cooperation in the legal, tourism, and financial sectors.

President Lee Myung-bak and Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov reached the agreement during summit talks in Seoul, sharing an understanding that firming economic cooperation is crucial to move overall relations forward, the statement said.

Karimov arrived in Seoul on September 19 for a three-day state visit. This year marks the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Lee has held summit talks with Karimov every year since taking office in early 2008, and Thursday's summit was their sixth.

"The two countries' cooperative ties have strengthened in areas of economy, trade, investment and finance", said the joint statement. "Based on the strategic partnership signed in March 2006, the bilateral relationship has widened and deepened.

The joint projects include the construction of a gas and chemical plant in the Surgil gas field near the Aral Sea -- the largest-ever bilateral project in the energy sector in the 20-year history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress on the Surgil plant construction and pledged their commitment to providing full support for the project's success, according to the statement.

They also agreed to continue bilateral cooperation in refurbishing Uzbekistan's Navoi International Airport into a world-class logistics center and creating a special economic zone in the southwestern part of the country.

"Amid unstable global financial and economic conditions, Uzbekistan has continued its economic growth", Lee said during the summit meeting. "Korea will expand its investment cooperation. And in the areas of education, health, communications technology, energy conservation, agriculture, and the environment, it will provide financial and technological support for the implementation of crucial projects in Uzbekistan".

Karimov also said that he wanted to invite a Korean IT specialist to a vice ministerial-level position for the Uzbekistani government to expand cooperation in the area.

Seoul plans to provide cooperation for economic and social development in Uzbekistan via the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, a state-run fund aimed at helping developing states, and the Export-Import Bank of Korea.

Lee and Karimov also agreed to strengthen joint cooperation within international organizations such as the United Nations in order to deal with regional and global peace and security.

By An Myungok
Korea.net Staff Writer

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