Vietnam, Uzbekistan Seek to Enhance Business Cooperation

3:10:48 PM | 2/10/2023

On February 7, in Hanoi, Mr. Pham Tan Cong, President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), hosted a working meeting with a Uzbekistan business delegation led by Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade Laziz Kudratov. The two sides exchanged views on enhancing business cooperation between the two countries in the coming time. 

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong receives the Uzbekistan business delegation led by Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade Laziz Kudratov  

peaking at the meeting, Minister Laziz Kudratov said that Uzebekiztan is the largest Central Asian country with 36 million people, accounting for half of the total Central Asian population. Especially in the past year, Uzbekistan adopted reforms in various fields such as taxation and customs in order to create a favorable investment environment and call for foreign investment.

Specifically, Minister Laziz Kudratov said Uzbekistan has reduced taxes and reformed administrative procedures to support businesses, adding that corporate tax in Uzbekistan is only 12% and VAT is reduced to 12%. The country also abolished more than 200 types of business licenses and applied an online administrative system. Besides, calling for investment funds, Uzbekistan focuses on infrastructure development, established 22 special economic zones and exempted all taxes, customs and obligations, provided available infrastructure for foreign companies in these special zones. Uzbekistan also places a high priority on fighting corruption.

Thanks to reform efforts, total FDI in Uzbekistan has increased to US$10 billion a year, he said, adding that the FDI value is expected to reach US$11 billion in 2023. In the next seven years, Uzbekistan can attract as much as US$120 billion of investment funds, including US$70 billion in FDI funds.

In Uzbekistan's new development strategy to 2026, Minister Laziz Kudratov said that Uzbekistan gives priority to a number of areas such as privatization, elimination of monopolies and reduction of State-owned enterprises. In the banking and financial field, Uzbekistan is planning to reduce the share of state-owned banks from 70% to 40%. By 2026, Uzbekistan will strengthen cooperation with foreign partners in the banking sector from South Korea, China, Hungary and Kazakhstan. Therefore, he believed in the opportunity to expand cooperation with Vietnamese banks in this field.

Uzbekistan focuses on attracting private capital for infrastructure development, including through PPPs and other mechanisms, he added. The country has attracted Ú$8 billion for developing solar, wind and hydro power plants and planned to raise the share of renewables in energy production to at least 30% by 2030.

"Uzbekistan has clear goals to ensure that it will become an upper-middle income country by 2030,” he stressed, wishing that it will strengthen cooperation with Vietnamese companies engaged in textile and garment, leather and footwear, construction materials, electronics and digital.

Uzbekistan is accelerating its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) next year and hopes that Vietnam will support Uzbekistan in this process, said the minister.

VCCI President Pham Tan Cong welcomed Minister Laziz Kudratov and the delegation to visit and work with VCCI. He also highly appreciated cooperation ties between Vietnam and Uzbekistan.

Although the outcome of investment cooperation has not been commensurate with the inherent potential as well as expectations of the two countries, Cong said that the two countries have a lot of room and opportunity to further uplift two-way trade and investment because the two sides complement, supplement, cooperate and share together. He also hoped that Uzbekistan will soon become a WTO member and many other organizations.

VCCI President Cong expected the two sides will strengthen the exchange of business delegations, and organize conferences and seminars on investment promotion to introduce the investment environment, policies, potential and opportunities for businesses so as to boost investment cooperation ties between Vietnam and Uzbekistan in the coming time.

Saying that Vietnam and Uzbekistan have many similarities, Cong said that the two sides still have a lot of potential to be tapped for cooperation in the future. Given the currently rapid development of the Vietnamese economy, the big market and the high demand for commodities, Vietnam also has a roadmap to become a developed country in its vision to 2045. Therefore, opportunities for Uzbekistan businesses to develop the market are still very large.

The VCCI President suggested that Uzbekistan's agencies and organizations cooperate with VCCI to build information channels as well as create the most favorable conditions for the business community to have the opportunity to seek cooperation and exchange, and carry out specific investment projects in the future.

At the same time, with a large system of businesses and trade associations in all provinces and cities in Vietnam, VCCI is committed to enhancing support for Uzbekistan companies to find suitable partners for their investment and business needs as well as connect trade associations of the two countries to boost trade and facilitate investment.

By Huong Ly, Vietnam Business Forum