Wednesday, 24, July, 2024

Today, at the Kuksaroy residence in Tashkent, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held head-to-head talks with the President of Republic of Korea Yoon Seok Yeol, the presidential press service said.

The Uzbek leader congratulated his counterpart on the 32nd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and the fifth anniversary of the Uzbek-Korean special strategic partnership ties.

During the meeting, the parties explored the ways to expand cooperation in political, trade, economic, technological and other areas.

The Republic of Korea is one of the Uzbekistan’s major trade and investment partners. Last year, trade turnover reached $2.5 billion, and Korean investment exceeded $7.5 billion. Tashkent and Seoul are connected by 10 flights per week.

The parties reached an agreement on building a “new partnership model” for more efficient tapping of the potential, identification and promotion of large high-tech cooperation projects, the statement said.

They also highly commended the development of cultural and humanitarian exchanges. Four branches of major Korean universities opened in Uzbekistan. Over 11 thousand Uzbek students study in South Korea.

“The House of Korean Culture, a multidisciplinary children’s clinic, Seoul Garden and Seoul street in Tashkent have become real symbols of friendship and partnership,” the statement says.

The two leaders stated the importance of mutual support within international organizations and also exchange views on issues of regional cooperation, including in the Central Asia - Republic of Korea format.

The heads of state paid special attention to establishing close contacts in the field of security and defense, in particular in the fight against cybercrime, terrorism and extremism.

At negotiations with the participation of delegations from the two countries, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Yoon Seok Yeol discussed the formation of a new “high-tech agenda” for the bilateral special strategic partnership ties for the next three years.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev took the initiative to declare this period “A new time of high-tech and innovative cooperation between the two countries.”

Seven areas of the strategy

The governments have been instructed to prepare a strategic program for the creation of a regional high-tech hub in Uzbekistan. Seven priority areas of interaction are proposed as “anchor” areas of the strategy.

1. Critical Mineral Resources Partnership. “We are talking about deep processing of the resource base with the creation of a complete added value chain,” the press service of the President of Uzbekistan said.

2. Strategic cooperation in the field of semiconductors, where the Republic of Korea is one of the global leaders. “There are plans here to create in our country the region’s first full-fledged research and production cluster of semiconductor products,” the report notes.

3. Full-scale partnership in the chemical industry. New projects have been prepared for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia, as well as the production of finished rubber products.

4. Deepening cooperation in mechanical engineering. This spring, an assembly line for KIA cars was launched in the Jizzakh province. Next year it is planned to begin full-fledged production of the sedan with a capacity of more than 60 thousand units per year.

5. Transfer of technologies to create “smart” agriculture, including through the digitalization of the agricultural sector, the introduction of smart and “green” technologies. Agreements have already been reached on the creation of modern greenhouses and garden complexes in the regions of Uzbekistan based on renewable energy sources.

6. Infrastructure modernization and urban development program. The high interest of Korean banks and companies in the modernization of transport infrastructure, design and construction of residential and commercial real estate on the principles of public-private partnership was noted.

7. Modern and safe energy. To develop promising projects in the field of green energy and increasing energy efficiency, the parties agreed to resume the strategic dialogue at the level of energy ministers and hold its next meeting in the near future in Uzbekistan.

Other agreements

The parties noted the successful partnership with the Exim Bank of Korea and the Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (EDCF), the portfolio of joint projects with which has already exceeded $3 billion.

An agreement was reached on new projects under the EDCF fund worth $2 billion (doubling compared to the previous period), including the supply of high-speed electric trains, the implementation of the second stage of the Tashkent Pharma Park project and the equipment of educational institutions.

In preparation for the current summit, a new portfolio of projects in the above areas worth $9.6 billion was formed.

During the negotiations, an agreement was reached to accelerate the preparation and implementation of medical cluster projects, including the creation of a university, a hospital for adults and an oncology clinic. In addition, a long-term program will be launched to improve the qualifications of medical workers in specialized centers in Korea.

The parties noted the accumulated experience of cooperation in the field of education. The first Uzbek-Korean forum of rectors took place in March last year. Next year another meeting will be held.

The presidents supported proposals to create an institute in Uzbekistan based on the model of the Korean Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

In addition, the opening, in partnership with the Korean Institute of Public Administration and the National Institute of Human Resources, of a Center for Training in Digital Technologies and Artificial Intelligence at the Academy of Public Administration in Tashkent is being worked out.

Attention is paid to expanding Korean language learning programs, including with the involvement of experts from Korea.

The successful training of Uzbeks in vocational training centers created with the assistance of KOICA in Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Fergana and Urgench was noted. The Korean authorities expressed support for the creation of a network of such centers in other regions of Uzbekistan with the involvement of financial and technical assistance.

In order to further bring the peoples of the two countries closer together, the parties proposed to declare next year the “Year of Mutual Exchanges between Uzbekistan and Korea” with cross-conducting cultural events.

In 2027, the 90th anniversary of the Korean diaspora in Uzbekistan will be widely celebrated. The parties agreed to open a museum and library in the House of Korean Culture and Art in Tashkent by this date.

The President of Uzbekistan noted the great contribution of the Korean Republic to the development of Electronic Government, assistance in developing the Digital Uzbekistan strategy, strengthening the potential of the IT park and the creation of U-Enter business incubators.

In this regard, the parties agreed to expand partnership in the field of artificial intelligence, business process outsourcing and digital technologies.

Proposals in the field of combating corruption, ecology, labor migration and other important areas were also considered.

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