This article was contributed by the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbeksian in Seoul to The Korea Post media on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic reltions between the two coutnries. The Korea Post, 37 years old this year, publishes 3 English and 2 Korean-languae news pubications. —Ed.
By Komiljon Akhrorov
This year marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and South Korea. Over the past period, cooperation between our countries has risen to the level of a Special Strategic Partnership.
In the period since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our countries, South Korea has become a reliable friend and partner. This is evidenced by the fact that today this country is the fourth largest partner of Uzbekistan in foreign trade.
In the complex global economic situation, the volume of bilateral trade is maintained. Hundreds of priority investment projects in various sectors of the economy have been implemented and are being implemented by leading Korean companies.
At present, about 900 enterprises with the participation of Korean investors operate in Uzbekistan. As a result of favorable conditions created by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for foreign investors, the confidence of large South Korean companies, including Samsung Group, KIA Motors, LG Corporation, POSCO Group, Hyundai Motor Group, Lotte Group, Korea Telecom, KNOC, is growing.
This, in turn, has led to an increase in the amount of direct investment of South Korean private enterprises in the economy of Uzbekistan without state guarantees.
At present, the volume of investments from the Republic of Korea to the economy of our country has exceeded $ 7 billion.
These funds were directed to the implementation of joint projects in the fields of chemistry, petrochemistry, textiles, construction, and agriculture. The Eximbank of Korea and the Economic Development and Cooperation Fund (EDCF) have raised $ 1 billion. In addition, large funds are allocated for the implementation of new projects in Uzbekistan until 2023.
Now, both countries are intensifying cooperation in technology, digitalization, innovation, and "green" development. In addition, the fight against global climate change, strengthening cooperation in the production of "smart" cities, smart farms, ICT, and electric cars is one of the important tasks in the future.
Today, as a new area of cooperation, negotiations are underway to sign a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries to balance the imbalances in foreign trade turnover between Uzbekistan and South Korea and diversify the range of export-import operations.
In addition, A textile technology park and an agricultural machinery center have been established in Uzbekistan with the Republic of Korea. In the future, it is planned to intensify the activities of the technopark and the center and implement several joint projects.
Moreover, Without reforming and modernizing the education system, the planned goal cannot be achieved. Education is one of the key factors in the country's development.
Therefore, Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea intend to strengthen cooperation in the field of education. In the future, innovative cooperation between the universities of the two countries will be further developed, creating a permanent platform for their regular dialogue.
This year, a forum of rectors of higher education institutions of the two countries is also planned.
The state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Republic of Korea in December last year opened a new page in our relations.
During the talks, a joint statement was adopted on deepening the special strategic partnership between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea. The document aims to comprehensively develop mutually beneficial cooperation, widely celebrate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and strengthen friendly relations between the two peoples.
Finally, The areas of green development, digitalization, and strong social protection policy have been identified as three key areas of a separate strategic partnership.
All future joint projects, programs, and action plans will be developed based on these key priorities.
In conclusion, the relations between our countries, which are special strategic partners, will reach a new level, and cooperation for achieving the benefit of our peoples will expand.
Editor’s note: The author, Mr. Komiljon Akhrorov, is the KOICA Scholarship Program Winner and an Ajou University Master student of energy sciences and policy