President Moon Jae-in and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan agreed on Nov. 23, 2017 to enhance bilateral ties and cooperation between the two countries during the latter’s visit to Korea at the invitation of President Moon.
At the Korean-Uzbek summit meeting at the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae that day, Moon and Mirziyoyev noted that the two countries have historically maintained a friendly relationship and that there were a wide range of areas where the two countries could explore and develop for mutual benefit.
Earlier at a ‘Korean-Uzbekistan Business Forum at Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Nov. 22, President Mirziyoyev said, “The Korean businesses made a considerable measure of contribution to the economic development of my country and I hope that the bilateral cooperation will further increase and widen in all areas on a much broader scale.”
The meeting, which also marked the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Uzbekistan, was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and other leading members of the Korean government and the business circles. Among them where Minister Baek Woon-kyu of Trade, Industry and Energy, President Park Yong-man of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President Sung Sang-rok of Hyundai Engineering, CEO Kim Young-sang of POSCO-Daewoo, Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media.
At the Chong Wa Dae meeting, President Moon said, “Uzbekistan warmly embraced Korean migrants who were forced to move there from the Far East 80 years ago, and Uzbekistan continues to have the largest number of Korean migrants."
President Mirziyoyev, as at the bilateral business forum a day earlier, again exhibited his personal interest in enhancing the friendship and cooperation with Korea. He said: “The truth is I have been looking forward to this meeting with you, Mr. President. That is because, as you pointed out, we share many similarities in terms of our governing philosophies, and we also share many similar thoughts and visions for the future of the Uzbekistan-Korea relations."
In a nutshell comment, judging the way he spoke at the business meeting and at Cheong Wa Dae, it was immediately apparent that President Mirziyoyev was a very, very good friend of Korea, with President Moon Jae-in and on down to the common people on the street in Seoul.
President Mirziyoyev said, “That is why I wish you, President Moon, will be the first foreign head of state to make a state visit to Uzbekistan, and I wish to offer my official invitation."
Moon and Mirziyoyev then agreed to "qualitatively and quantitatively" expand and upgrade the relations and cooperation between the two countries.
Following their summit, the two leaders signed a joint declaration in a signing ceremony that involved seven other agreements signed by their governments and public enterprises.
Under a new agreement, Korea agreed to provide US$500 million to the Central Asian country in special loans under its Economic Development Cooperation Fund program in the 2018-2020 period.
Also, the state-run Export-Import Bank of Korea will provide up to $2 billion in financial support for new development projects in Uzbekistan—according to sources at the Presidential Mansion of Cheong Wa Dae.
Korea also promised diplomatic support for Uzbekistan's membership with the World Trade Organization.
"The agreement on cooperation in Uzbekistan's WTO membership is expected to help strengthen Uzbekistan's trade competitiveness and contribute to the expansion of trade between South Korea and Uzbekistan in the long run," Cheong Wa Dae said.