An international scientific-practical seminar on ensuring the competitiveness of Uzbek producers in foreign and domestic markets for goods and services was held in Tashkent. Following the event, recommendations were prepared on improving the system of customs administration and the activities of the created free economic zones in Uzbekistan.
The seminar brought together about a hundred specialists representing relevant ministries, departments, the educational sector, NGOs, research institutes and the media. Along with leading domestic experts, speakers from Hungary, Germany, the United States, Russia, and international organizations took the floor as speakers.
During the first session, issues of applying the best practices of the European Union and CIS countries in the development of international trade, as well as the prospects for Uzbekistan’s accession to the WTO were discussed. In particular, the speakers' speeches were focused on customs reforms necessary to promote international trade. For the country, this is a hot topic, since, according to experts, customs procedures for export and import are expensive and time consuming.
The second session was dedicated to increasing the export potential of Uzbekistan and increasing the export of products of domestic agricultural producers. The experts presented the competitive advantages of the country's agricultural sector, and also presented foreign markets that were potentially attractive to Uzbekistan.
The seminar ended with a session on the development of free economic zones, the formation of sectorial clusters and technology parks.
There are 21 free economic zones in the country, of which 9 are industrial, 7 are pharmaceutical, 2 are agricultural, as well as one for tourism, one for transport and logistics, and one for production of sports equipment.
Considering the intensity of FEZ development in Uzbekistan, the presentations of experts included issues of FEZ effective management, best practices for the development of industrial zones and clusters, prospects for the further development of small industrial zones.
At the end of the seminar, proposals and recommendations were developed on improving the competitiveness of domestic producers and strengthening their position in foreign markets.
The seminar was organized by the Chamber of Commerce, the Center for Economic Research, UNDP, as well as the British Embassy in Uzbekistan.