February 14, 2014
Targeting Long-Term Partnerships
Today we tell about the trade and economic relations thriving between Uzbekistan and Poland. It would seem that that relatively small European country gives up to bigger and more powerful economies of the world about whom we have already written earlier - China, Russia and the United States. Even though Poland falls behind them by the total volume of trade and economic relations with Uzbekistan, that country competes with them by the level of diversification of its partnership, and even leads in many aspects of economic cooperation.

Many experts point out that countries with large economies are somewhat cumbersome in developing new areas of cooperation, while their smaller competitors are simply forced to rapidly develop new contacts and constantly look for new opportunities. The Polish Economic Representative Office in Uzbekistan is one of the most active and dynamic foreign representative offices in the country. This office implements various initiatives aimed at bringing closer the business circles of the two countries. The Embassy of Poland in Tashkent has for several years been assisting Polish companies in their participation in major exhibitions and conferences in Uzbekistan.

Polish businesses are to take part in top five exhibitions across various sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy, and issue several special thematic catalogs about Polish firms willing to operate in Uzbekistan.

Perhaps the most rapidly developing area of bilateral cooperation is agribusiness. Poland boasts modern industrial facilities for the production of mini-technologies and compact equipment for processing agricultural goods, and has a unique experience in creating gardens and intensive cultivation of fruit-bearing crops. Experts from Poland have carried out a number of workshops for local farmers about cultivation of fruits and vegetables. One of the most successful joint projects is aimed at improving the quality of livestock genetic materials. A joint venture has been successfully improving the quality of livestock in Uzbekistan for the fourth consecutive year. Pedigree cattle are regularly being delivered from Poland. Statistics confirms these achievements. According to the Polish side, during ten months of the last year, the trade turnover between the two countries exceeded $146 million, up by 18% compared to the same period in 2012. Exports from Poland increased by almost a third, and exceeded $124 million. The supplies of animal and plant products were the most rapidly growing sectors in the bilateral economic relations. More than a third of total exports is the delivery of cattle. Products of plant origin, including fruit tree seedlings, account for more than 8% of the overall Polish exports to Uzbekistan. Phytosanitary services of Uzbekistan and Poland are now working on a partnership agreement between the two nations. These works are expected to be completed soon.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan and the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development are the convenient platforms for establishing contacts between business circles of the two countries. In 2013, the two institutions signed a cooperation agreement aimed at intensification of contacts between businesspeople of our two nations. They have also organized ‘open days’ in Uzbekistan for several years for entrepreneurs interested in developing economic ties with Poland.

The Chamber and the Agency arrange mutual visits, cooperation exchanges, and training workshops for entrepreneurs of the two countries. The Polish side has invited representatives of the CCI as well as small and private businesses of Uzbekistan to take part in the European Congress of small and medium enterprises, which is to be held in September this year in Katowice. Efforts of the two organizations bring together not only companies, but also entire industries. The two states have been successfully cooperating in the cotton field through the Cotton Chamber in Gdynia and the Sifat Center. Several Polish companies participated last year in one of the world\'s biggest cotton events – the International Cotton and Textile Fair which is traditionally held in Tashkent each autumn. Polish firms signed there contracts for more than $11 million.

Poland has vast experience in the development of \"green economy\", where it effectively combines modern equipment, innovative technologies and eco-friendly methods. During various business forums and conferences, representatives of the two countries discuss joint projects in the field of alternative energy sources, in particular the use of solar energy in Uzbekistan. Polish companies are also helping Uzbek industrial giants to reduce the impact of production on the environment by modernizing their manufacturing circles. For example, the Bumar Company has become partner in a project for technological renewal of sulfuric acid production at the Ammofos-Maxam Company – one of the largest companies in the country that produces complex nitrogen-phosphorus fertilizers on the basis of the phosphorite deposits in Qizilqum. The project has helped boost productivity, reduce energy consumption and improve the environmental situation near the plant. The Ammofos-Maxam Company has spent about $ 8.8 million on the project. Another Polish company, Sp.zo.o., is member of a consortium of investors involved in the construction of a modern 370 MW combined-cycle plant at Tashkent Thermal Power Plant.

Uzbekistan has been gradually increasing the supply of its finished products to Poland. This fact means that our country has an ever-growing number of enterprises equipped with modern facilities able to produce competitive goods that meet the high demands of the European market.

Another area where growth prospects are virtually limitless is tourism. Despite its dynamic development over the recent years, this sphere’s potential remains largely untapped. Over 7,500 people from Poland visited Uzbekistan last year. According to Polish travel agents, the two countries are linked with many invisible at first glance threads. One of the brightest stars of Poland – Anna German – was born in the Uzbek land. During World War II, many Poles were evacuated to Uzbekistan where they were hospitably welcomed by the Uzbek people. Another interesting fact is that the poem dedicated to Khiva written by the poet Adam Mickiewicz is included in the curriculum of Polish schools.

Do not forget about the contacts between the Head Office of the Republic of Poland on Construction Supervision and the State Committee for Architecture and Construction of Uzbekistan. The two bodies are currently elaborating a draft memorandum designed to create a normative framework for cooperation in this field. Polish banks are going to offer soft loans to Uzbek entrepreneurs in order to encourage them in joint projects and to broaden financial mechanisms. The diversification of trade, economic and investment partnership between Uzbekistan and Poland once again confirms the truth that a country’s size does not matter, while what does is the quality of the relationship itself. The two nations do not focus on trade with natural resources. They are implementing joint projects aimed at creating competitive and marketable products, and are constantly searching for a common ground for a long-term partnership.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


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