Turkey and Uzbekistan have signed cooperation agreement to boost economic relations, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Monday.
The cooperation agreement was signed at the Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum organized by Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul.
"We identified nine to 10 economic sectors such as agriculture, textile, electric-electronic, chemistry, tourism, and logistics. We will reevaluate cooperation in these sectors according to their trading volume and importance," he said at the forum.
Zeybekci regretfully noted that trade volume between Turkey and Uzbekistan stood only at $1.2 billion.
Turkey's exports to Uzbekistan rose to $533.3 million last from $488.5 million in 2015, according to official data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
In 2016, imports from Uzbekistan amounted to $709.2 million against $711.5 million the previous year.
Zeybekci said there should be free trade agreement or a preferential trade agreement between both countries to meet this need.
Uzbekistan seeks for cooperation in petrochemistry
He added that Turkish constructors in Uzbekistan had completed 110 projects worth $2 billion.
"However, I do not find these investment adequate. There is huge potential in every field and we will expand," he said.
Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov, who was also at the forum, also said Turkey and Uzbekistan could collaborate in petrochemistry.
He said there were two petroleum refineries in Uzbekistan and a third in the development phase.
"We hope to cooperate in petrochemistry with our Turkish partners. We can work together in extracting and processing mines such as gold, silver and uranium," he added.
*With writing and contributions by Dilara Zengin from Ankara