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Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan sign co-op agreements.

By Kamila Aliyeva

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan signed a number of documents following the 17th meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Commission on Cooperation between the two countries on March 14, Kazinform reported.

Vice President for Infrastructure of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC Bauyrzhan Orynbasarov and First Deputy Chairman of the Board of Uzbekistan Railways JSC Akbar Shukurov signed an agreement on strategic cooperation between the companies. They also signed an agreement on the establishment of a joint venture in the field of railway transport engineering.

Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Allure Group of Companies Andrey Lavrentiev and Chairman of Uzavtosanoat Umidjan Salimov signed a framework agreement on long-term and in-depth cooperation.

Also, according to the press service of the Kazakh Prime Minister, the parties agreed to work on increasing the trade turnover to $3 billion in 2018 and to $5 billion by 2020.

The countries intend to increase the number of rail, bus and air communication between two states. Kazakh Minister of Investment and Development Zhenis Kassymbek revealed the countries' plans to increase bus, air and rail frequencies between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Speaking at the 17th session of the Kazakh-Uzbek Intergovernmental Commission today, the minister said that the sides are currently negotiating increasing the frequencies between Tashkent and Astana/Almaty and considering opening new destinations, in particular, Taraz and Samarkand.

He noted that flight frequencies between Astana and Tashkent have already been increased from four to seven and between Almaty and Tashkent - from seven to ten weekly operations. The Minister also reminded that starting March 18 the Almaty-Tashkent train will run three times a week instead of two, adding that the Samarkand-Astana is scheduled to be launched this April.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan confirmed mutual interest in further development of cooperation in the gas industry. The parties agreed to continue creating a technical opportunity for transit supplies of Kazakh gas through the territory of Uzbekistan to the south of Kazakhstan. It is planned that the corresponding agreement will be signed before September 2018.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have signed a plan of joint activities for development of tourism for 2018.

"As you know there are international tourists who come to Kazakhstan and wish to visit the historical places of Uzbekistan and vice versa. The world strives for unity, and in this relation the plans which have been outlined are realistic and perspective. The economic effect is going to be immense and mutually beneficial. There is additional air, railway and automobile communication available between the two countries and we are negotiating that the visas which are valid in Uzbekistan were also effective in Kazakhstan and vice versa, so that the tourists visiting Kazakhstan could also do the sightseeing in Uzbekistan," Kazakh Minister of Culture and Sport Arystanbek Mukhamediuly said on the sidelines of the meeting.

Within the framework of the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan, 200 events are planned in the sphere of economy, tourism, cultural and humanitarian area.

Earlier it was also reported that the countries intend to film a joint historical movie and introduce multivisa for foreigners.

As a result of 2017, the trade turnover between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan has increased by 30 percent and amounted to about $2 billion. Over 200 companies with Kazakh capital currently operate in Uzbekistan.

It should be noted that 2018 is declared as the year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan whereas 2019 will be the year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan.

Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews' staff journalist, follow her on Twitter:@Kami_Aliyeva
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Publication:Azer News (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Geographic Code:9KAZA
Date:Mar 14, 2018
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