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Uzbek-Korean JVs.

South Korea and Uzbekistan on Sept. 20, 2012 pledged to work together to ensure a smooth implementation of large-scale JV, including one calling for construction of a massive gas-chemical plant in the Central Asian nation. This came in an agreement in Seoul between by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and Uzbek President Islam Karimov who visited that country on Sept. 19-21.

A joint statement said the two leaders reached agreement on enhancing economic co-operation between the two countries as key to moving overall relations forward. Karimov's visit marked the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Lee has held summit talks with Karimov every year since taking office in early 2008, and the Sept. 20, 2012 summit was their sixth. In 2011, the two countries signed a package of deals to develop the Surgil gas field near the Aral Sea and build a gas and chemicals plant in the largest-ever contract between South Korea and Uzbekistan since they forged diplomatic relations.

On Sept. 20, the two sides expressed satisfaction with the progress in the Surgil gas-chemical plant construction and re-affirmed their commitment to provide maximum support for the project's success. They also agreed to continue co-operation in Uzbekistan's ambitious plan to turn its Navoi airport in the south-western part of the country into a regional logistics hub and create a free industrial and economic zone there.

Karimov then asked for South Korea's participation in a project to create a special industrial zone in Angren near the capital Tashkent.

South Korea expressed its willingness to provide financing and technological support for education, health-care, communication technology, agriculture and other socially important projects in Uzbekistan. The joint statement said the two states agreed on the need for expanding and diversifying aid projects in Uzbekistan/

South Korea agreed to use its Economic Development Co-operation Fund and other means to help with information technology, energy, transportation infrastructure and other projects in Uzbekistan. They agreed to strengthen co-operation within the framework of the UN and other international organisations and work together to cope with global and regional challenges and promote peace and stability.

Uzbekistan expressed support for Seoul's policy on North Korea, it said. On the sidelines of the summit, the two countries signed four agreements calling for judicial co-operation, military information exchange, tourism promotion and financial co-operation.

GAIL of India has since mid-2007 been negotiating a tie-up with UzTransGaz (UTG), a fully owned subsidiary of UNG engaged in gas marketing and transportation, for distributing compressed natural gas (CNG) to vehicles and piped gas to households in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara, three of the biggest cities in Uzbekistan.

GAIL and UNG had entered into an agreement in April 2006 for co-operation in the energy sector. They had agreed to co-operate in E&P, gas processing and LPG, production of petrochemicals, training and other projects.
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Geographic Code:9SOUT
Date:Oct 15, 2012
Words:470
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