High-level bilateral visits in recent years have expedited and fostered relations between Ankara and Tashkent, which are now following a positive course and have enjoyed concrete progress in multiple fields.
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Ankara Wednesday for a two-day visit and met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with whom he co-chaired the first meeting of the Turkey-Uzbekistan High Level Strategic Cooperation Council.
The two leaders reviewed all aspects of the bilateral relations and discussed possible steps for the deepening of the cooperation between the two countries on the basis of strategic partnership.
They also exchanged views on regional and international issues.
The two countries also inked several agreements, which are expected to contribute to the contractual basis of the bilateral relations.
The ties were brought to strategic partnership level as a result of Erdoğan and Mirziyoyev's bilateral visits, and they look to deepen them further in the coming period. Erdoğan had paid a visit to Uzbekistan in 2016 and 2018, while Mirziyoyev visited Turkey in 2017.
Trade ties have been one of the priorities on Ankara and Tashkent's agenda.
Trade volume between the two stood at only $237 million in 2003, according to Trade Ministry data. This figure hit $1.5 billion in 2017 and $1.7 billion in 2018, before reaching $2.2 billion last year.
Turkey's exports were up 19.4% year-on-year in 2019 and exceeded the $1 billion threshold for the first time, reaching $1.13 billion, while its imports jumped by 35% to $1 billion.
A trade target was set at $5 billion in the midterm during the two presidents' visits.
In this scope, the fifth term meeting of the Turkey-Uzbekistan Joint Economic Commission was held in Ankara in July last year.
The institutions responsible for the development of cooperation between the two countries and the steps to be taken were determined in 27 different areas of the economy, including trade, transportation, energy, banking and trade local currency.
Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan also announced that Uzbekistan was included among 17 target countries in Turkey's Export Master Plan, announced in late August. Pekcan particularly stressed the potential for the construction industry in Uzbekistan.
Turkey ranks 3rd for most firms in Uzbekistan
After establishing 231 firms in the country in the first half of last year, Turkey now ranks third after Russia and China in establishing the most companies with foreign capital in Uzbekistan.
There are around 1,306 Turkish companies operating in the country, which is home to some 10,604 companies with foreign capital.
Turkish state lender Ziraat Bank opened its fourth branch in the country in Samarkand on Tuesday.
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