TASHKENT:

The business communities of Pakistan and Uzbekistan welcomed Saudi Arabia’s $20 billion investment in Uzbekistan’s energy sector on Saturday. Speaking to APP during the Tashkent International Investment Forum (TIIF), Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan, Vakhabov Davron Abdujalolovich, highlighted that at the opening ceremony on May 2, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, announced the investment. This investment, coming from both the Saudi government and the private sector, will initiate various energy projects.

He pointed out that this investment announcement would also create opportunities for Pakistan’s business community, fostering bilateral projects between the two countries. He added that once the projects are implemented, not only Uzbekistan but the entire region’s economy will benefit, providing opportunities for regional countries.

Deputy Chairman of Kazakhstan Commodity Exchange, Nabikhon Samatov Samatov, pointed out that there is an existing agreement between Pakistan and Uzbekistan Commodity Exchange for bilateral cooperation. With the recent announcement of $20 billion investment by Saudi Arabia, there are now significant opportunities for Pakistani businessmen.

Habib Mamsan, a governing member of Pakistan Mercantile Exchange and head of the delegation visiting the Tashkent International Investment Forum, emphasised the longstanding cooperation between Pakistan and Uzbekistan. He noted that the current $20 billion investment in Uzbekistan from Saudi Arabia will be beneficial for the regional economy. Mamsan highlighted that discussions in the commodity sector between Pakistan and Uzbekistan will be initiated, aiming to further enhance bilateral economic relations.

It is pertinent to mention that beside this, more than 10 investment agreements were signed on the first day of the Tashkent International Investment Forum. Interest in the International Investment Forum is growing every year. In particular, this year, the event gathered about 2.5 thousand delegates from 93 countries. On the first day of the forum, more than ten investment agreements were signed with major companies, including ACWA Power, Masdar, Bonfarm Group, and others. This event marked the beginning of large-scale cooperation in key areas such as energy, geology, food processing, and the introduction of green technologies. The signing of the agreements is expected to lead to significant investments in the development of these industries, fuelling economic growth and innovation. Industry representatives noted that such contracts not only strengthen business ties but also create new opportunities for international cooperation. The forum also discussed the current challenges and future prospects of each of the mentioned industries, supported by concrete plans and projects signed in the form of contracts. This forum, organised to stimulate investment activities and the exchange of experience between key market players, is already showing its effectiveness and relevance to the economic landscape.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2024.

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