TASHKENT, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's goods trade rose 27.3 percent year on year to 33.82 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, according to the latest data of the State Statistics Committee.
Exports increased 13.6 percent in the same period to 14.26 billion dollars while imports grew 39.6 percent to 19.56 billion dollars, resulting in a trade deficit of 5.30 billion dollars.
The country's trade with major trading partners saw an increase during 2018, including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and South Korea.
As a result of the expansion of the country's export potential and the development of new markets, the volume of exports of fruits and vegetables rose 37.5 percent in the same period to 874.5 million dollars.
"The rapid growth rate of foreign trade is the result of ongoing economic reforms in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev over the past two years," said Khasan Abulkosimov, doctor of economics at the National University of Uzbekistan.
The liberalization of monetary policy was another important factor in the development of foreign trade, and the steps taken in this direction greatly facilitated the conduct of business and significantly reduced the share of the shadow economy, he said.
Additional privileges and preferences for exporters, new tax policies, the establishment of special funds to support the export of small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as private enterprises, export credit and business insurance will also play an important role in the development of the country's foreign trade in the future, he added.