TASHKENT, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's Andijan region, one of the country's largest industrial and agricultural regions, is keen to implement Uzbek-Chinese joint projects with the Chinese business community, Governor Shuhrat Abdurahmanov told Xinhua Tuesday.
Andijan region, dubbed the pearl of the Fergana Valley, is in eastern Uzbekistan and borders Kyrgyzstan in the north. "The natural and investment climate of the region with over 3 million industrious people, creates a favorable environment for foreign investors to do business here, especially in the agricultural sector," said Abdurahmanov.
Noting recently signed investment agreements between Andijan region and Chinese companies, the governor said it is the result of successful negotiations between representatives and specialists of the two countries.
"These agreements with a total amount of over 500 million U.S. dollars are of great importance to the further development of the economy and improving the well-being of the population of the region, and are evidence of the dynamic progress of the Uzbek-Chinese strategic partnership," he said.
Abdurahmanov said that high-quality fruits and vegetables grown here are sought after in the international market, especially cherries, over 27,000 tons of which are harvested annually.
The 130-hectare free economic zone, named Andijan Farm, has all the necessary conditions for the operation of foreign business entities and provides special benefits and privileges in accordance with local laws, the governor explained.
The Andijan region holds a strategic geographical location as it occupies a key place in the China-Central Asia-Europe transport route, which runs through Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Currently, out of 333 foreign enterprises registered in the region, 83 are established by Chinese entrepreneurs, and they employ more than 3,000 people, according to Abdurahmonov. He added that these enterprises have so far exported products worth more than 16 million dollars.
The trade volume between the Andijan region and Chinese companies for the first nine months of this year amounted to 237.6 million dollars, of which exports were worth 42.6 million dollars and imports 195 million dollars.
The governor believes there is great potential for bilateral trade and relations.
"We are ready to make proposals to the President and the Government of Uzbekistan to create a favorable investment climate for investors," Abdurahmanov concluded. Enditem