The UAE and Uzbekistan are increasing cooperation as the CIS country seeks foreign direct investment, while UAE re-exports are growing, a study recently commissioned by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry shows.
Details of the study, compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit, were released on the occasion of a regional trade mission to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, organised by Dubai Chamber, from June 2 to 5.
According to the study, despite a difficult environment for investors, FDI continues to rise, led by the energy sector. The government has an ambitious $47bn infrastructure development programme for 2011-2015, which it plans to finance through loans and also through FDI sources.
The government is actively seeking investment in energy, metallurgy, agriculture, light industry, electro-technical and pharmaceuticals to support privatisation efforts.
Meanwhile, according to the report, FDI is also sought in sectors including real estate, logistics and tourism, which contains untapped potential in attracting visitors from Islamic countries to visit holy shrines.
UAE companies already present in Uzbekistan include Masdar, the International Petroleum Investment Company, Emaar Industries and Investments and Mubadala.
Hamad Buamim, Director General, Dubai Chamber, said: "Uzbekistan offers Dubai businesses with a number of options for expansion or joint cooperation. For instance, Dubai's expertise, in construction and real estate, logistics and tourism can be exported to Uzbekistan with success.
"Our regional trade mission to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan comes at a strategic time as we seek to strengthen our relationships with the CIS region. Both Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have strong potential for investment in the right sectors and we are aiming to enhance cooperation with governments and private sectors," he said.
"The trade sector is one that we see opportunities for enhancement between Dubai and Uzbekistan. For instance, UAE imports from Uzbekistan have continued to rise steadily over the past five years to 2011 to reach US$ 6.15 million. Meanwhile, UAE re-exports to Uzbekistan have begun to rise again after falling 42% since 2007," Buamim said.
During the trade mission in Uzbekistan, the Dubai Chamber delegation will participate in the Uzbekistan-UAE Business Forum, entitled 'Connecting Dubai and the CIS' and a roundtable discussion called 'Turning Ideas into Actions'.
Dubai Chamber is focused on enhancing ties with the CIS region following the successful launch of its branch office in Baku, Azerbaijan in November last year.