The Uzbek and Azerbaijani people share a strong bond that has been formed over centuries of cultural and spiritual values and traditions. This is the basis for developing successful and beneficial cooperation between the two countries, based on mutual trust and respect.
The modern republics of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan are growing closer together, demonstrated by their legal and contractual framework. The friendship between the two countries’ leaders, Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Ilham Aliyev, has elevated the relationship to a new level and established a solid foundation for constructive collaboration in all areas.
The visit of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to the Republic of Azerbaijan to attend the 7th Summit of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (now the Organization of Turkic States) in Baku in October 2019 was a significant milestone in Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan relations. During the visit, the heads of state discussed ways to enhance cooperation and set out priority tasks for the future, with particular focus on creating business connections between leading companies and entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan and developing collaboration in industry, agriculture, transport, and other areas.
The reciprocal visit of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to Uzbekistan in June 2022 was also significant. It began with the inauguration of a renovated street, avenue, and memorial bas-relief of Heydar Aliyev in Tashkent, attended by both Presidents. As a result of the strong relationship between the two leaders, cooperation is steadily growing, with agreements made to accelerate the activities of the joint intergovernmental commission and organize mutual visits of delegations from the two countries’ regions.
The first Uzbekistan-Azerbaijan Interregional Forum and the Third Meeting of the Business Council, held in Tashkent in February this year, provided a great platform for developing a direct dialogue between business circles and further expanding cooperation. In 2022 alone, the trade turnover between the two countries increased by 1.5 times and 16 percent since the beginning of this year.
The two countries are also making progress in industrial cooperation, with the number of joint ventures created in Uzbekistan with Azerbaijani capital having increased fourfold in the past five years, and around 40 enterprises having been launched in two years. More than 70 enterprises with Uzbek investments operate in Azerbaijan. Both sides are also working together to develop cooperation in energy and transport, as well as interregional, cultural, and humanitarian ties.
The two countries have the potential to increase their mutual trade to $1 billion in the coming years, and the signing of the Declaration on deepening strategic collaboration and building up comprehensive cooperation by the Presidents during Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Tashkent provides a reliable foundation for strengthening the partnership between the two states.
The current reforms in Uzbekistan, as well as the positive changes achieved in Central Asia thanks to Uzbekistan’s efforts, create favorable conditions for further developing beneficial cooperation in all areas, including a constructive dialogue between the countries’ regions.
The upcoming state visit of the President of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, to Azerbaijan is crucial for further developing the strategic partnership and strengthening relations between Central Asian and South Caucasian countries.
Gayrat Khonnazarov, UzA