TASHKENT — The American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan (AmCham) hosted a U.S. Department of Commerce certified trade mission to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, from June 4-6, 2023. The trade mission followed U.S. Department of Commerce Under Secretary Marisa Lago’s October 2022 and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s March 2023 visit to Tashkent, as well as a strong turnout by U.S. companies at recent business events in Uzbekistan including the Second Tashkent International Investment Forum April 27-28 and the EBRD Annual Meeting in Samarkand May 16-18.
The mission consisted of U.S. companies focused on infrastructure development, including in the digital, energy/power, education, and weather subsectors. Delegates met with senior Government of Uzbekistan officials, including Minister for Development of Information Technologies and Communications Sherzod Shermatov, First Deputy Minister at Ministry of Energy Azim Akhmedkhadjaev, and Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Uzbekistan Umid Mamadaminov. The U.S. firms also met with potential private sector partners in Uzbekistan through b2b meetings designed to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties and help U.S. companies realize strategic projects in support of Uzbekistan’s reform agenda. The trade mission came on the heels of the largest U.S. investment in Uzbekistan in history: a $1 billion investment by U.S. Fortune 500 company Air Products to acquire a natural gas-to-syngas processing facility, announced on May 25.
“We engaged with top-tier public figures in Uzbekistan to delve into potential investment avenues, evaluate the market viability, and gain insights into their tax structure,” noted Haktan Hamit Işçi and Altan Atabarut, delegates representing SAS Institute, an industry leader in advanced analytics software and solutions. “We pinpointed substantial opportunities for SAS to lend its prowess in artificial intelligence (AI) and advanced analytics to expedite Uzbekistan’s digital transition, thanks to the well-coordinated meetings set up by the AmCham Uzbekistan, the Commercial Service, and Embassy Tashkent teams.”
Speaking to the delegation, U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan Jonathan Henick noted “In recent years, Uzbekistan has achieved remarkable economic growth in the face of serious global challenges…U.S. companies—working in partnership with the Embassy, AmCham, and the U.S. Commercial Service—can and should be an essential partner to the government of Uzbekistan as it continues along its path of economic development.”
“With a dynamic, literate, and entrepreneurial population of 35 million, Uzbekistan has the foundation needed to grow its significant economic footprint in the region…Uzbekistan has demonstrated an ambition to both welcome foreign trade and investment and to diversify trading partners,” said Heather Byrnes, Regional Senior Commercial Officer, U.S. Commercial Service, U.S. Department of Commerce.
The business mission was made possible with the support of the Ministry of Industry, Investment, and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan. AmCham Uzbekistan was established in 1997 to promote and support economic and commercial cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Uzbekistan.