Secretary Pompeo’s Visit to Uzbekistan
OFFICE OF THE SPOKESPERSON
FEBRUARY 2, 2020
Secretary Pompeo will travel to Uzbekistan on February 2-3, where he will meet President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov to reaffirm U.S. support for Uzbekistan’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, as well as its political, economic, and human rights reforms.
THE UNITED STATES AND UZBEKISTAN COOPERATE TO PROMOTE REGIONAL ECONOMIC CONNECTIVITY AND SECURITY
- President Mirziyoyev’s visit to the White House in 2018 marked the beginning of a new era of strategic partnership between the United States and Uzbekistan and Uzbekistan’s emerging role as a regional leader. The United States was among the first nations to recognize Uzbekistan’s independence in 1991, and since 2018 our cooperation has significantly deepened in all sectors.
- The United States and Uzbekistan work closely together to promote connectivity among the Central Asian states, including Afghanistan. President Mirziyoyev’s “Neighbors First Policy” has contributed substantially to increased regional cooperation and trade.
- In November 2019, Uzbekistan hosted the second-ever consultative meeting of all Central Asian leaders and agreed to develop closer regional cooperation in a wide range of fields, including energy and trade.
- Uzbekistan has been a strong supporter of the United States-led C5+1 initiative. While in Tashkent, Secretary Pompeo will participate in a ministerial meeting with the C5 Foreign Ministers.
- The United States and Uzbekistan cooperate closely to maintain security along the border with Afghanistan and prevent the movement of foreign terrorist fighters, narcotics traffickers and other criminal elements, while promoting the legitimate flow of people and goods. The United States dedicated $2.2 million to these efforts in Fiscal Year 2018.
- Uzbekistan is a strong partner in ongoing U.S. efforts to support regional peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. President Mirziyoyev has demonstrated strong support for Afghanistan’s political and economic reintegration into the region.
- In December 2019, the United States, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan committed to trilateral efforts to re-integrate Afghanistan with its Central Asian neighbors during the Heart of Asia-Istanbul Process, a regional grouping launched in 2011 to foster dialogue between Afghanistan and its neighbors.
OUR BILATERAL ECONOMIC RELATIONSHIP IS GROWING
- U.S. trade with Uzbekistan increased by two-thirds last year, from $315 million in 2018 to $514 million in 2019. Through November 2019, U.S. exports to Uzbekistan jumped to $482 million, making Uzbekistan a leading export destination for U.S. goods in Central Asia.
- Thirteen U.S. companies participated in a U.S. Department of Commerce Certified Trade Mission to Uzbekistan in June 2019, during which U.S. companies were introduced to opportunities in key sectors, potential local business partners and buyers, and industry and government officials.
- U.S. companies are making major investments in Uzbekistan, exceeding $1 billon. During President Mirziyoyev’s White House visit in 2018, Uzbekistan signed more than 20 business deals with leading U.S. companies, which, if fully implemented, will amount to more than $4.8 billion in value. These planned investments are commercially viable projects that will create thousands of jobs in both the United States and Uzbekistan.
- Continuing progress on privatization, regulatory reform, rule of law, and accession to the World Trade Organization will make Uzbekistan even more attractive for U.S. investors, creating jobs and other economic opportunities in both nations. The United States has provided the Uzbek Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade with technical advice on the WTO accession process.
EDUCATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND EXCHANGES STRENGTHEN PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE TIES
- To support key Uzbek reforms, the United States is providing significant assistance to promote the development of capital markets, improve budgeting processes and the taxation system, and to strengthen the rule of law, with a particular focus on strengthening judicial independence, reforming the criminal code, and enhancing the legal education and capacity of defense attorneys.
- The United States has dedicated more than $30 million to improve the quality of education nationwide, provide English language instruction, and promote innovative university partnerships. Almost $10 million of this additional funding is for English language instruction, in support of Uzbekistan’s “English Speaking Nation” initiative.
- Over the past two years, more than 300 Uzbekistani students, teachers, and professionals have participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs in the United States.
- Through alumni initiatives, more than 4,600 U.S. exchange alumni in Uzbekistan promote shared goals such as business development and economic opportunity, civic participation, and empowerment of girls and women.
- In 2018, the United States established the Central Asia University Partnerships Program (UniCEN), a network of more than 70 Central Asian universities that promotes sustainable collaboration between U.S. and Uzbek universities through training, networking opportunities, and grant partnerships.