Uzbekistan and South Korea to bring 'high-tech agenda' to their partnership

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The presidents of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and the Republic of Korea, Yun Sok Yol, during extended negotiations involving the delegations of both countries, discussed the formation of a new "high-tech agenda" for a special strategic partnership for the next three years. This was reported by the press service of the President of Uzbekistan.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed declaring this period the "New Era of High-Tech and Innovative Cooperation between the Two Countries."

Seven Directions of the Strategy
The governments have been tasked with preparing a strategic program to establish a regional high-tech hub in Uzbekistan. Seven priority areas of interaction have been proposed as the "anchor" directions of the strategy.

1. Partnership in Critical Mineral Resources:** "This involves deep processing of the resource base with the creation of a complete value-added chain," clarified the press service of the President of Uzbekistan.

2. Strategic Cooperation in Semiconductor Industry:** "There are plans to establish the first full-fledged semiconductor production cluster in our country in the region," the statement noted.

3. Comprehensive Partnership in the Chemical Industry:** New projects have been prepared for the production of green hydrogen and ammonia, as well as the production of finished rubber products.

4. Deepening Cooperation in Mechanical Engineering:** This spring, an assembly line for KIA cars was launched in the Jizzakh region. Next year, the start of full-scale sedan production with a capacity of over 60,000 units per year is planned.

5. Technology Transfer in the Development of "Smart" Agriculture:** Agreements have already been reached to create modern greenhouse farms and garden complexes in the regions of Uzbekistan based on renewable energy sources.

6. Infrastructure Modernization and Urban Development Program:** Korean banks and companies have shown high interest in the modernization of transport infrastructure, designing, and construction of residential and commercial real estate on the principles of public-private partnership.

7. Modern and Secure Energy:** To work out promising projects in the field of "green" energy and increase energy efficiency, the parties agreed to resume the strategic dialogue at the level of energy ministers and hold their next meeting in Uzbekistan soon.

Other Agreements
The parties noted the successful partnership with the Export-Import Bank of Korea and the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), the portfolio of joint projects of which has already exceeded $3 billion.

An agreement was reached on new projects worth $2 billion under the EDCF, doubling compared to the previous period, including the supply of high-speed electric trains, the implementation of the second stage of the "Tashkent Pharma Park" project, and equipping educational institutions.

In preparation for the current summit, a new project portfolio has been formed for the aforementioned directions totaling $9.6 billion.

An agreement was reached during the negotiations to accelerate the preparation and implementation of projects in the medical cluster, including the establishment of a university, an adult hospital, and an oncology clinic. In addition, a long-term program will be launched to improve the qualifications of medical personnel in specialized centers in Korea.

The parties noted the accumulated experience of cooperation in the field of education. In March of last year, the first Uzbek-Korean Rectors' Forum was held. Next year, another meeting will be held.

The presidents supported proposals to establish an institute in Uzbekistan based on the model of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

In addition, the opening of a Center for Digital Technology and Artificial Intelligence Training in partnership with the Korean Institute of Public Administration and the National Institute for Human Resources Development at the Academy of Public Administration in Tashkent is being considered.

Attention is paid to expanding Korean language learning programs, including with the involvement of experts from Korea.

Successful training of Uzbek citizens has been noted in the centers for professional education established with the assistance of KOICA in Tashkent, Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Fergana, and Urgench. The Korean side expressed support for the creation of a network of such centers in other regions of Uzbekistan with financial and technical assistance.

To further bring the peoples of the two countries together, it has been proposed to declare the next year the "Year of Mutual Exchanges between Uzbekistan and Korea" with the cross-conduct of cultural events.

In 2027, the 90th anniversary of the Korean diaspora's residence in Uzbekistan will be widely celebrated. The parties agreed to open a museum and library in the House of Korean Culture and Art in Tashkent by that date.

The President of Uzbekistan noted the significant contribution of the Korean side to the development of "Electronic Government," assistance in developing the "Digital Uzbekistan" strategy, strengthening the potential of the IT park, and creating U-Enter business incubators.

In this regard, the parties agreed to expand partnership in the field of artificial intelligence, outsourcing business processes, and digital technologies.

Proposals in the areas of combating corruption, ecology, labor migration, and other important directions were also discussed.

The visit of the President of South Korea, Yun Sok Yel, to Uzbekistan began on June 13 and will end on June 15 with a visit to the historical sights of Uzbekistan in Samarkand.

June 14, 2024