The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
On November 11, Samarkand will host the summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS). Last year, at the summit held in Istanbul, Turkey, it was decided to change the name of the Turkic Council to the Organization of Turkic States. Currently, the structure includes countries such as Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan. While Hungary is an observer, Turkmenistan is its permanent guest as a neutral country.
The goal of the Organization of Turkic States is to develop mutually beneficial cooperation between member states. Its main tasks are promotion of regional and bilateral cooperation, political, legal protection, trade-economic, energy, transport, bank finance, cultural-humanitarian fields.
As part of preparations for the first summit of the Organization of Turkic States to be held in Samarkand, a number of events and conferences are being held in Uzbekistan.
On October 25 Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Jamshid Khodjayev met with Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States Baghdad Amreyev. The parties exchanged views on the current issues of bilateral cooperation and prospects for its further development in priority areas.
Issues of preparing the first summit of the Organization of Turkic States, which will be held in November in the city of Samarkand, the 11th meeting of the ministers of economy and trade of the OTS countries and major events within the framework of the summit were discussed. An agreement was reached to intensify mutual interaction to organize events at a high level and conduct them in a meaningful way.
The prospects for further enhancing cooperation in trade, investment and financial spheres within the framework of the Organization were considered. The parties are interested in speeding up the process of signing the Agreement on the establishment of a Joint Investment Fund. Specific measures have been outlined to implement the initiatives “Research Center for Trade Cooperation of the Turkic States” and “Engineering and Technology Center”.
The importance of the implementation of these initiatives for further strengthening trade, economic and investment ties between the OTS countries was noted.
Following the meeting, the parties agreed on the issues of holding practical events and timely implementation of the agreements and initiatives. The need for strengthening multifaceted cooperation between Uzbekistan and the OTS was also noted.
On October 26 Samarkand hosted a meeting of ministers in charge of ICT of the Organization of Turkic States.
Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States Baghdad Amreyev emphasized that this fourth meeting of ICT ministers corresponds to the agenda of the summit of the heads of state of the Organization to be held in November this year in Samarkand and will serve to determine the upcoming prospects for cooperation.
“Today, when the Organization of Turkic States has taken its rightful place at the international level, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties between member states are being strengthened, the development of cooperation between our countries in information and communication technologies is of great importance”, Baghdad Amreyev said. – The reason is that innovative and digital ecosystems are being widely introduced worldwide, including in the Turkic states. Digital technologies are widely used in trade and economic relations, in exports and imports. This is turning into a profitable network not only for the private sector, but also for states. Therefore, it is necessary to deepen the integration of IT among the members of the Organization, to widely use the systems created jointly. In this regard, the system established between Azerbaijan and Türkiye in digital technologies has fully justified itself, and the accession of other countries to it will be beneficial for all of us. We have every reason to implement the President’s initiative to create smart cities jointly.
Representatives of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye and Azerbaijan expressed their views and presented several initiatives and ideas.
The Minister for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sherzod Shermatov noted that Türkiye acts as a link between the states of the Organization and Europe in digital technologies. The Minister of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Bagdat Mussin, spoke about the project to create a professional network of modern innovative systems.
The ministers signed a memorandum on the issues discussed.
On October 28 Tashkent hosted the sixth meeting of the ministers of transport of the Organization of Turkic States.
The meeting, chaired by Uzbekistan, was attended by the Ministers of Transport of Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Türkiye, Hungary, Turkmenistan, the OTS Secretary General and international experts working in this field.
The event aimed at ensuring cooperation in transport and communications and further development of economic relations between the organization's member countries was led by the Secretary General of the organization Baghdad Amreyev.
The Minister of Transport of Uzbekistan Ilkhom Mahkamov noted that trade and economic cooperation between the Turkic states are developing at an accelerated pace. In 2021, Uzbekistan’s foreign trade turnover with member states amounted to $8.3 billion. The volume of exports amounted to $3.1 billion, and imports – $5.3 billion.
It was noted that the volume of cargo transportation between Uzbekistan and the member countries of the Organization last year amounted to 27.6 million tons, of which more than 80 percent fell to the share of rail, 18 percent to the share of road transport.
Following the meeting, an Agreement on International Multimodal Transportation between the Member States of the Organization of Turkic States and the Program of Interaction in Transport was signed.
A launching ceremony of the E-permit project, a system for the electronic exchange of permit forms for cargo transportation, took place.
On November 7 in preparation for the Summit, a meeting of high-ranking officials of the OTS was held at the International Institute for Central Asia in Tashkent.
The event was attended by the heads of relevant agencies of the member countries and observers, representatives of the OTS Secretariat, the International Turkic Academy and the International Turkic Culture and Heritage Foundation.
The parties discussed the agenda of the next meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the OTS countries, which will be held in Samarkand on November 10. It is planned to consider the program of the event and drafts of all acts that will be included in the program of events. The officials also exchanged views on other issues related to the preparations for the summit.