On Wednesday, Deputy United States Trade Representative Wendy Cutler led meetings with government officials from Uzbekistan. The 10-member Uzbekistan delegation was headed by the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Mr. Elyor Ganiev, and included government officials, CEOs, and directors of state-owned companies. The U.S. delegation included officials from USTR, the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Energy, Labor, State, and Treasury, as well as the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the Overseas Private Investment Cooperation.
Both sides highlighted increased bilateral trade and Uzbekistan’s potential for attracting U.S. investment. Deputy USTR Cutler encouraged continued trade cooperation and highlighted the need to address concerns in areas such as currency conversion, labor, and intellectual property rights. Officials from Uzbekistan expressed their interest in following best practices and achieving consistency with provisions of the WTO agreements as Uzbekistan diversifies its economy and seeks new export markets. Other topics of discussion included: Uzbekistan’s next steps to advance its negotiations to join the World Trade Organization, border measures, regional trade issues, and the United States – Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).