On August 17, 2012, the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce held its 2012 Uzbekistan-U.S. Annual Business Forum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Attended by representatives of 13 AUCC member-companies, the forum drew high-level participation from members of the U.S. and Uzbek Government. 1st Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov reiterated the Uzbek Government continued support to further develop commercial relations with the U.S. businesses and, particularly members of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce in his opening statement. Addressing the forum, Carolyn Lamm, AUCC Chairperson added: "AUCC has been a vocal advocate for stronger business relations between US and Uzbekistan. It also has worked to improve America's understanding of the significant value that our members are adding to both economies by creating economic, financial and cross cultural opportunities for American and Uzbek people. Today, AUCC is the only trade association in the United States and Uzbekistan that exclusively represents interests of U.S. companies doing business in Uzbekistan. To our members, the annual business forum is an opportunity to go over their achievements and successes; ensure continuing support of the trade agenda by the U.S. and Uzbek Government officials; discuss ways for improving our business relations and eliminating barriers that hinder the successful implementation of joint projects and contracts, and most important, this results in more joint ventures and a higher rate of localized production in line with the Uzbek government policies."
The forum featured presentations by high level officials from the U.S and Uzbek Government, the U.S private industry, international financial organizations, Uzbek ministries and trade associations. It was proof of the increased interest by the U.S. and Uzbek Governments in using U.S. commercial projects and investments to advance both nations' business agenda so that the economies of the U.S. and Uzbekistan can prosper. AUCC members' reviewed their projects and investments in Uzbekistan. Their review highlighted a consensus among the U.S. businesses that Uzbekistan offers plenty of opportunities to do business and generate profits for the American and Uzbek people. In his opening remarks, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert O. Blake drew the audience attention to the U.S. support of "....Uzbekistan's efforts to promote reforms that will increase economic growth. And the Deputy Prime Minister has outlined many of the important reforms that are going to take place. Representatives from the U.S. Trade Representative's office and other trade agencies are here today to explore opportunities. The United States has a strong track record assisting private investment and trade in Uzbekistan through the Export-Import Bank, USAID, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation."
The reiteration of Uzbekistan's emphasis on developing business ties with the U.S. was stressed at the meeting between Uzbek President Islam Karimov and members of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce. The dialogue focused on how the U.S. and Uzbekistan can further strengthen our trade and investments relations with the Uzbek leader calling for more active and engaged role of the U.S. businesses in the Uzbek economy and using the present momentum to build positive economic results for both sides. The AUCC highlighted that its members had tabled over $2.8 billion in potential new projects and highlighted the success they have had to date.
All the participants of the forum concluded that the U.S. has a strong commercial presence in Uzbekistan and that the AUCC goal to further advocate for the intergovernmental business agenda supports our governments' efforts to create a business environment that is conducive to our companies' productive engagement in Uzbekistan. Increased exports from the U.S., enhanced employment opportunities and commercially viable projects in Uzbekistan were among main topics that the forum participants pledged to work on. AUCC is confident that the forum's theme and the concerted efforts by the forum's participants will continue to add value to the ongoing process of strengthening bilateral relations.