On June 17th, the Center of Analysis of International Relations and the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan held an online conference on the topic "Prospects of bilateral cooperation in the context of global instability". The chairman of the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Eldor Aripov stated that relations between the two countries are developing further. He said that he believed the visit would give momentum to the multilateral relations between two fraternal countries. According to Aripov, the trade turnover between the two countries grew by 20% in the first three months of this year, and the annual trade turnover might reach half a billion US dollars in the near future. Aripov discussed the country's present agricultural potential, the production of construction materials, and the potential for future collaboration in the fields of tourism and agrologistics.
The AIR Center Chairman Farid Shafiyev emphasized the need for improving the two countries' long-standing and close bilateral cooperation in the present global instability. In this regard, Shafiyev emphasized the importance of Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan non-aligned status in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. He also stated that the common denominator between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan is that, unlike many other nations, they pursue independent foreign policy while maintaining internal stability. At the same time, Shafiyev emphasized the importance of think tanks in the development of future bilateral relations. He also discussed the future of Azerbaijan-Uzbekistan cooperation within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States, as well as the opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the sphere of alternative energy. In conclusion, Shafiyev noted that Azerbaijan highly appreciates Uzbekistan's support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the participation of Uzbek companies in the restoration of Karabakh.
The panelists focused on trade, investment, and industrial cooperation, as well as the potential of trans-regional transportation and communications and prospects for cooperation in the energy sector. According to Shukhrat Irgashev, senior researcher at Uzbekistan's Information and Analytical Center for International Relations, more than 130 bilateral documents have been signed between the two countries since May 27, 1996, including the Agreement on Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. According to Zafar Amonov, Deputy Head of Department of Uzbekistan's Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, trade turnover was $120 million last year, with 42 percent increase from 2020. Aykhan Gadashov, the director of the Azexport.az portal managed by the Center of Analysis and Communication of Economic Reforms of the Republic of Azerbaijan, spoke about bilateral economic relations and the portal, emphasizing the great potential for further development of bilateral trade relations. Mukhsinjon Kholmukhammedov, Deputy Director of the Uzbek Center for Economic Research and Reforms, discussed the two countries' ability to export free of charge goods to European markets.
Political analyst Tofig Abbasov and head of the “South Caucasus” political science club Ilgar Velizade emphasized the growing importance of the Middle Corridor following the Victory of Azerbaijan in 2020, as well as factor of internal political stability in both countries in current geopolitical situation. Tofig Abbasov discussed the prospect of building a unified information platform for collaborating in development processes regarding the Middle Corridor.