Photos: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS)

Both countries take pride in the excellent level of relations nurtured down the years and look forward to the opening of several new doors of cooperation especially in the wake of the visit by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the coming week

THE Roundtable discussions were held on 10th January 2023 and was organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Singapore, the International Institute for Central Asia and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore . It was themed “Uzbekistan and Singapore: Prospects for Mutually Beneficial Partnership.”  

The gathering of government officials and business leaders as well as academics from both countries took place at the Parkroyal Collection Marina Bay. They included representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Trade and Industry of Singapore as well as experts of the leading analytical and research structures of this country.

Attendees also included representatives of RSIS, the National University of Singapore, the Middle East Institute (MEI), the Singapore Cooperation Center for Central and Southeast Asia and International Partners (SCE). Representatives from the Uzbekistan side included experts from MICA, the Center for Economic Research and Reforms, the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Sectors for Cooperation
The Singaporean representatives paid special attention to the prospects of expanding economic ties between the two countries. The interest is indicated for cooperation in such areas as “green” energy, innovation, digitalization and energy-efficient technologies. It was also appreciated that the large-scale reforms implemented in Uzbekistan create additional conditions for building mutually beneficial Uzbek-Singaporean cooperation in all areas.

Within the framework of the discussions, the participants of the roundtable analyzed in detail the state and prospects of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Singapore, identified priority areas requiring development and consistent expansion, made proposals that would contribute to further strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations, including between the countries of Central Asia and Southeast Asia.

In general, participants were informed in detail about the Development Strategy of the New Uzbekistan, the priorities and achievements of the regional policy of the state, the promotion of the initiatives of the country’s Leader on the interconnectedness of Central and South Asia.

Enhancing Trade & Tourism
Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, the Executive Deputy Chairmanof RSIS, reaffirmed warm relations with Uzbekistan and stated that Singapore holds regular business forums with Uzbekistan. He also discussed ways to enhance trade and tourism flow with Uzbek ministers, including initiatives to identify and nurture potential business partnerships and networks for our companies and increase air connectivity between both countries. They also spoke about exploring opportunities and enhancing bilateral economic ties through the Chongqing Connectivity Initiative-International Land-Sea Trade Corridor (CCI-ILSTC).

The attending participants of the roundtable expressed that in order for Singaporeans to expand trade and investment, direct connections between Uzbekistan and Singapore would be an advantage and for Singaporeans to look at Uzbekistan as a new destination to source food products, the freight charges would need to be competitive.

In his opening speech, Ambassador K. Shakirov gave a high assessment of the state and prospects of bilateral Uzbek-Singaporean cooperation. Over the years, Uzbekistan and Singapore have built a strong political and economic partnership thanks to the established trusting relation between the two countries. The dynamic of interaction in all area are steadily growing. Active economic cooperation and investment activities for rich cultural and humanitarian cooperation have become important components of the close ties between the two countries.

Both sides were keen about enhancing collaborations and agreed that with the upcoming visit of the President of Uzbekistan, there will be an opening of several new doors of cooperation between the two countries.

Ambassador Kakhramon Shakirov
Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary
Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Singapore

Mr Obid Khakimov, Director, Centre for Economic Research & Reforms (CERR)
New Uzbekistan- Opportunities for Expanding Economic Cooperation with Singapore

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong,
Executive Deputy Chairman
S. Rajaratnam School of Inernational Studies
Nanyang Technologoical Univeristy, Singapore

Mr Batir Tursunov, Deputy Director , International Institute of Central Asia
Uzbekistan & Singapore: Perspectives of a Mutually Beneficial Partnership

Ms Denise Pereira Carrie-Anne, Director (Americas Division & Europe & Central Asia Division)
Minstry of Trade & Industry (MTI) Singapore

Mr Farrukh Tursunov, Direcor, Information & Analytical Dept. (IAMMO)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mr Raffaello Pantucci, Senior Fellow, International Centre for Political Violence & Terroorism Research, RSIS, NTU

Mr Oybek Khamraev, Head of Main Dept., Analysis & Planning of International Cooperation
Ministry of Investment, Industry & Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mr Eric Lee, Director, Central & Southeast Asia and International Partnerships,
Singapore Cooperation Enterprise

Mr Ashraf Khojaev, Director, Department of Economic Diplomacy,
Mnistry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mr Azamat Sulimanov, Leading Researcher, Institute of Strategic and Regional Studies,
Adminstration of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Moderator for the Q&A Session
Mr Nordirbek Soliev, Senior Analyst, International Centre for Political Violence & Terrorism Research, RSIS, NTU