Uzbekistan, a country that has no connection to the sea and is located in the center of the Asian continent, has a great dependence on foreign commerce, both for export and import. Today its main suppliers are Russia, Germany, South Korea, the USA and China. The main receivers of exports from Uzbekistan are Russia, Italy, Tajikistan, South Korea and Kazakhstan.
The exports are based on cotton – engine of the Uzbek economy, Uzbekistan is the world’s fourth largest cotton exporter – leather, and silk, with a fairly well developed textile industry, although it is based mainly on raw materials. More than 40% of the working population is employed in this primary sector. Due to its extreme dependence on cotton, the government has in recent years supported the privatization and liberalization of many sectors, such as finance and energy. The country has large reserves of copper, silver, gas and gold, with great investment potential. In 2009 gas and oil exports represented 40% of the country’s foreign currency reserves. In the last few years, the government has started a wide privatization process, has joined international financial institutions, and improved the climate for foreign investment. Two of the most active countries investing in Uzbekistan are Russia and China, especially in the energy, mining and telecommunications sectors. South Korea is an important investor in the aeronautic industry. To support foreign investment, the government has included financial and taxation incentives in several laws . The country has not been affected by the international crisis, mainly due to its relative economic isolation. With respect to relations with Turkey, up to the end of 2010 there were around 500 Turkish-Uzbek joint ventures and 130 companies with 100% Turkish capital. The total commercial exchange between the two countries is around 800 million EUR, and has been growing over the past 10 years, due to the good political relations and cultural links between the countries .