At the Round Table Uzbekistan on May 6, 2022, interested textile and clothing companies were able to inform themselves about the business opportunities in Uzbekistan.
Highly flanked by the German Ambassador in Tashkent, H.E. Dr. Tilo Klinner, and the Uzbek Ambassador in Berlin, the online conference showed current opportunities and business opportunities and presented the most important facts about the new textile hotspot on the Silk Road to the more than 40 participants. An efficient textile and clothing industry is growing in Uzbekistan. The fully integrated textile value chain offers a wide range of opportunities to intensify business relations between Germany and Uzbekistan. “Political reforms and market opening are accelerating the upswing in the industry,” says Dr. Uwe Strohbach, travel correspondent and long-time Central Asia expert at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI).
Today, the traditional cotton country scores with modern production facilities, an integrated value chain and constantly growing exports. Martin Schorsch, CIM force at the Uzbek textile and clothing association UZTEKSTILPROM, presented the key data on the industry, the importance of the various textile processing stages as well as the industry’s market development efforts in Uzbekistan, which are becoming increasingly successful.
However, the Round Table did not hide current obstacles, such as logistical challenges in view of the sanctions against Russia or the high demand for skilled workers, who currently cannot be trained as quickly as the industry is growing.
“The comparatively high social and environmental standards and the ZERO tariff policy of the EU are remarkable and highly interesting for German buyers,” says Silvia Jungbauer, Managing Director of Gesamtmasche. The EU rewards the country’s above-average efforts to implement international environmental, social and human rights standards with extensive tariff preferences.
Ultimately, the country’s undeniable progress in the spring of 2022 led the U.S. Cotton Campaign to drop its call for a cotton boycott after a decade of “Cotton Pledge.” “This completely opens the door to Western customers for Uzbekistan.” In addition to the end of the cotton campaign’s boycott call, the ILO also underpinned Uzbekistan’s transformation into a sustainable location for textile production in its monitoring report on the Uzbek cotton year 2021. Today, production is modern, and child and forced labor in the cotton fields has demonstrably disappeared.
In times of disrupted supply chains and great uncertainty in procurement and logistics, Uzbekistan can be a good location alternative. The experts shed light on the development of the textile value chain in Uzbekistan and provided information on the foreign trade environment. Textile and clothing companies not only had the opportunity to get an overview of production and procurement opportunities in Uzbekistan at the online conference. In addition, you also received valuable contacts to experts, service providers and central contact persons in the industry on site. Facts about transport and logistics and selected company presentations rounded off the event.
As part of the GSP+ special preferences, products in the EU enjoy duty-free market access. The status is only granted to developing countries that make particularly large and demonstrable progress in social and environmental standards. This is a great opportunity for international cooperation. Domestic and foreign companies are currently being given the opportunity to strengthen their business activities through generous investment programs of the Uzbek government.
Interested companies can request the event documents from Gesamtmasche.