TASHKENT, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China and Uzbekistan on Wednesday agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in trade, energy, finance, transport and other areas, pledging to give priority to building stable trade ties.
China and Uzbekistan "will continue to push forward bilateral economic and trade cooperation and jointly take measures to further improve their trading structure and increase the two-way trade volume," said a joint statement signed by visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao and his counterpart Islam Karimov after their talks in Tashkent.
The two sides agreed to fully implement a long-term trade agreement signed in late 2009, according to the statement.
The leaders of the two countries spoke highly of the China-Central Asia natural gas pipeline project and bilateral cooperation in energy and resources exploration, development and trade, said the statement.
The two sides will provide what is needed for the building and safe, stable operation of the China-Uzbekistan natural gas pipeline, and agree to make efforts to develop bilateral trade in natural resources.
They also agree to expand the capacity of the China-Uzbekistan natural gas pipeline in line with the principle of mutual benefit, said the statement.
The two sides agree that non-resources and high-tech sectors should be a key part of upcoming cooperation between the two countries. Related government departments will be tasked with conducting talks on planning such cooperation and launching joint projects.
In the statement, China reiterated its plan to provide preferential long-term credit as agreed between the two sides.
The two sides also agreed to enhance coordination at international and regional economic and financial organizations.
Efforts will be boosted on both sides to improve trade and investment environment. It is agreed that a new agreement on investment facilitation and protection will help bilateral investment cooperation.
The two countries are willing to work together on investment projects in the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone, an economic zone in southwestern Uzbekistan, said the statement.
The two sides will also push forward cooperation in transport, telecommunications and agriculture.
The Chinese president on Wednesday started a state visit to Uzbekistan, where he met with Karimov and will also attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Friday.
Hu will also pay a state visit to Kazakhstan.