Relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and France
At present, relations between Uzbekistan and France are developing positively in all areas. It should be noted, that fruitful relations between the peoples of Uzbekistan and the France have centuries-old roots. Exchange of letters between Amir Temur and the Charles VI, King of France, which was conducted at the beginning of XV century, is a clear evidence of that. At that time France was on opposite end of the trans-continental Eurasian trade routes of the Silk Road, the territory of modern Uzbekistan was a crossroads.
The French Republic recognized the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan on January 3, 1992. Diplomatic relations between two countries were established on March 1, 1992.
The Embassy of France in Uzbekistan is functioning since June 1992. The Embassy of Uzbekistan in France is functioning since March, 1995.
H.E.Mr. Ravshan Usmanov, presented his credentials as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to France, to H.E.Mr. François Hollande, President of the French Republic on October 26, 2012.
Cooperation in political sphere
State and official visits of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to France held in 1993 and 1996, state visit of French President François Mitterrand held to Uzbekistan in 1994. Meeting between the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and French President Jacques Chirac held in June 1996 in the framework of the Summit of heads of EU state in Florence and in November 2002 NATO / EAPC Summit in Prague.
The regular dialogue is maintained between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan A.Kamilov visited France on October 15-16, 2012, when the regular round of political consultations at the level of foreign ministers took place.
The reciprocal visit of the French Foreign Minister L.Fabius to Uzbekistan in March, 2013 became an important event, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations, cooperation on important international and regional issues. During his visit, L.Fabius was received by President Islam Karimov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.Kamilov. The regular Uzbek-French political consultations held, as well as business forum with the participation of leading French companies was organized.
Delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Paris, headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs A.Kamilov visited France on November 6-7, 2014 to hold the ninth round of political consultations at the level of foreign ministers. This visit became an another important step in the strengthening of bilateral cooperation, promotion of foreign policy cooperation on topical issues of international and regional agenda.
Inter-parliamentary relations are consistently developing.
In 2008 the inter-parliamentary group on cooperation was established at the Senate of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Group of Friendship “Uzbekistan-France” functions at the Legislative chamber of Oliy Majlis since 2010.
The inter-parliamentary group “France-Central Asia” and the Group of Friendship “France-Uzbekistan” were established at the Senate of France. The Group of Friendship “France-Uzbekistan” was also established in the National Assembly.
The mutual visits of the parliamentarians are organized on a regular basis. They include the visits, organized by Uzbek side – visit of Mr.I.Sobirov, Chairman of the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan, to France in November 2006; delegations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, led by Mrs M.Radjabova, deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan (March 2010); Mr. U.Mukhammadiev, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan (May 2014); delegation of Uzbekistan, headed by Mr. M.Teshabaev, chairman of the Committee on Agriculture and Water Management of the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan (June 2014). Mr. K.Juraev, chairman of the Committee of Defense and Security of the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan visited France in September 2014.
The French side also organized a number of visits of members of parliament, such as the visits of the delegation of the Senate, headed by Mr. A.Dulait, chairman of the inter-parliamentary friendship group “France-Central Asia” in Uzbekistan (May, 2011 and September 2013), Mr. D.F.Kartron, Senator, deputy chairman of the Committee on culture, education and communication (February 2012), Mr. R.Blum, chairman of the friendship group “France-Uzbekistan” at the National Assembly (February 2012), Mrs N.Goulet, Senator, member of the parliamentary friendship group “France – Uzbekistan” in the French Senate (November, 2012 and May 2013), Mr. Th.Mariani, deputy chairman of the friendship group “France-Uzbekistan” at the National Assembly of France (May and December 2014, March 2015), Y.P. di Borgo, chairman of the interparliamentary friendship group “France-Central Asia” in the French Senate (March 2015) and C.Procaccia, senator, member of the inter-parliamentary friendship group “France – Uzbekistan” (March 2015).
An Agreement on cooperation between the Ombudsman of Uzbekistan and the Defender of the Rights of France was signed in June 2008.
Mr. U.Mukhammadiev, Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (Ombudsman), paid an official visit to France on 23-26 June, 2015.
In trade-economic sphere
At the present time, bilateral trade and economic co-operation between two countries is regulated by the provisions of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Uzbekistan and the EU.
During the state visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to France in October 1993 the following documents were signed:
– Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the French Republic on the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments (Paris, October 27, 1993);
– Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the French Republic on cultural, scientific and technical cooperation (Paris, October 27, 1993).
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov visited France in April 1996 with official visit. The Convention for avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion on income and capital has been signed during this visit.
The most-favored-nation status in mutual trade was established between two countries in accordance with the on Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between Uzbekistan and the European Union (1996).
France is one of important trade partners of Uzbekistan in Europe. In 2014, bilateral trade totaled USD 287,5 million.
Trade between Uzbekistan and France
Uzbek-French intergovernmental commission on trade-economic cooperation makes a significant contribution to the development of bilateral trade and economic relations. Holding such meetings is an effective tool for the analysis of the current state of bilateral cooperation, the elaboration of concrete proposals on further deepening of trade-economic and investment cooperation, with the consideration of concrete projects.
The 5th session of Uzbek-French intergovernmental commission on trade-economic cooperation took place in Paris in March 2014.
16 joint ventures, created with the participation of the French capital, operate in Uzbekistan, and one of them is with 100 percent French capital. Representatives of 12 French companies and firms are accredited in Uzbekistan.
In cultural-humanitarian sphere
Establishment of twin-sister relations between the cities of Rueil-Malmaison and Bukhara, Lyon and Samarkand, Versailles and Khiva is an evidence of interaction of cultures and traditions France with Uzbekistan, as well as fruitful development of the friendly relations between two countries.
The Association for Art and History of Temurids, which was created in 1988, as well as the Association “Avicenna-France”, which was created in 2004, have been successfully functioning in France. “Uzbekistan-France” friendship society was created in Tashkent in April 1998.
A number of universities of Uzbekistan have signed cooperation agreements and protocols with leading universities of France, such as University “Paris-Sud”, “Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne”, University “Paris IV”, University of Grenoble, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, University “Bretagne Sud”, Institute of Political Studies of Toulouse, National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, University of Toulouse, University of “Paris Pantheon-Assas II”, High school of architecture of Versailles.
In accordance with Agreement between Tashkent Architecture and Construction Institute and the High school of architecture of Versailles Mutual visits of students and teachers are annually organized.
A delegation of Uzbek universities, led by the Mr. M.Aripdjanov, first deputy minister of higher and secondary special education of the Republic of Uzbekistan visited France from 3 to 7 March 2013 in the framework of establishment and development of cooperation between the universities of Uzbekistan and France.
Memorandum on Cooperation between the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the National School of Administration of France (signed in 2012), Memorandum on Cooperation between the Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies and the French Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations (signed in 2012), Protocols on intention on cooperation in the field of training between the National School for Magistrates of France and Higher training courses of the Prosecutor General’s Office of Uzbekistan (signed in 2012) as well as Tashkent State Law University and the University Toulouse (signed in 2013) are contributing to further strengthening of cooperation in the field of education between two countries.