Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Özturk Oran attended Tourism Investment Forum

20.12.2019 / İstanbul

The Uzbekistan Tourism Investment Forum 2019 was held at TOBB Istanbul Service Building in cooperation with the State Investment Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan and within the scope of the activities of the Turkic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, hosted by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB).​

Speaking at the Forum, Özturk Oran, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) Board of Directors Member, said Uzbekistan will take successful steps in tourism and that the Republic of Turkey is ready to do its part in this regard.

Oran said, “Istanbul is as much a city of Uzbekistan as it is ours. We always feel like we're on the territory of Central Asia. We do not just see Uzbekistan as a tourism market. We, as Turkish people, know very well the historical and spiritual values that Uzbekistan carries.”

Stating that Uzbekistan is an ancient state that contributed greatly to the formation of Turkic-Islamic civilization, Oran continued, “Uzbekistan boasts important historical figures such as Emir Timur, Imam Maturidi, Bukhari, Tirmizi, Biruni, Danyal Prophet. These are not only Uzbeks, but also personalities of the Turkic-Islamic world. Turkic-Islamic works in Tashkent, Samarkand, Hiva and Bukhara defy the years. On the other hand, these cities are not only Uzbeks, but also our cities as well as yours. If we join hands, Uzbekistan's institutions and business world work together, I believe that new success stories will be written in Uzbekistan tourism. Turkey was a country that attracted 300,000 tourists 40 years ago, but today it has become a country which annually hosts 50 million tourists.”

Adem Kula, Secretary General of the Turkic Business Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECO CCI) of the Economic Cooperation Organization, said Turkey is now the country with the largest number of companies in Uzbekistan. Kula said Turkey has 1,200 companies in Uzbekistan and aims to double the number of Turkish companies in a few years.

Ulugbek Azamov, Vice-Chairman of the State Committee for the Development of Tourism in Uzbekistan, said, “Uzbekistan is carrying out comprehensive reforms, positive changes and significant openings in the field of tourism and investment.”

Azamov stated that Uzbekistan, located at the crossroads of civilizations, has a wide tourism potential and noted that the number of tourists visiting Uzbekistan in 2018 has increased by 2 times compared to 2017, and tourism export revenue exceeds $1 billion.

Azamov underlined that Uzbekistan's tourism exports will reach $1.3 billion by the end of 2019 and that the number of countries where its government is implementing visa-free travel is growing.

Azizbek Salahaddinov, Undersecretary of the Uzbekistan Embassy in Ankara, recalled that Turkey was the first country to recognize the independence of their country and said an eternal friendship agreement was reached between the two countries.

Salahaddinov said, “Uzbekistan and Turkey are two states of one nation. Uzbekistan has a population of 33 million, with a total neighboring countries, half of the total population of 60 million,” and concluded with, “We don't have seas like Turkey, but Uzbekistan is reforming roads and airways. Our country declared its independence 28 years ago. We started from scratch from the Soviet era. Currently, there are Chevrolet car factories in Uzbekistan, and healthcare and faith-based tourism have also improved. We have many beautiful places like Samarkand, Bukhara, Hiva. I liken it to the era of President Turgut Özal. Investors are given incentives.”

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