08 September 2023, Tashkent: FAO Director-General QU Dongyu and the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev met today in Kuksaroy Presidential Palace in Tashkent.
President Mirziyoyev welcomed the Director-General noting that their meetings were much appreciated. Both parties congratulated each other on their recent re-elections.
The Director-General also congratulated the President on the success of the International Conference on Food Security (ICFS), which he opened earlier today in Samarkand.
For his part, the President emphasized that FAO had provided an important technical contribution to the success of the event. He also expressed appreciation for the Director-General’s opening remarks showing his deep understanding of the issues faced by landlocked countries, including in Central Asia. The President said that since he took the office in 2016, the country’s poverty rate had dropped from 34 percent to 14 percent, with the aim to reach 5-7 percent during his current presidential term.
Both leaders agreed on the importance of strengthening collaboration between FAO and Uzbekistan and bringing the partnership to new levels. To this end, the President added that a new roadmap to strengthen collaboration with FAO would be adopted by the country.
The President also suggested that priorities for the new FAO Country Programme until 2030 should include:
- Modernization of agriculture, including land, storage and seed selection.
- Digitalization of agriculture, including leveraging big data from the Hand-in-Hand Initiative and facilitating 1000 Digital Villages Initiative.
- Introduction of new effective financial instruments.
The President noted that the day after the Conference the Government would be holding the Agrifood Investment Forum.
For his part, the Director-General invited the Government of Uzbekistan to take part in the World Food Forum, established by the Director-General in 2021, to be held from 16 to 20 October 2023 at FAO headquarters in Rome, noting that it would be an important opportunity for countries to attract investments.
H.E. Jamshid Khodjaev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Investments and Foreign Trade and H.E. Ibrohim Abdurakhmonov, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, were also present at the meeting.
On the sidelines of the conference, the Director-General visited an exhibition dedicated to the FAO-Türkiye partnership programs in the field of agriculture and forestry, as well as the FAO-Azerbaijan partnership program. Together with the FAO Director-General, the exhibition was also visited by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, the Ministers of Agriculture of Azerbaijan, Türkiye and Uzbekistan, where issues of cooperation in the field of agriculture, market development, climate change and conservation of natural resources were discussed.
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