Diplomatic relations were established between Uzbekistan and Estonia on 10 October 1994. The first Estonian Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Simmu Tiik, presented his credentials to Uzbekistan's Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Elyor Ganiev, on 12 October 2011.
Currently, Estonia is represented in Uzbekistan by Ambassador Arti Hilpus, who presented his credentials to Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov on 6 March 2019. The Ambassador resides in Riga. Uzbekistan has not appointed its ambassador to Estonia. Estonia is included in the consular area of Uzbekistan's Embassy in Riga.
The Estonia-Uzbekistan Parliamentary Group was established in the XIV Riigikogu in spring 2019. It is chaired by Aivar Kokk and consists of 8 deputies.
There have been three high-level visits:
- Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure Taavi Aas visited Tashkent on 30-31 May 2019, where he met with the Minister of Innovative Development Ibrohim Abdurahmonov. The minister was accompanied by a business delegation and an Estonian-Uzbek business forum was held.
- The official visit of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip to Uzbekistan took place 1-3 November 2010. The objective of the visit was to establish contacts and relations with the leaders of Uzbekistan in order to facilitate further development of relations. The prime minister was accompanied by a business delegation and a business seminar was held in the framework of the visit.
- Foreign Minister Urmas Paet was on an official visit to Uzbekistan on 27-28 March 2014, where he met with Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and Minister of Foreign Economic Affairs, Investments and Trade Elyor Ganiev. Foreign Minister Paet was accompanied by a delegation of business representatives. Foreign Minister Paet and Minister Ganiev of Uzbekistan opened a business forum in Tashkent.
In November 2018, the bilateral meeting between Foreign Ministers Sven Mikser and Abdulaziz Kamilov took place within the framework of the Geneva Conference on Afghanistan.
Political consultations between the Estonian and Uzbek Foreign Ministries have been held twice - 2012 in Tashkent and 2016 in Tallinn.
One bilateral agreement has entered into force:
- The Convention between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income and on Capital (23.12.2013).
The total trade turnover in 2018 amounted to 32 mln EUR, most of which originated from import. This placed Uzbekistan on 51st place among Estonia's trade partners (54th place among export partners and 36th place among import partners).
The total trade turnover during the first quarter of 2019 grew by 93% and amounted to almost 8 mln EUR (compared to 4.1 mln EUR in 2018 Q1). Export grew by 67% and import by 110% compared to 2018 Q1.
Estonia-Uzbekistan trade 2014-2019 Q1 (in mln EUR):
Source: Statistics Estonia
Main export articles in 2018:
- Machinery and mechanical appliances – 28%
- Measuring and medical appliances – 15%
- Chemical products – 15%
Main import articles in 2018:
- Mineral products – 65%
- Base metals and articles of base metal – 35%
The main export articles during 2019 Q1 were machinery and mechanical appliances (31%), animal products (26%), food and drinks (16%). The main import articles during 2019 Q1 were mineral products (64%) and base metals and articles of base metal (34%).
According to the Bank of Estonia, Uzbekistan's direct investments to Estonia amounted to 1.1 mln EUR as of 31 December 2018. Investments have been made into different sectors - wholesale and retail trade, transport and storage, information and communications sector, financial and insurance activities, real estate, professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support activities.
As of the same date, Estonia’s investments in Uzbekistan were of smaller scale, the data cannot be disclosed due to data protection regulations. Investments have been made in the manufacturing sector and also in professional, scientific and technical activities.
According to the Business Register, there were 34 companies with Uzbek shareholders registered in Estonia as of May 2018.
As of 13.05.2019 there are 54 e-residents of Uzbek citizenship who have established 10 companies.
In recent years, Uzbekistan has invited representatives from Estonia to participate in their annual folklore and music festivals. Triinu Taul represented Estonia in August of 2013 at the International Uzbek Folk Music Contest and Festival "Sharq taronalari" in Samarkand, where she won the Special Jury Prize as a young and talented musician. Silver Sepp attended the same festival in August of 2015 and shared second place with the Polish band Chełm.
Uzbeks in Estonia
According to the 2011 census, there were 116 Uzbeks living in Estonia.
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