Germany and Uzbekistan have maintained bilateral relations since 1992. Germany has an embassy in Tashkent. Regular consultation formats are in place that focus on political, economic and cultural cooperation between Germany and Uzbekistan (the most recent took place on 20 November 2019 in Tashkent; the next one is scheduled for November 2020). Following reciprocal visits by the two heads of state in 2019, cooperation has been expanded. The countries have established an innovation partnership, and Germany is providing consultancy services with a view to supporting political efforts to liberalise the economy.
Germany is an increasingly important trading partner for Uzbekistan. Recently, there has been dynamic growth in the volume of bilateral trade, which amounted to approximately 630 million euro in 2020 (ranking 89th among Germany’s foreign trading partners; source: Federal Statistical Office). Major German investors in Uzbekistan include MAN, Knauf, Gühring and Claas.
Development cooperation between Germany and Uzbekistan was significantly expanded in 2019 and 2020. It will be increased further from 2021, including the opening of the KfW Office. The focus has been on the health care system and sustainable economic development, especially in the Aral Sea region in the autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan, also in cooperation with Afghanistan. Uzbekistan is also involved in regional projects which strengthen regional cooperation in the area of the economy, in vocational training, in the microfinance sector and in the field of the environment and are thereby also targeted to prevent crises. In addition, the country participates in cross-border regional activities, including projects that promote the rule of law in Central Asia.
Furthermore, Germany is supporting a project for the prevention of violent extremism in Central Asia, including Uzbekistan. This project provides support to Uzbek authorities and civil society organisations working on reforms to combat extremism.
The high-level conference “Green Central Asia – Enhancing environment, climate and water resilience” held in Berlin on 28 January 2020 launched a new German initiative focusing on the impact of climate change on regional security in Central Asia. The aim is to foster stronger regional cooperation (among the five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan), improve the exchange of information and form connections with academia and civil society.
Culture and education
Cultural cooperation is based on the cultural agreement signed in 1993 and in force since 2002. Germany’s cultural relations and education policy actors in Uzbekistan are the Goethe-Institut, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD, three specialist university teachers for German as a foreign language), the German Adult Education Association (DVV International) and the Federal Office of Administration – Central Agency for Schools Abroad (including one advisor for German as a foreign language). Seven Uzbek schools are part of Germany’s Schools: Partners for the Future global network. Every year, the DAAD finances stays in Germany for some 150 Uzbek students. In the sphere of cultural relations and education policy, cooperation with Germany is excellent, especially by European comparison: German is the third most important foreign language after Russian and English.