1. The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, hereinafter “the Uzbek Side”, and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany, hereinafter “the German Side”, hereinafter jointly the “Sides”, are interested in intensifying their bilateral relations and seek to deepen cooperation in numerous areas. The goal is joint action and closer coordination, which is designed to contribute to the even more targeted promotion of joint initiatives and projects. In the view of the Sides, and in light of the present large-scale geopolitical challenges, the intensification of cooperation is of particular importance, and will not only place relations between the two countries on a new level, but will also forge closer ties between two key world regions.
Section 1. Political Relations
2. The Sides intend to expand political contacts between the two countries. To this end, the Sides will strive to conduct regular political visits (at a high level) and agree to continue holding annual political consultations. In addition, the two Sides seek to conduct exchanges between the Diplomatic Academy of the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Foreign Office’s Foreign Service Academy.
Section 2. Human Rights and the Rule of Law
3. The German Side assures the Uzbek Side of its intention to support Uzbekistan’s rule-of-law reforms and the strengthening of human rights. The Sides seek to intensify cooperation in the field of law, in particular in the fields of economic law, intellectual property law, criminal law and criminal procedural law, including juvenile criminal law, as well as combating corruption and protecting human rights. The possible conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Ministry of Justice of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan on legal and judicial cooperation is currently being examined. Concrete projects would be implemented mainly by the German Foundation for International Legal Cooperation e.V. (IRZ) in cooperation with the Uzbek Ministry of Justice and other partner institutions. Possible forms of cooperation include a mutual exchange of experience, the organisation of expert talks and training for the judiciary and administrative staff from the (Justice) Ministry, as well as support for the development of legislative bills and reform projects in the above-mentioned areas.
4. The German Side is considering the possibility of cooperation through technical legal assistance from the Max Planck Foundation in the field of prevention of torture. In addition, the German Side already provides support to the Deutsche Welle Academy project “Freedom of Opinion and Media Development in Uzbekistan”.
5. In order to facilitate compliance with the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains published in the Federal Law Gazette on 22 July 2021 (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz), the Sides seek closer exchange between authorities (for example, through information projects, online consultation workshops by the Helpdesk Business and Human Rights, as well as through initiatives of the German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHK), Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
6. In order to facilitate an exchange of experience and to enhance cooperation with the German Institute for Human Rights, a visit to the Federal Republic of Germany by a delegation of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Ombudsman Institute is envisaged for 2023.
Section 3. Gender Issues/Advancement of Women
7. The Sides are considering the possibility of cooperation regarding gender equality and, in particular, women’s empowerment. The German Side seeks to advise the Uzbek Side on drafting legislation for the advancement of women. The Sides jointly decide to establish a partnership to prevent violence against women. In addition, the German Side seeks to assist in improving the national platform Central Asia Women Leaders Caucus and in organising internships in the Federal Republic of Germany for women leaders from state agencies, and to exchange experience in supporting women in all areas.
8. The German Side acknowledges the intention of the Investment Trade Marketing GmbH (ITM) to support the creation of an association of female entrepreneurs and to promote the establishment of rehabilitation centres (women’s homes) in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Section 4. Energy Transition
9. The Sides intend to intensify the German-Uzbek Energy Dialogue. Cooperation is envisaged in the field of realising the potential of renewable energy on the Uzbek market and improving the energy efficiency of buildings, promoting sustainable cities, as well as a comprehensive range of opportunities for green skills enhancement.
10. The German Side will continue with the Solar Roof Initiative. The H2Diplo Office recently opened in Astana will also be used for activities in the Republic of Uzbekistan, and thus supplement the German-Uzbek Energy Dialogue of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), implemented by the German Energy Agency (dena).
11. The German Side is considering the possibility of seconding energy professionals from the Senior Expert Service (SES) to Uzbek partner ministries for a limited period of time. The goal is to set up structures, and to transfer experience and knowledge, with the aim of improving the functioning and capacities of government institutions in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
12. The Uzbek Side will adapt its tariff policy to increase the effectiveness of renewable energy support measures and to promote the expansion of renewable energies, and will focus its reform efforts on improving the investment climate. In addition, cooperation is envisaged by the Sides to assist the Uzbek Side in the training of qualified personnel in areas related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The Uzbek Side is actively supporting training measures to ensure the development of green skills in energy-related fields.
13. The Sides will study the issue of locating products in the Republic of Uzbekistan for use in the construction of photovoltaic and wind power plants as well as in the production of heat pumps and construction materials and substances.
Section 5. Climate, Environment and Sustainable Development
14. The Sides currently work closely together on environmental issues, climate and nature protection, and sustainable development. As part of the International Climate Initiative (ICI), the German Side is currently supporting numerous projects aimed at energy efficiency, as well as projects on biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration. In addition, the German Side allocated the ICI funds from 2022 to the Multi-Partner Human Security Trust Fund for the Aral Sea Region. Implementation is planned to commence in 2023.
15. Since 2018, environmental cooperation has been based on the Memorandum of Understanding regarding Cooperation in the Field of Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development between the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of the Federal Republic of Germany and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Ecology and Environmental Protection. The main focus has been on climate-resilient infrastructure projects and the development of a green economy. This successful work will be continued within the framework of an update to the existing Memorandum of Understanding. Projects on the energy-water-land nexus and the prevention of zoonoses are important upcoming activities that will strengthen the cooperation.
16. As part of the Green Central Asia Initiative, a regional climate change adaptation strategy has been prepared. The German Side plans to support its implementation. Moreover, the German Side is currently implementing projects on knowledge transfer, capacity building and data collection through the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam and the Martin Luther University in Halle. The Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is already supporting the Republic of Uzbekistan by means of effective knowledge transfer and hydrological modelling. Annual scholarships are awarded to Uzbek students enrolled in the Master’s course on integrated water resource management at the Kazakh-German University. The German side is examining the possible establishment of a KGU branch in the Republic of Uzbekistan; this could take the form of a centre of excellence on sustainability, environmental and climate-related issues. If considered necessary and useful in this context, funding for potential measures to prepare an institutional partnership may be applied for on the basis of calls for relevant tenders.
17. The Sides will continue the implementation of the project to reduce N2O emissions from the production of nitric acid in the framework of the climate initiative group “Nitric Acid” (NACAG).
18. Using the available instruments for external economic promotion, the German Side currently supports investments by German firms and German exports that contribute to Uzbek (energy) infrastructure. Siemens Energy owns a 25% stake (worth 85 million euro) in a project company for the construction of a gas and steam turbine power plant in the Surkhandarya region.
19. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) currently supports sustainable urban development in the Republic of Uzbekistan by providing financial cooperation funds via KfW, totalling up to 198 million euro.
20. The German Side envisages assisting the Republic of Uzbekistan in assessing the impact of ratifying the Aarhus Convention by procuring advisory services from the Max Planck Foundation.
Section 6. Agriculture
21. Since 2023, the Republic of Uzbekistan has been a partner of the Bilateral Cooperation Programme of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). In addition, BMEL helps small and medium-sized businesses participate in two agricultural trade fairs in the Republic of Uzbekistan by providing a joint stand for them. This assistance is provided under its Foreign Trade Fair Programme.
22. BMZ currently supports the activities of the German Sparkassenstiftung in the Republic of Uzbekistan, which are designed to improve access to adequate finance for agricultural smallholders and to improve the business and financial skills of persons working in the agricultural sector.
Section 7. Economy and Health
23. In order to intensify cooperation in the economic sphere, the Sides are striving to harmonise the technical regulations in their two countries. This goal should be achieved in accordance with the Protocol of Intentions between the Uzbek Agency for Technical Regulation under the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the German Eastern Business Association (9th November 2021, Frankfurt). In addition, intensification of cooperation is intended in the future in the following areas: the construction industry, cybersecurity, digital transformation/Industry 4.0, the chemical industry, electronics/electrical engineering, the energy industry, agriculture, special-purpose vehicles (such as agricultural machinery), mechanical engineering, light industry/textile industry, Green Deal/hydrogen. The Sides also seek to enhance cooperation in quality infrastructure as a cross-cutting issue.
24. The Sides wish to further develop mutually beneficial cooperation within the framework of achieving the goals specified in the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026.
25. For 2023, an exchange of experience is envisaged by the Sides with a view to implementing Global GAP, organic and other international standards and certification in agricultural operations. In addition, the German Eastern Business Association in Berlin will hold a business forum to be attended by representatives of German companies and stakeholders from key business sectors.
26. The German Side intends to provide high-level advisory services to the Government in the Republic of Uzbekistan through the German Economic Team Uzbekistan (GET Uzbekistan). In addition, the German Side will continue the cooperation on further training for managerial staff within the framework of the Uzbek-German Manager Training Programme. It is envisaged that regular meetings of the Uzbek-German intergovernmental working group on trade and investment will be resumed.
27. The Sides concur in their intention to continue to participate in trade fairs in the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Federal Republic of Germany. BMWK continues to help small and medium-sized businesses to participate in trade fairs in the Republic of Uzbekistan by providing a joint stand for them; this assistance is provided under its Foreign Trade Fair Programme.
28. In the field of health, social security and demographic policy, the German Side already supports the effective use of high-tech for modern therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The funds provided for this purpose will be increased by 1.5 million euro. In addition, the German Side has already supported the implementation of the Uzbek Health Strategy with funds totalling 10 million euro, bringing the current health portfolio to a total of up to 214 million euro.
29. The German Side has already made available 3.5 million euro for projects on sustainable economic development, training and employment, bringing the corresponding current portfolio to a total of up to 79.6 million euro.
30. The German Side is considering the possibility of participation by German businesses in joint projects with the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Complex and the recruitment of German brand-name companies for the Uzbek textile industry. Numerous German firms plan to expand their activities in the future also in the fields of energy, transport, healthcare, education, infrastructure development and road construction in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
31. The Sides greatly appreciate the activities of the Uzbek-German Business Council and are ready to provide further support towards organizing its effective activities.
Section 8. Connectivity
32. The German Side actively supports the EU connectivity strategy Global Gateway in order to develop fair and sustainable high quality infrastructure, including through projects in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
33. The German Side appreciates that DB Engineering & Consulting will continue its strategic partnership with the Republic of Uzbekistan and that it is also considering becoming involved in regional railway projects.
34. In order to further improve the Republic of Uzbekistan’s connectivity with the Federal Republic of Germany and the EU, the Uzbek Side intends to ensure that permits can be obtained quickly, with a minimum of bureaucracy, and that foreign investors will not be discriminated against.
35. The Sides, in order to strengthen cooperation in the field of international road transport, will continue to conduct bilateral meetings of the Joint Commissions referred to in the Uzbek-German agreement on international road transport.
36. The Sides intend to establish – where appropriate – long-term cooperation on the digitalisation of the transport industry, including the introduction of modern German technologies in the fields of aviation, rail and public transport in the Republic of Uzbekistan, the creation of modern transport and logistics centres, as well as the joint management and modernisation of regional airports in the Republic of Uzbekistan by attracting investment from German companies.
Section 9. Vocational Education and Training
37. The Sides intend to significantly improve vocational education and training in Uzbekistan. To this end, the German Side intends to provide funding in the amount of up to 58 million euro for the construction, renovation and modernisation of training centres. This will be part of the corresponding current budget (GIZ and KfW) of up to 72 million euro for the reformation and modernisation of the vocational training system in Uzbekistan.
38. Through DVV International, the German Side already promotes adult training in Asia and intends to expand the work of the Senior Expert Service (SES), a non-profit organisation that seconds volunteer experts.
39. The Sides seek cooperation of German educational institutions with the Agency of the Presidential Educational Institutions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to cooperate on the implementation of projects in the field of German language learning in Uzbek schools.
40. The German Side acknowledges the continued activities envisaged by Siemens Energy at an interdisciplinary centre at the Tashkent National State University focused on advanced software and power plant design and its possible closer cooperation on vocational education and training. The Ministry of Employment and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the ERFURT Training Centre (ERFURT Bildungszentrum – EBZ) seek to establish a bilateral partnership in the field of human capital development and vocational education and training. ITM seeks to introduce innovative educational concepts in the Republic of Uzbekistan. The German Side is supporting ITM in establishing a scholarship system for Uzbek students undertaking a dual study programme (integrated degree) in the Federal Republic of Germany.
Section 10. Immigration of Qualified Specialists
41. The Sides are striving to ensure that more Uzbek skilled workers can work in the Federal Republic of Germany. To this end, the Sides intend to maintain contacts between the relevant competent authorities on a regular basis.
42. The German Side is considering the possibility of intensifying cooperation in the field of labour migration through joint projects on the training and employment of Uzbek nationals in the Federal Republic of Germany.
43. The German Side approves of the intention of the Ernst Klett Präsenzlernen Osteuropa GmbH to bring skilled workers from the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Federal Republic of Germany for the health and education sector (care providers and nursery stuff) on a sustainable and long-term basis. The German Side will investigate whether the Papenburg training model could also be applied to other companies.
Section 11. Promoting the Study of Languages/Schools
44. The German Side would like to increase its support for the “Schools: Partners for the Future” Initiative and identify further suitable schools and additional Goethe-Institut projects, for example relating to teacher training, advisory services or educational administration.
45. The German side intends to intensify its cooperation in the area of German language studies by exploring the possibility of opening branches of the Goethe-Institut in the individual regions of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
46. The German Side will consider the possibility of cooperation with the Senior Expert Service (SES), as well as the secondment of long-term experts through the Centre for Migration and Integration (ZIM) in order to promote the study of the German language in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
47. The German Side intends to help interested Uzbek universities use the Dhoch3 program provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). This is a Moodle-based online learning platform for training future teachers of German, above all those currently completing a Master’s degree. The Sides may also consider the possibility of German language teaching by young German teachers in the framework of foreign language assistant programmes together with the Educational Exchange Service as a cooperation partner.
Section 12. Cultural Exchange
48. The German Side welcomes further excavation and follow-up projects in the near future and is in favour of intensifying the activities of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
49. The Sides concur that they intend to increase the promotion of school and student exchanges in the future. Possible partners may include the Educational Exchange Service and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
Section 13. Cooperation in the Field of Scientific Research and Science
50. The Sides wish to examine the promotion of further expansion of scientific contacts between their two countries. There is a great potential on both sides for an increase in research cooperation. The aim of the Sides is to provide more and better-targeted funding, so that it will be possible to publish more calls for tenders of a specific nature and to embed support measures in a clear framework. The potential of and conditions for future beacon projects in research cooperation will be explored.
51. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) currently supports bi- and multilateral R&D projects in the fields of climate action/energy efficiency, climate change mitigation and sustainable land management in the Republic of Uzbekistan through the CLIENT II programme. Further bilateral research projects promoted under other funding announcements already cover a wider range of issues.
52. In the higher education sector, both Sides strive to further promote student exchange and exchange between scientists. German and Uzbek higher education institutions are encouraged to continue or expand on existing cooperation partnerships for academic exchange, research and teaching, and to establish new partnerships.
53. Both Sides will encourage intermediary organisations in education and research to intensify their contacts with their partner organisations with a view to enhancing cooperation.
54. In order to bring even greater continuity to bilateral scientific cooperation, the Sides intend to investigate the possibility of future meetings of a bilateral commission for scientific and technological cooperation.
55. The German Side will accept the invitation to participate again in the leading Uzbek trade fair for innovation, INNOWEEK, in the coming years, in order to demonstrate and publicise the extent of bilateral scientific cooperation and to tap further potential for cooperation.
Section 14. Civil Society Engagement, Local Authorities, Parliamentary Exchange
56. The Sides encourage contacts between their countries’ civil societies, as well as exchanges between local authorities and parliamentarians.
57. In addition, the German Side is currently funding the Hanns Seidel Foundation project that aims for efficient, transparent and citizen-friendly public administrative services in Central Asia.
Section 15. Afghanistan and Regional Cooperation
58. In 2022, the Federal Republic of Germany tripled its financial support for OSCE projects in Central Asia compared to previous years. In 2023, the German Side also envisages supporting suitable OSCE projects in Uzbekistan.
59. The Sides wish to consolidate and deepen their joint dialogue on Afghanistan and wish to enhance bilateral cooperation to address the challenges arising from developments in Afghanistan, for example on border management, migration policy and extremism prevention/deradicalisation. In this respect, the German Side seeks to support the Republic of Uzbekistan in its efforts to uphold international standards on the rights of foreigners, migrants and refugees by procuring legal advice from the Max Planck Foundation.
60. This Joint Declaration of Intent will come into effect on the date of signature by both Sides. It will be applied for the period 2023-2025. During this period, this Joint Declaration of Intent will be subject to annual review through political consultations between the Sides. Each Side will designate a central point of contact.
61. This Joint Declaration of Intent may serve as a bilateral cooperation plan for the development of relations between the Sides. It is not meant to constitute an international treaty or to create any rights or obligations under international law. It may be amended at any time by the two Sides by mutual written consent. Each Side may end cooperation under this Joint Declaration of Intent in writing with a notice period of six (6) months.