On 26 June 2014 the Slovak Business Agency /SBA/ held an information seminar in Bratislava which focused on cooperation with companies from Uzbekistan. It aimed to inform Slovak companies of the available support provided by Slovak business support organizations and the European Union in order to facilitate establishment of business cooperation with Uzbek companies. About 20 individual consultations with invited guests confirmed the interest of Slovak companies in this territory.
The emerging Uzbek market
Slovak entrepreneurs were introduced to the basic economic information about Uzbekistan, which is regularly updated by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Slovakia, as one of the few EU countries, has an embassy in the capital - Tashkent. As an advisory institution, it recommends Slovak companies, mainly from the food processing, energy, and water industry, to start exploring the rapidly growing Uzbek market with over 30 million consumers.
An opportunity for Slovak companies
The 8% annual economic growth of Uzbekistan is accompanied by Uzbeks’ increased welfare and higher demand for new goods and services. The above stated facts create further opportunities for Slovak companies which already feel limitations about the Slovak market and need to go beyond. In order to fulfill those needs – to secure products and services from European countries, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan has introduced particular demands for products and equipment that can be taken into consideration and cooperation with Uzbek companies.
Hosting Uzbek managers
The EU funded Manager Training Programme (MTP) is another support service for Slovak companies who have the possibility to host managers from Uzbek small and medium enterprises and together develop business ideas. The hosting period will last from two to four weeks in the autumn of 2014. By entering this Central Asian country, Slovak companies can also benefit from its geographic location and lower costs of entering the rest of the former Soviet Union - nowadays part of a free trade zone (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kirgizstan, Moldova and Tajikistan).
International Cooperation Database
Provided other Slovak companies are interested in becoming a host organization for Uzbek managers or those who seek possibilities of cooperation with countries within the EU and beyond, the International Cooperation Database can be taken advantage of. This database managed by the SBA strives to identify the expertise and needs of those Slovak companies with interest to find partners for business and technological cooperation in more than 50 countries of the world. Since the SBA is member of the Enterprise Europe Network, the Slovak companies can get access to information e.g. about how to set up a company or to post workers to the EU, how to get involved in international calls and tenders, or how to participate in projects in the field of science, research and innovation.