Under the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, Uzbekistan’s textile exports are under tremendous pressure. However, in the face of a severe external environment, Uzbek textile exports have achieved bucking growth this year. According to recent data released by the Uzbekistan Textile Industry Association, Uzbek textile exports in the first seven months of this year reached US$1 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12%.
Under the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the isolation and blockade measures generally adopted by various countries have led to a sharp increase in the cost of cargo transportation, and the sharp reduction in orders in the main sales market has put Uzbekistan’s textile exports under tremendous pressure this year. However, in the face of a severe external environment, Uzbek textile exports have achieved counter-trend growth. According to recent statistics released by the Uzbekistan Textile Industry Association, in the first seven months of this year, Uzbek textile exports reached 1 billion U.S. dollars, a year-on-year increase of 12%.
According to Khajdarov, chairman of the Uzbek Textile Industry Association, the current textile industry is one of the few industries in the Uzbek economy that can continue to maintain rapid development under the epidemic. The important reason for the growth of Uzbek textile exports against the trend is that the textile industry has taken appropriate measures. After the domestic epidemic prevention situation in Uzbekistan stabilized, the government promptly introduced measures to support textile companies in increasing their production capacity and promptly resumed the business of 252 key export companies. Uzbek President Mirziyoyev also issued a presidential decree “On the adoption of emergency measures to support the textile, clothing and knitting industry”, which eased the situation by extending the loan repayment period, simplifying the procedure of VAT refund, and providing subsidies for transportation costs. Business pressure.
In order to cope with the adverse effects of various countries’ epidemic prevention measures on export transportation and the number of orders, the Uzbekistan Textile Industry Association worked with the Ministry of Transport and other departments to formulate alternative transportation routes, and adopted alternative methods such as air transportation to escort product exports; on the other hand, In terms of comprehensively sorting out export orders, and using new orders to make up for the loss of previous orders. While ensuring supplies to traditional markets such as Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkey, Uzbekistan has also newly expanded the markets of Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, and Kuwait, thus realizing exports to 57 countries and regions.
At the same time, the export structure of Uzbek textiles has also been further optimized. High value-added finished products such as knitwear and ready-made garments accounted for 51% of total exports, continuing to maintain a momentum of growth. It is worth mentioning that in the face of the new opportunity that the international market’s demand for masks and protective clothing has increased sharply under the epidemic, the Uzbek textile industry has demonstrated strong production mobilization capabilities. From March to June alone, the number of mask manufacturers in Uzbekistan soared about 15 times to 275, and the daily production capacity of masks and protective clothing also quickly exceeded 6 million and 10,000 sets respectively. This enables Urumqi to export related products to Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Georgia and other countries while meeting domestic demand.
After initially withstanding the test of the epidemic, the Uzbek textile industry is expected to usher in more favorable factors in the future. As a traditional cotton-producing country, the Uzbek government has attached great importance to improving cotton planting efficiency in recent years. In particular, on the basis of actively screening and reducing non-cotton-friendly land, it has widely promoted advanced water-saving technologies such as drip irrigation under mulch, and increased the training of cotton planting technical personnel. Increase production and quality to provide sufficient and high-quality raw materials for the domestic textile industry.
Under the guidance of the supporting policies of the Uzbek government to resolutely promote the transformation into a textile power and the participation of international and local capital, textile companies from all over Uzbekistan have sprung up like bamboo shoots after a rain, the formation of textile industrial clusters is accelerating, and the cotton processing capacity is continuously improved. Currently, there are more than 1,800 member units of Uzbekistan Textile Industry Association. In order to achieve the goal of exporting all cotton in the form of higher value-added products after domestic processing, Ukraine will continue to promote the rapid growth of the number of textile enterprises. As a result, the scale growth of Uzbekistan’s textile industry and domestic and foreign capital and technology are also forming a mutually beneficial development pattern.
At present, in addition to the traditional export markets such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Uzbek textiles are increasingly favored by the EU market. According to data from the Uzbek Textile Industry Association, the EU market accounted for 7% of the Uzbek textile export market in 2019. Accordingly, Uzbekistan is actively striving for the benefits of EU super-GSP beneficiary countries. With the joint efforts of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade and other departments, Uzbekistan has acceded to 27 international conventions as required by the EU and formally applied to the EU in May this year. If the application is successfully approved by the EU, it means that Uzbek textiles can enter the EU market duty-free, which will help further enhance the competitiveness of Uzbek textiles in the EU market. The above-mentioned favorable factors will also help the Uzbek government to achieve the interim goal of increasing textile exports to USD 7 billion per year by 2025.