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Tue 15 Apr 2008 11:28 AM

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Uzbekistan seeks $3.5bn UAE investment

Central Asian country looking to attract investment in various areas of energy sector.

Uzbekistan hopes to attract $3.5 billion in investment from the UAE in sectors ranging from gas exploration to synthetic fuels production, according to a decree obtained by newswire Reuters on Monday.

The decree comes on the heels of Uzbek President Islam Karimov's visit to the UAE in mid-March and lists 21 investment projects in the gas-rich Central Asian nation that had been offered to Dubai companies as a result.

According to the document, signed by Karimov, International Petroleum Investment Company has tentatively agreed to build a $1.1 billion synthetic fuels production facility at a gas processing plant in Uzbekistan.

The company would also conduct gas exploration worth $200 million in the gas-rich western part of Uzbekistan, it said.

Another company, Mubadala Development Company, would invest in an ammonia production plant worth about $600 million on the basis of a big Uzbek fertiliser factory.

Other projects include construction of a business centre and other facilities in the capital Tashkent, as well as a cement plant, restoration of irrigation systems and others.

The total value of potential investments is more than $3.5 billion, the decree said, adding that most projects would be realised by 2013.

Uzbekistan, also lying on big gold and uranium reserves, has traditionally relied on Russian investment, but it now seeks to diversify foreign contacts by building new relations with firms in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. (Reuters)

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