On 3-7 November 2015, Dame Barbara Hay, Co-Chair of the Uzbek-British Trade & Industry Council paid an official visit to Tashkent through the invitation of Mr Rustam Azimov, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Dame Barbara Hay held meetings with senior government officials and representatives of international and foreign organisations to discuss economic and trade partnership opportunities between the United Kingdom and Uzbekistan.
During her visit Dame Barbara Hay met high-level Uzbek officials including Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment & Trade, and Ms. Galina Saidova, Minister of Economy. She also met representatives of international and foreign organisations in Uzbekistan including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the American Chamber of Commerce and representatives of British companies and joint ventures.
Dame Barbara Hay also attended the Globe Theatre’s performance of Hamlet at the National Drama Theatre and participated in the International Investment Forum. In the framework of her official visit Dame Barbara Hay also visited Samarkand.
Summing up the results of her visit to Uzbekistan, Dame Barbara said:
I am delighted to have returned to Uzbekistan after a gap of 16 years and to see for myself the changes which have occurred here in my absence. My very useful conversations with a range of Uzbek Ministries and others have reflected the Uzbek Government’s determination to develop further the country’s economy by attracting overseas investors of the highest calibre in an impressive range of sectors. As co-chair of UBTIC I look forward to working with the British Embassy in Tashkent to encourage more British companies to investigate the Uzbek market and see for themselves the opportunities which are opening up.
UBTIC was established by the governments of the UK and Uzbekistan in 1994. It is an annual forum to discuss opportunities to promote and increase bilateral trade and investment. The next meeting of UBTIC will be held in London on Wednesday 18 November 2015. This meeting has the full support of both the UK and Uzbek governments, whose delegations will be led by Mrю Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment & Trade and Dame Barbara Hay.
Dame Barbara Hay is Dame Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, Lieutenant of the Royal Victorian Order and Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. She joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1971 and was the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan from 1995 to 1999. Dame Barbara Hay retired from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2013 after a very distinguished diplomatic career.