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India emerge as key buyer of Uzbek gold between Jan-March 2019

Resource rich Central Asian state of Uzbekistan has emerged as a key supplier of gold to its strategic partner India.
Courtesy - Gold Souk "Jumeirah"

Between January to March 2019, the largest sellers of gold were Uzbekistan with 6.2 tons of this precious metal, Mongolia - 3.4 tons, and Tajikistan - 1 ton, according to a report by the World Gold Council.

Russia was principal buyer of gold. In the first quarter of this year, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation purchased 55.3 tons of gold bringing the volume of gold reserves to 2,168.3 tons. Russia wants to reduce its dependence on the US dollar in the case of the introduction of new sanctions. Furthermore, during this period, large volumes of gold were acquired by the Central Banks of Turkey (40.1 tons), China (33 tons), Kazakhstan (11.2 tons), Ecuador (10.6 tons), Qatar (9.4 tons), India (8.4 tons) and Colombia (6.1 tons).

In total, in 1Q2019, the national banks of the countries world-wide acquired 145.5 tons of gold, which is a record over the past six years and 68 percent more than in the same period last year.

According to the report, last year 6.4 tons of gold were extracted in Tajikistan, which became a record volume for the country. As reported by the Ministry of Industry, all gold produced in the country is acquired by the National Bank of Tajikistan. Uzbekistan is ready to increase gold exports to 80 tons in 2019, which is 10 tons more than in the previous year.

In the next five years, Uzbekistan intends to increase gold reserves by 474 tons worth $18.7 billion at the expense of geological exploration. This year the increase in gold reserves is expected to reach 89.7 tons.

In 2020-2024, Tashkent plans to invest about $230 million in the search, evaluation and exploration of new deposits.

Meanwhile Tashkent also took important step in fighting cross-border drug menace on May 2-3 by hosting the 11th review meeting of the Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding on sub-regional drug control cooperation in Central Asia.

It was attended by delegations of Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Russia, representatives of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the Aga Khan Development Network.

Issues of strengthening cooperation in Central Asia on strengthening control over the trade in narcotic drugs were discussed at the meeting.

On May 2, a roundtable discussion was held with participation of experts of the Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding on sub-regional drug control cooperation. The results of actions to combat the cultivation and illicit trade in narcotic drugs were considered as important factors for the emergence of threats of internal and external terrorism in the region. Recommendations were developed for further strengthening regional cooperation in this direction.

The forum continued on May 3 during the meetings of the heads of foreign affairs agencies of the parties to the memorandum.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Tileuberdi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Araz Azimov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Azizbek Madmarov, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan Ovezdurdy Khojaniyazov. SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov attended the event as an honored guest.

Participants of the meeting exchanged views on such issues of the agenda as suppression of trade in narcotic drugs through the trade corridors of the Central Asian countries and the Internet, disbursing funds from the illicit trade in narcotic drugs, and preventing them from spending on financing terrorist activities.

Issues of drug abuse prevention, effective treatment of people addicted to drugs, their return to an active lifestyle, raising the young generation in the spirit of intolerance to such evils as drug addiction, and expanding social activities were discussed.

At the meeting, held in a businesslike and constructive spirit, the delegations of the parties to the memorandum expressed a unanimous opinion on the need for developing new approaches to prevent the accelerated development of the illicit market of synthetic drugs, the fight of law enforcement agencies against this crime.

Following the meeting, a declaration was adopted.

Courtesy - Economic Times



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