Uzbekistan is eyeing garment and textile export growth to US$7bn a year by 2025 under a new plan being developed by the country's government.

The president of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has signed a decree titled "On measures to further deepen reforms and expand the export potential of the textile and garment and knitwear industry" aimed at boosting production of raw materials and increasing export volumes of garments. 

The decree sets the government a three-month deadline in which it must develop and approve a five-year plan for Uzbekistan to reprocess all of its cotton domestically and increase the export volumes of textile products to US$7bn. Under the plan, Uzbek textile and garment companies that export at least 80% of their products will be provided with state support.

It is also expected to include measures for exhibiting at global trade fairs and outlining agreements with the EU, Turkey, Korea, China and other countries on simplifying customs payments and customs fees for national textile products.

Other recommendations include setting up an information portal for the industry that details tenders, exhibitions and fairs; remote training for small businesses on export procedures; detailed reports on the import and export of textile and clothing and knitwear products from around the world; and the creation of an interactive map of Uzbekistan showing textile and garment industry manufacturers and suppliers of services, materials and raw materials.

The full decree is available here in Uzbek.

Traditionally, cotton is Uzbekistan's most important cash crop but the country has been taking steps recently to develop its textile industry to produce value-added products.

In July, Uzbekistan and Japan held discussions on cooperating in textiles, with research and investment a focus. 

According to press agency Xinhua, citing data from the National Statistical Committee of Uzbekistan, the annual export of textiles reached US$1.6bn in 2018 up 41.4% on a year earlier.

Regarding cotton, the Uzbek government is currenty working with international stakeholders to take steps to eradicate forced labour in its cotton fields. However, despite setting out a roadmap for reform in May, the most recent cotton harvest revealed forced labour continues to be an issue.