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EU and Uzbekistan sign strategic partnership for critical raw materials

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Today, the European Union and Uzbekistan solidified their collaboration by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), initiating a strategic partnership focused on critical raw materials (CRMs). This landmark agreement signifies a pivotal move towards ensuring a diversified and sustainable supply of CRMs essential for both the green and digital transitions in both the EU and Uzbekistan.

The MoU, inked by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investment, Industry, and Trade Laziz Kudratov, underscores the mutual commitment to enhancing cooperation in the realm of CRMs.

This strategic partnership aims to address the following key areas of collaboration:

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Integration of sustainable CRM value chains, including networking, project proposal selection, joint project development, trade promotion, and investment facilitation throughout the value chain. Enhancing the resilience of CRM supply chains and fostering dialogue to bolster transparency in investment, operational, and export-related measures.

Mobilization of funding for partnership projects and infrastructure development necessary for CRM value chain advancement, such as clean energy supply development. Collaboration to achieve sustainable and responsible CRM production and sourcing. Joint efforts in research and innovation, encompassing knowledge and technology sharing pertaining to sustainable CRM exploration, extraction, processing, and recycling. Capacity-building initiatives to enforce relevant regulations and foster training and skill development. Next Steps:

Following the MoU’s signing, the EU and Uzbekistan will collaborate on devising an operational roadmap detailing concrete implementation actions.


Aligned with the objectives outlined in the 2020 Action Plan for Critical Raw Materials and the EU’s external energy engagement strategy, this partnership underscores the EU’s commitment to establishing mutually beneficial CRM value chain partnerships with resource-rich nations.

Uzbekistan boasts the second-largest reserves of CRMs in Central Asia, including significant deposits of minerals like copper, molybdenum, and gold. The country’s mining strategy aligns with ambitions to enhance CRM processing for domestic and international industries, particularly in automotive and consumer electronics sectors.

This partnership aligns with the Global Gateway strategy, the EU’s flagship initiative for sustainable and high-quality investments worldwide, designed to meet partner countries’ needs and ensure enduring benefits for local communities. Through this initiative, the EU aims to mobilize up to €300 billion in investments by 2027.

Currently, the EU has established raw materials partnerships with Canada (2021), Ukraine (2021), Kazakhstan (2022), Namibia (2022), Chile (2023), Argentina (2023), Zambia (2023), Democratic Republic of Congo (2023), and the Autonomous Territory of Greenland (2023).

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