The textile and clothing sector will be remaining one of Uzbekistan’s most important industries for foreign investment and cooperation in future. State-based modernisation programmes are supporting the growth in the domestic textile industry. The search for new technologies has led Schachzoda Egamberdiewa, the representative of the respective authority in Uzbekistan, to Germany.
Tashkent. Schachzoda Egamberdiewa had set herself a very concrete goal when she came to southern Germany in 2012 to attend a training programme. She is a MP alumna who works at Uzbekyengilsanoat, previously the Uzbek Ministry for Textile and Light Industry. There she supervises the establishment of business contacts between about 300 Uzbek textile companies and foreign firms. And that was exactly what she was looking for in her training programme in Germany: to convince German companies to invest in Uzbekistan’s textile industry and expand existing partnerships.
The MP was designed to provide this ambitious participant with methodological and practical support. Increased understanding of German business culture and intercultural negotiating skills were the top items on Egamberdiewa’s checklist to learn how to best deal with potential German investors. An open communication style right from the start is one example: “In Asian countries it is not usual to directly express your opinion. Even if you are not interested, you don’t break off talks. It was very new for me to hear ‘Sorry, not interested’ for the first time during business negotiations,” reports the MP participant. This sort of response ceased to surprise her after attending the intercultural MP training seminars. And now Egamberdiewa is herself convinced of the effectiveness of such a strategy. Her blunt business partner in the previous example was a family business with regional roots wanting to avoid moving production abroad. Most of the other company visits were more successful. A fabric merchant from the Sauerland region, for instance, was interested in importing Uzbek textile products to Germany and placed a trial order.
In recent years Uzbekistan’s textile industry has refocused on its traditional strengths. With the aid of a state-sponsored programme for increased growth, many new businesses have been founded and established firms have been undergoing fundamental restructuring. All of these businesses are in urgent need of efficient equipment and facilities. Egamberdiewa is the right person to go to in this case as well: She advises Uzbekistan companies on selecting machines and production systems. For an opportunity to take a look at the latest German technology, she visited the machinery manufacturer Terrot GmbH in Chemnitz and the Trützschler Group in Mönchengladbach in conjunction with her training programme. Both companies are represented in Uzbekistan and have already outfitted several plants there with their technologies. In total, textile companies in Uzbekistan have purchased several facilities and equipment valued at several million euros since 2013. Negotiations with Terrot GmbH have moved beyond supplying equipment to include the possibility of building of a production plant in Uzbekistan.
“This programme offers a unique opportunity to get to know German business culture and find new business partners,” notes the highly successful manager. Her advice for new participants: “Be ambitious – it’s your future!“