TASHKENT: Uzbekistan has introduced a visa-free regime for 30 days for Germany’s citizens in order to strengthen the cultural, scientific, and educational exchange between the two countries, improve the investment climate in Uzbekistan, and increase the tourist flow to the Central Asian country. The visa-free regime will enter into force from January 15, 2019, the official information agency Jahon reports.
A total of 18,094 tourists from Germany visited Uzbekistan in 2018, which is two-and-a-half times more than in 2017.
As reported by the Press Service of the State Committee for Tourism Development of Uzbekistan, the prerequisite for establishment of a visa-free regime became the data on using the E-visa program by citizens of Germany: as of December 28, 2018, 1 089 citizens of Germany were issued entry visas, taking the 10th position among the countries whose citizens used the program.
It was earlier reported that Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan aim to launch a program dubbed Silk Visa, which will allow foreigners with visas issued by either of the two countries to travel in both Central Asian republics.
Acting First Deputy Chairman of the Uzbek State Committee for Tourism, Ulugbek Qosimhojaev, told reporters in Tashkent late in December that the goal of the program is to boost tourism in the region.
He also said that Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan had expressed interest in joining the program in the future.
Kazakhstan said earlier that it was working to attract Azerbaijan and Turkey to join the Silk Visa program, which is intended to ultimately function like the Schengen visa system in Europe.