BEIJING, May 26 (UPI) -- Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov announced in Beijing he has signed a $600 million oil deal with China.
"This is an important step for energy co-operation between the two countries," said Karimov, at the conclusion of his three-day visit to Beijing, China's People Daily reported Thursday.
Karimov and Chinese President Hu Jintao signed 15 agreements, which are expected to open the path for trade, high technology, energy and customs.
The joint venture is planned between Uzbekneftegaz and the China National Petroleum Corp. An Uzbekneftegaz official told Russia's Interfax news agency, CNPC plans to invest in 23 oil fields in Uzbekistan on what is to be a 50-50 joint venture.
The two companies plan on starting with initial capital of $96 million and focus on the Bukhara and Kiva regions, the Financial Times reported.