EU representative Kornelis Wittebrood stated in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, that the European Union viewed Uzbekistan as its important partner in Central Asia. He was heading the European Union delegation which arrived there to participate in a meeting of the cooperation committee "Uzbekistan - the European Union." The meeting focused on expansion of cooperation in the economic sphere, struggle against terrorism and drug trafficking. According to the Ministry of External Economic Relations of Uzbekistan, the trade turnover between the republic and EU states exceeded USD 1 billion last year. In January-September 2001, this indicator amounted to USD 848 million. Representative offices of 153 companies of EU member states are registered in Uzbekistan.