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Uzbekistan Signs Contracts At Cotton Fair Worth $1 Billion

Uzbekistan has been criticized for ordering its citizens -- including children -- to pick cotton by hand. (file photo)
TASHKENT -- Uzbekistan has signed contracts worth $1 billion to sell cotton from its 2013 harvest.

Reporting the results of the annual cotton fair held in Tashkent on October 16-17, Uzbek media said some 680,000 tons of cotton was sold, more than half of that to companies from China.

Companies from Russia, South Korea, and Bangladesh also signed contracts to purchase large amounts.

Many Western companies are boycotting Uzbek cotton due to the Tashkent government's practice of ordering its citizens -- including children -- into the fields to pick cotton by hand.

But this year's cotton sales were higher than in 2012, when the government signed contracts worth some $600 million.

Uzbek media reported that some 1,000 companies from 40 countries sent representatives to this year's cotton fair.

With reporting by and