Uzbekistan signed US$5 billion worth of deals aimed at increasing its natural gas supplies to China during a visit by President Islam Karimov, Reuters reported, citing Uzbek state media. China and Uzbekistan agreed to develop an extra “spur” connecting to the 2,000 kilometer Central Asia-China natural gas pipeline which would funnel a further 25 billion cubic meters of gas to China each year. China will also increase its investment in a range of Uzbek projects, such as a potash fertilizer plant and joint projects with telecom firm Huawei. Trade between the two countries is said to have quadrupled over the past five years. Uzbekistan provides a range of commodities to the Chinese market, such as cotton fiber, fertilizers, uranium concentrate and rare earth metals.