Uzbekistan has bought the 50% stake held by Daewoo Motor in their joint venture but has yet to decide if it will seek a new foreign partner, an Uzbek industry official reportedly said on Thursday.

Daewoo Motor collapsed during the Asian economic crisis in the late 1990s and General Motors and partners took a majority stake in some of its assets in 2002, Reuters noted.

The official, who declined to be named, told the news agency the central Asian state had made the last payment for the stake on Wednesday but declined to state the cost of the deal or disclose the government’s immediate plans for the plant.

In 1996 the venture, Uz-Daewoo Auto, launched assembly of Daewoo cars at a plant located in Asaka in Uzbekistan’s eastern Andizhan region, Reuters said. The plant, with a capacity of 200,000 cars a year, was estimated to be worth $US650 million and its charter capital was worth around $200 million.

The report added that the factory aims to assemble 110,500 Daewoo-brand cars this year, up from 70,070 in 2004. Exports, bound mostly for Russia, reportedly are set to rise to 56,926 cars this year from 35,659 in 2004.