THE EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Address: Av. Franklin Roosevelt, 99, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
NEWS OF UZBEKISTAN
3 January, 2014
On the occasion of the 2014 New Year, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has received warm congratulations from the Heads of states and governments, various international organizations and leading international companies and public figures.
They express their best wishes of peace and tranquility, happiness, health and success to our Head of state and Uzbek people.
Congratulatory messages were sent by:
President of the Russian Federation - Vladimir Putin;
Prime Minister of the Russian Federation - Dmitry Medvedev;
Japanese Prime Minister - Shinzo Abe;
President of the Republic of Korea - Pak Kin Ho;
British Prime Minister - David Cameron;
Canadian Prime Minister - Stephen Harper;
King of Norway - Harald V;
President of the Republic of Iceland - Olafur Ragnar Grimsson;
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan - Nursultan Nazarbayev;
President of Turkmenistan - Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov;
President of Ukraine - Viktor Yanukovych;
President of Tajikistan - Emomali Rahmon;
The Emir of Kuwait - Sabah Al-Ahmad Al - Jaber Al-Sabah;
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran - Hassan Rouhani;
President of Mongolia - Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj;
Chairman of the Executive Committee - CIS Executive Secretary - Sergey Lebedev;
NATO Secretary General - Anders Fogh Rasmussen;
President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - Akihiko Tanaka;
President and Chief Executive Officer, "Marubeni" - Fumiya Kokubu;
President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens - Joey Kaiser.
Congratulatory messages continue to arrive.
Experts predict this year a decline of global economic growth and new risks. Many economies, especially in Europe, have already revised forecasts of growth in industrial production and GDP, reduce investment in infrastructure projects, while multinational companies are already implementing programs to optimize production processes, which resulted in not only a fall in output, but also in jobs. On this pessimistic background, Asian countries become more attractive for investors, showing growth, albeit at a slightly slowing down rate. On this investment map, Uzbekistan occupies a special place, which has for several years demonstrated 8% GDP growth. In modern day conditions such rates are unattainable for many, not only developing but also developed economies. This has been achieved through proper tuning of the economic system, creation of a universal mechanism, which effectively combined market relations and forms of government control.
Today, a successful economy cannot evolve basing only on one sector. It requires comprehensive solutions, such as innovations, information technologies, modernization of production and, above all, the development of public-private partnership. In circumstances when markets feel investment hunger and the country needs to implement major projects, it is the interaction of government and business on mutually beneficial conditions which can move the economy forward for the solution of socially significant challenges. This approach, when all issues are addressed complexly, constitutes the key to success in the economic policy of Uzbekistan. At the end of each year the country adopts an investment program for next year, which becomes a road map for the implementation of major projects, and it is important that most of them are carried out jointly with representatives of domestic and foreign business. Besides, there are long-term programs for the development of individual sectors, a specialized program for the localization of production.
One of the main trends in the development of the Uzbek economy, which experts believe will allow it to continue to successfully cushion the effects of the global economic crisis, is the introduction of innovative technologies based on energy efficiency, resource conservation and implementation of renewable energy sources. So that to be effective in the present conditions it is necessary first of all to be economical since the price, being the main competitive feature of any product, is made up of numerous parameters – the cost of electricity, material and technical resources, logistics and human resources. Therefore, success comes to those who offer the lowest cost with quality meeting international standards.
The upper house of parliament at its last plenary meeting last year approved two fundamental economic instruments for 2014, the Government Budget and Employment Program. The National Budget for example continues liberalization of the tax burden on business, in particular, tax rate on corporate income lowered from 9% to 8%. As a result, experts calculate the businesses will have additional 130 billion soums to channel toward expansion and modernization of production.
This decision is just another step in a series of measures ongoing over the past two decades to reduce administrative barriers, create the most favorable conditions for running business. Small business and private entrepreneurship, foreign investors, exporting enterprises enjoy a number of tax and customs allowances. This allowed the domestic industries in the short term to not only rearm their manufacturing capacities, but also reach new export markets. Today, the products branded Made in Uzbekistan are widely known not only in the CIS, but also in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Another important component of economic policy is creation of new jobs. This year, the national economy is envisaged to create more than 983 thousand jobs, including about 500,000 places for graduates of vocational colleges. This will not only provide the industry with new and qualified staff, but will open wide prospects for these young people.
I should note a unique innovation for Uzbekistan, which entered into force this year. President of Uzbekistan at the end of last year approved the Budget Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This document is intended to systematize the entire budget process and build a single and unified legal framework of public finance consistent with international standards. Experts stress that this decision will make it possible to make a serious progress in ensuring transparency and stability of the entire financial system.
Points for growth
Public-private partnerships are clearly seen in the regional development. Uzbekistan is large and is still quite a young country, yet has managed to resolve a lot of issues concerning social and living conditions of the rural population. However, there is much more to go in this area. In particular, as part of rural housing development program it is projected this year to build 11,000 houses, 343.6 km of water supply pipes, 307.3 km of power lines, 433 km of gas pipelines, 263 km of roads. This year’s program will incorporate a new very interesting innovation: the new rural houses will be equipped will solar energy installations.
Year 2014 is expected to become for the republic a new step in the development of solar energy. In addition to the introduction of equipment for medical and educational facilities, the republic will create unique generation capacities. Soon, the first solar power plant will be built in Samarqand region, and in the future the country will build more such objects. In addition, power suppliers will continue building a new thermal power plant in Namangan region, Turaqurghon TPP. The plant is projected to be equipped with two combined steam and gas installations of 450 MW capacity each. Equally important is a project implemented at the intersection of power and coal industry: Angren TPP is building a 130-150 MW power unit with district heating selection for burning high-ash coal. It will create additional generating capacity through the introduction of modern solid fuel combustion technologies. Coal industries of the country will not remain aside. Last year the government approved a program of modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of the coal industry and its balanced development for 2013-2018, the total value of which exceeds $555 million.
Development work will continue on special industrial zone in Jizzakh. Fourteen agreements we signed last year on joint high-tech industries involving direct investment from China. A modern sugar factory of 1,000 tons daily capacity is planned to put into operation in Angren FIZ. The total construction cost exceeds $108 million. The leaders of the mining industry – the Navoi Mining and Metal Plant expand capacity of Qizilqum phosphorite unit, while the Olmaliq Mining and Metal Plant will reconstruct crushing and milling unit of copper concentrator and a zinc plant.
Already this year, Uzbekistan starts construction of the only plant to produce agricultural and automobile tires and conveyor belts. The total project cost is $190 million. The plant is to be built within three years. Uzkimyosanoat now announced a tender for contractors to undertake the project.
In the transport sector, perhaps, the largest in terms of work performed and expectations, will be a project of an electrified railway line Angren-Pop, which was started last year. Experts estimate the new railway line will complete a unified network of railways in Uzbekistan, create a new international transit railway corridor China-Central Asia-Europe, as well as will provide favorable conditions for the further comprehensive economic and social development of the Farghona Valley. The project is scheduled to complete in mid 2016.
Do not forget about the car industry, which annually brings surprises to domestic car fans. In 2014 there will be two, as Damas micro-van production line moves to Khorazm region. The assembly is planned to start that in the first quarter, and in the fourth quarter the plant switches to the full production cycle. This will free up capacity of the automobile factory in Asaka for new models. Another premiere will be family minivan Chevrolet Orlando.
The new year will be a breakthrough in combining business with technology. Since January 1, the government launched a single portal of online government services for registration of entrepreneurs. Applications for registration with all necessary documents, as well as the issuance of registered documents of incorporation and certificate of state registration, are processed in electronic form using digital signature. And Tashkent’s passenger carriers launch a pilot project to regulate the movement of taxis and busses in real time with the use of GPS-aided remote control and management systems.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)
Development of the insurance market in Uzbekistan has its own features. Lesser dependence of the domestic market from global fluctuations allows the Uzbek economy to successfully overcome the consequences of the global crisis with better effect than that in many developed countries.
The budget has been executed with surplus over recent years; the GDP and welfare are steadily growing, large-scale investment projects underway. All together these factors create a good ground for development of domestic insurance market, which according to experts is actively moving forward. For example, previously, most of the customer base of insurance companies consisted of large industrial enterprises and entities. Nowadays the number of customers - individuals and representatives of small business and private entrepreneurship - is growing.
The range of insurance services is significantly expanding, which evidences of increasing quantity and quality of insurance products and services offered by insurance companies. While actively developing market, insurance companies contribute to other industries. Uzagrosughurta joint-stock insurance company exemplifies this activity.
In 11 months of 2013 the company has concluded 3.66 million insurance contracts with legal entities and individuals with the amount of insurance liabilities exceeding 19.6 trillion soums. For damage caused as a result of accidents and natural phenomena, 7,562 victims were paid more than 6.8 billion soums of insurance payments.
According to Uzagrosughurta representatives, the company does its best to keep up with the market, constantly introduces new services, products and IT. To expand the insurance portfolio, register contracts and administer them promptly the company designed a special electronic program on compulsory insurance of civil liability of vehicle owners, mandatory insurance of civil liability of the employer, crop, cotton and cereal crops insurance.
657,100 contracts have been concluded in compulsory insurance of civil liability of vehicle owners. As a result of road accidents 1,166 affected received more than 1.76 million soums of insurance payments under incurred obligations. Under compulsory insurance of civil liability of the employer 28 thousand contracts were concluded in January-November, on which 98 victims received indemnity of $702.7 million soums.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)
Press-service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan informed that a new website of the Ministry FA of the Republic of Uzbekistan launched.
According to the press-service portal of MFA several million users from over 170 countries of the world visited web site in 2013, as well as new users access necessary information faster and allow use its entire features more effectively.
WWW.ÌFA.UZ is a government portal on foreign policy issues, which provides access to relevant documents, useful consular information, news and media content.
Currently, the portal is operating on its beta version.
(Source: Press-service of MFA)
General Prosecutor's Office of Uzbekistan hosted a meeting of the Commission on Minors under the Cabinet of Ministers. The meeting was attended by Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Elmira Basithanova.
During the event, the execution of the Law "On Physical Culture and Sports" in sports educational institutions was discussed. Particular attention was paid to the involvement of minors, particularly children living in rural areas to sports.
In addition, participants discussed the results of work in this area in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Tashkent city and by the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
During the meeting, the Commission member, the Minister for Culture and Sports Minhajiddin Hodjimatov delivered a report.
Also, participants noted that the country has all the conditions for the development of children’s sports, the involvement of minors in sports.
At the same time, the meeting participants criticized shortcomings committed in the implementation of measures to attract minors, especially children living in rural areas to sports as well as on preparation of training manuals and providing professional medical services.
A final of the festival-contest “Sport in cinema and television” was held in Milan, Italy. Two Uzbek documentary films received prizes.
The festival received 150 films from about 50 countries. The film of director Lyudmila Garmish and cameraman Anva Avazkhodjaev about three time Olympic Games champion Artur Taymazov became the laureate of the festival.
Pravda vostoka reported that the film about Uzbek football Shahodat Murodova also received the prize of the festival. The film is dedicated to development of football in Uzbekistan, achievement of youngsters and football infrastructure.