April 30, 2010

Politics:
Uzbekistan-ADB cooperation developing dynamically
President of Uzbekistan receives World Bank VP
Economics:
Seminar considers Uzbekistan's experience in legislation development on microfinance
Set for Innovative Development
Localization Program set for production growth
Society:
UNFPA continues assisting Uzbekistan in combating cervical cancer
Khiva to host “Echo of Centuries” festival
Uzbekistan participates in immunization week

POLICY

UZBEKISTAN-ADB COOPERATION DEVELOPING DYNAMICALLY

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received President of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda on 30 April, on the eve of the 43rd Annual meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, at Oqsaroy residence in Tashkent.

Welcoming the guest, the head of the state noted that the ADB was considered one of the most authoritative and influential international financial institutions, with which Uzbekistan has been connected by ties of long-standing and reliable partnership. The consistently implemented strategy of ADB cooperation with Uzbekistan is the proof of that.

“Let me thank you for the choice of Tashkent as the venue for the Asian Development Bank meeting. Holding an international forum of such level in Tashkent is a great honor for our country. At the same time, this is an event of historic significance,” Islam Karimov said.

“At the latest meetings of governors of the Asian Development Bank, four large investment project worth over USD 1.14 billion were approved. These projects cover such important areas as improving transport and communication infrastructure, drinking water system, development of communal services, construction of combined-cycle plants at Talimarjan thermal power station, and support of small businesses and private entrepreneurship through the country’s commercial banks,” President of Uzbekistan said.

Uzbekistan, jointly with the Asian Development Bank, is implementing large projects in priority sectors of economy, which focus on development of strategically important and vital industries. Effective implementation of these projects, developed in conjunction with ADB specialists, has become possible thanks to the country’s legal basis of reforming and liberalizing the economy, as well as favorable investment climate.

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the ADB, which starts its work in Tashkent these days, is the first forum of such level in the region of Central Asia and is a recognition of the effectiveness of the “Uzbek model” of development by the international community. On 2-4 May, the meeting of finance ministers of ASEAN+3 will also be held in Tashkent, where the ADB’s Strategy 2020 will be discussed, along with issues of reforming the global financial architecture, regional cooperation and post-crisis development in Asia, protection of the environment and climate change.

The leading experts and reputable international financial institutions, including the Asian Development Bank, acknowledge that the current level of economic development of Uzbekistan is an example of stable state of basic indicators and stable dynamics of economic growth in the conditions of global recession.

Haruhiko Kuroda emphasized that Uzbekistan was one of the few countries in the world where stable economic and social development rates were ensured. In his opinion, the basis for success of the “Uzbek model” is also the fact that the leadership of Uzbekistan did not rely solely on external borrowing, but has taken active steps to diversify the economy and ensure rational management of rich mineral, industrial and agricultural resources and, most importantly, the powerful and highly intellectual human potential in modern conditions.

The ADB President expressed his sincere gratitude to the President of Uzbekistan for the warm reception, assuring of the ADB’s commitment to further expand and develop partnership relations with Uzbekistan in various sectors of economy and social development. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN RECEIVES WORLD BANK VP

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia Philippe Le Houerou at Oqsaroy residence in Tashkent on 30 April.

Welcoming the guests, the head of the state emphasized the strategic character of jointly implemented projects in priority sectors of the country’s economy and consistent expansion of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the World Bank.

“Participation of the World Bank representatives in the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in Tashkent confirms the high level of relations between Uzbekistan and the World Bank,” President Islam Karimov said.

Participation of a high-profile delegation of the World Bank and several other foreign banking and financial institutions in the 43rd ADB Annual Meeting, which opens in Tashkent, is noteworthy. This again demonstrates the broad recognition by the international community of the efficiency of the Anti-crisis program implemented in the country and the “Uzbek model” of economic development.

In cooperation with this leading international financial institution, about 20 projects in various sectors of the economy and social development are being successfully implemented. They cover areas like structural changes in agriculture, rehabilitation of irrigation and drainage systems, modernization of communal services, as well as improving healthcare and education, and environmental protection.

At the meeting in Oqsaroy, Philippe Le Houerou expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of the state for the warm reception and noted that holding an international forum of such level in Uzbekistan, which is an example of stable economic growth in the conditions of the global financial crisis, had a particular importance. He also stressed that the present ADB meeting would be another proof of the investment attractiveness and confirmation of the correctness of further modernization of Uzbekistan.

During the talks, the sides exchanged views on the implementation of joint projects and prospects for further development of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the World Bank. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

ECONOMY

SEMINAR CONSIDERS UZBEKISTAN'S EXPERIENCE IN LEGISLATION DEVELOPMENT ON MICROFINANCE

Seminar on the "World practice and experience of Uzbekistan in legislation development on microfinance issues" was held in Tashkent on 27 April.

Welcoming remarks were delivered by the Chairman of the Committee for Budget and Economic Reforms of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdurafik Akhadov.

The seminar was organized by the above mentioned committee in cooperation with the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the United Nations Development Program "Support to microfinance sector development", GTZ's "Assistance to microfinance sector development in Central Asia" project and Azerbaijan-Central Asia Financial Markets Infrastructure Advisory Services Project (ACAFI) of International Finance Corporation (IFC) in partnership with the Government of Switzerland.

In his speech on 29 January 2010, at a governmental meeting, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov spoke about successful implementation of social and economical policy and the State Anti-Crisis Program for 2009-2012.

The measures undertaken by the Uzbek Government resulted in 7.6% growth of the national gross domestic product (GDP) and 20.1% growth in the volume of construction. The disbursement rate for foreign investment was 2.6 higher than the year before.

The strategy of the government is aimed at overcoming the results of the global financial crisis and reaching a 52.5% increase in GDP input from small businesses and a 49% increase in GDP input from services industry.

This is possible only through improved access to microfinancing and enhanced credit information sharing mechanisms for financial institutions. This year, small businesses will receive up to $1.8 billion in loans and 1.3 times more micro loans than last year, which calls for greater activity of banks and microfinance institutions.

Uzbekistan has already adopted the laws that create a solid base for its microfinance sector. Those laws include Law on Credit Unions, Law on Microfinancing and Law on Microcredit Organizations, as well as Program for development of microfinance sector in the Republic of Uzbekistan up to 2010.

78 credit organizations and 26 microcredit organizations operated in Uzbekistan as of 1 January 2009. In January 2010, there were respectively 103 and 32 of those entities. In 2009, credit unions disbursed 184.1 billion soums in loans (1.8 times more than the year before) and microcredit organizations disbursed 5 billion soums (1.9 times more).

International experts that participated in the seminar delivered the overview of world's best practices in regulation and control over the microfinance sector. They emphasized the important role that this sector plays in social and economical development of the country and shared their expectations of its further growth.

The experts also complimented on the work that has been done in development of legislation for credit bureau operations and credit information sharing system in Uzbekistan. The participants of the seminar noted the importance of small businesses and entrepreneurs in creating new working places and increasing real profits of the country's population. (Source: Uzreport Information Portal)

SET FOR INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT

International Intellectual Property Day has widely been marked in Uzbekistan.

This is obvious since the country has confidently started its innovative development and has achieved some tangible progress. The achievements were highlighted in seminars and panel discussions.

The intellectual property protection issues were discussed in the scientific and practical seminar in the World Economy and Diplomacy University together with the deputies of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis and senior officers of the State Patent Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“The interest to the intellectual property protection and its commercialization has considerably grown of late,” informed Bakhtiyor Amonov, director of the State Patent Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan. “First of all this is connected with the boost of market relations in the country. Intellectual property gains importance in this environment. A market of intellectual products has formed in the republic; they make up the intangible assets, which may raise considerably the market price of enterprises at their sale or merge.”

The people tend to realize that there are no prospects for the development and international market without modernization, technical and technological production upgrade and constant update of the produced output. The powerful technical and technological potential in the republic enables successful solution of these tasks.

The number of valid patents by national and foreign holders has grown in the country. Last year alone Uzbekistan accepted applications for record of inventions from 24 countries. The majority of them were sent from industrialized countries such as the USA, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, France and Russia. These countries sent two thirds of all applications from abroad. The number of invention applications from Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland and Japan even grew as compared to the last year in spite of the global financial-economic crisis.

The most important inventions by our scientists and engineers, in their turn, were recorded in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France, Turkey, Japan, China, Russia and other countries. Our eminent inventor, head of the Scientific Research Center for Fire Safety under the Higher Fire-Engineering School of MIA of Uzbekistan Mirjalil Usmonov acquired patents of 17 countries. The fire-prevention screens invented by him are capable to slacken the heat stream intensity by more than a hundred times. The importance of this invention can scarcely be overestimated. Suffice it to say that losses from fires and expenses for struggle against them annually make up approximately one percent of the gross national product in the majority of world’s industrialized countries.

The State Patent Office expanded its international cooperation in exchange and mutual use of scientific, engineering and patent data stocks, and training of specialists. The governments of Uzbekistan and Bulgaria signed an agreement last year on the cooperation for intellectual property protection. The same agreements function between Uzbekistan and Russia, China, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and some other countries. (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper)

LOCALIZATION PROGRAM SET FOR PRODUCTION GROWTH

As late as ten years ago, Uzbekistan used to largely import cables and wires. National production capacities were scarcely sufficient to meet the demands of construction boom that covered comprehensive schools, colleges, lyceums, healthcare facilities and housing estates. Today the assessments suggest another statistics: in the last decade from an importer of this production Uzbekistan grew up into an active exporter.

In mid 1990s the needs of the country in cables of diverse type and purpose determined the development of several strategically important sectors: power industry, oil-and-gas and chemical complexes, transport communications and information technologies. The cost of the above-listed sectors was largely dependent on the imported cables and wires.

The market infrastructure of cable and wire production at the contemporary stage was initiated in the frameworks of national programs directed at the localization of production and attracting direct foreign investments. A long-standing enterprise with a new history, Uzkabel JV, possesses a special place in this process. The modernization and technical re-equipment of this joint venture covered all the production cycles. The focus on rational use of resources predetermined the installation of cable-wastes processing lines.

The range of output of the plant reached 3,000 dimension types of cables and wires without any harm to environment. This would say nothing for ordinary consumers. But for powermen, geologists, railway and communication workers, machine builders, miners and farmers this suggests that there is no need in purchasing of foreign cables. Our own cables will be enough for all. About 40% of output meeting ISO 9001-2000 international quality standard goes for export. All CIS countries are among the regular consumers of our cables. Nowadays cable plant functions following a new development strategy scheduled till 2015. Specialists tell about the fact that the affirmed prospects of infrastructural and industrial development allow Uzkabel to recycle the unused cables through reprocessing of non-ferrous metals and mastering new sorts of output not produced in the republic.

The success formula of the plant has one more component, the diversity of production. The plant has launched the manufacture of building materials and furniture. By the way, in the frameworks of the localization program for 2010 Uzkabel launches new lines of paint and varnish materials. Specialists say the total volume of production will reach 2,500 tons of water emulsion paint and 500 tons of chemical-resistant paint. (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper)

SOCIETY

UNFPA CONTINUES ASSISTING UZBEKISTAN IN COMBATING CERVICAL CANCER

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Uzbekistan on 19-23 April supported the initiative of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and a number of international organizations on organizing the Second National Conference on Cervical Cancer.

The event brought together experts in oncology, obstetrics and gynecology as well as specialists from provincial health departments to make conclusions on introduction of cervical cancer screening in the country, discuss challenges and lessons learnt with regard to the process; and plan further large-scale interventions on reproductive system cancer prevention.

A. Kamilov, Deputy Minister of Health, underlined the importance of the event and called all participants to put their ideas on table, so that they can be taken into account during development of the National Strategy on Cervical Cancer Prevention, which is work in progress these days.

"Cervical cancer is one of the leading reasons of morbidity and mortality in women of reproductive age in Uzbekistan," commented Feruza Fazilova, UNFPA National Programme Officer on Reproductive Health.

"Each year the number of cases increases and the major problem is in late diagnostics of the disease. It usually takes place when the medical interventions have the least impact. Therefore, issues of early diagnostics of cervical cancer are critical and considered an integral component of the reproductive health programming."

Consequently, UNFPA supported a 3-day workshop on modern clinical and diagnostic aspects of colposcopy initiated by the Ministry of Health and delivered by the experts from the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.

Over thirty service providers in the area of diagnostics and treatment of cervical pathologies in Uzbekistan updated their knowledge in the field and obtained new skills in early diagnostics and treatment thanks to this educational event. (Source: Uzreport Information Portal)

KHIVA TO HOST “ECHO OF CENTURIES” FESTIVAL

The third traditional culture festival “Asrlad Sadosi” (“Echo of Centuries”) will be held in Khiva on 8-9 May.

The forum has been held by the Fund “Forum of Culture and Art of Uzbekistan” since 2008. Its aim is to revive and promote the national culture.

The first two festivals were held in Kitab district of Kashkadarya region and in Bostanliq district of Tashkent region, attracting numerous participants from various countries.

“The venue of this year’s festival is Khiva, one of the oldest towns in the world,” chairman of Modelers and Designers Association Kholida Kamilova said.

“Located in the center of the Great Silk Road, this ancient town has accumulated traditions of schools of national craftsmanship, architecture, culture and arts.”

The event will be held in Ichan-Qala (Inner Castle) architectural complex, known as the “museum under the open sky”.

It is expected that some 1,000 people will take part in the festival, including Uzbek and foreign scientists, historians, archaeologists, culture and art specialists, artists and designers, craftsmen and others.

The festival will be accompanied by folklore performances, art exhibitions, national dress festival and national games. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

UZBEKISTAN PARTICIPATES IN IMMUNIZATION WEEK

Events related to the European Immunization Week are being held in Uzbekistan for the second time.

The week is being coordinated by the European regional bureau of the World Health Organization.

During the week, to last until 1 May, vaccination of children and awareness raising activities among the population are planned.

The family policlinics will hold seminars for doctors, educational specialists and the general public.

Children aged below 2 in Uzbekistan are vaccinated against infectious diseases for free.

In 2002, the country was certified by the WHO as the poliomyelitis free zone. Diseases like measles and German measles have also been eliminated in Uzbekistan. (Source: National News Agency UzA)