May 07, 2010

Politics:
President holds talks with head of World Customs Organization
President Islam Karimov meets Korean Finance Minister
President meets Japanese Deputy Prime Minister
Islam Karimov meets Chinese Finance Minister
Economics:
ADB’s Tashkent forum: cooperation for development
ADB President holds press conference
Uzbekistan, ADB and JICA sign agreements
ADB seminar considers 21st-century cities
Presentation of economic and investment potential of Uzbekistan
New Stage of Partnership
Society:
Learning to address important issues through theater performances

POLICY

PRESIDENT HOLDS TALKS WITH HEAD OF WORLD CUSTOMS ORGANIZATION

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Secretary General of the World Customs Organization Kunio Mikuriya, on May 4 in Oqsaroy.

Head of our state, welcoming the guest, said, “Your attendance of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Tashkent we perceive as a sign of respect for Uzbekistan and our region as a whole. Uzbek customs officials personally feel the practical support provided by the WTO in the development and introduction of modern methods and standards to the system and professional training in this field.

“In Uzbekistan we well understand the effective role played by the World Customs Organization in elaborating rules and procedures of international trade”, the President said.

International institutional integration of national customs structures on such a level was formalized back in 1947 and currently includes 176 countries. Its core functions are defined as development of trade standards, perfection of internationally recognized customs rules and procedures, improvement of the effectiveness of – and development of cooperation between – customs authorities of member states.

Uzbekistan has fruitfully cooperated with this international organization since its accession as early as 1992. In particular, “Development Strategy of Customs Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2007-2010” was developed in 2007 together with WTO experts, and is today effectively put into practice. In the framework of this document, projects are implemented to introduce information technologies and modern equipment to the work of customs services, to augment the professional skills of officers in this sphere.

It should be noted that with the initiative of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, a higher education institution unique to entire region was established in our country in 2003 that specializes in training highly qualified specialists in customs service. The national cynological center of the republic’s customs agency instituted earlier by the initiative of President Karimov, assumed the status of an organization of regional standing.

During the meeting in Oqsaroy, Kunio Mikuriya expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of our state for the warm welcome. “First of all, I was glad to learn that ADB chose the city of Tashkent for such a forum first in Central Asia”, Kunio Mikuriya said. “Back in 2002, when I served as deputy secretary general of WTO, Mr. Tadao Chino who then headed the ADB, invited me to a ministerial conference in Central Asia and talked a lot about Uzbekistan and admired You as a farsighted politician, economist and just a person. Thus, I would like to say Mr. President, that when I joined the Ministry of Finance of Japan, Tadao Chino was my principal, mentor, and I went through his school. My current visit represents a good opportunity to take a closer look at the life of the republic and the dynamics of its development”.

Secretary General gave his high appreciation of the wide-scale economic development strategy outlined by President Islam Karimov in his welcoming address to participants of the 43rd Annual Meeting of ADB Board of Governors. Kunio Mikuriya pointed out that especially praiseworthy is the work of customs authorities of the republic in improving the legislative framework, providing with modern equipment and technologies, special facilities, which allow to effectively organize the customs activities. (Source: National News Agency)

PRESIDENT ISLAM KARIMOV MEETS KOREAN FINANCE MINISTER

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea Yoon Jeung-Hyun, in Oqsaroy, May 4.

Having welcomed the guest, the head of state expressed satisfaction with the high level of dynamically developing relations between Uzbekistan and South Korea and noted in particular: “I well remember our meeting in Seoul this February. It was a conversation pretty rich in content and important for us. We even decided to definitely meet in Tashkent in the course of Your participation in the ADB international forum. Today You are our welcome visitor and dear guest. And the fact that we have established quite confidential relations with President Lee Myung-bak furthermore underscores the closeness and trust-based cooperation that has been forming for many years between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea”.

Traditionally, the friendly cultural and economic ties between our countries, united by common interests and aspirations, are permeated with a spirit of strategic partnership and a determination to further strengthen amity between the two fraternal peoples. Regular Uzbek-Korean summits confirm this time and again. Bilateral contacts serve to jointly explore promising areas of cooperation and elaborate mutually beneficial projects in various spheres, particularly biggest of which are implemented in the hydrocarbon, mining, transport and logistics, banking and finance, and many other areas.

Republic of Korea is considered one of the most reliable and time-tested economic partners of Uzbekistan with a joint realization of a number of strategically important investment projects. One of them, in particular, is a free industrial and economic zone and international multimodal logistics center in Navoi. The cooperation with KOGAS Corporation is particularly noteworthy, especially in the construction of Ustyurt gas chemical complex aimed at not only field development with high-tech, but also production of ready products – polyethylene and polypropylene. In the framework of this project it is intended to attract investments worth more than 3 billion US dollars.

As a result of the most favored nation regime in economic relations between Uzbekistan and South Korea, the volume of mutual trade turnover amounted to 1.2 billion US dollars in 2009 alone.

During the meeting in Oqsaroy, Yoon Jeung-Hyun expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of our nation for the warm welcome, stressing the Korean side’s interest in expanding the scales of mutually beneficial ties with Uzbekistan. Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea underpinned that Tashkent became the site for an international forum of Asian Development Bank owing primarily to the successfully implemented Uzbek model of development acknowledged by many leading countries as effective.

“In the context of global financial and economic crisis Uzbekistan has demonstrated the robustness of protective mechanisms inherent in the national model of economy effectively applied today in practice”, the guest emphasized.

Issues related to further enhancement of trade, economic and investment cooperation between Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea have been discussed during the conversation. (Source: National News Agency)

PRESIDENT MEETS JAPANESE DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Naoto Kan on May 3 in Oqsaroy.

“Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere respect to the leadership and people of Japan. The fact that You personally head the Japanese delegation at the meeting of Asian Development Bank is a great honor for us, and at the same time testifies to the consolidating friendly relations between our countries and peoples year by year starting from the very first days of Uzbekistan’s independence”, the head of state said welcoming the distinguished guest.

Today, bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and Japan are developing rather intensively and entirely in line with the spirit of the 2002 Joint Declaration on Friendship, Strategic Partnership and Cooperation. Japan has been one of the oldest and most reliable investment partners of our nation. The volume of Japanese financial resources drawn into the Uzbek economy reaches two billion US dollars.

Advancement of economic ties has enjoyed a notable impetus by the work of bilateral committees on economic cooperation. At their joint meetings, substantial proposals are singled out to facilitate further consolidation and expansion of mutual interaction in relevant sectors of economy and social development.

Representative offices of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) operate today in our country. They have promoted direct contacts between business circles and assisted in the development of social, humanitarian, trade and economic cooperation between our countries. Signed in Tashkent, May 1 in the framework of 43rd Annual Meeting of the Council of Governors of Asian Development Bank (ADB), the latest 300-million-dollar loan agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and JICA has underscored the consistently enlarging mutually beneficial cooperation.

In Oqsaroy, Naoto Kan thanked the head of our state for the warm welcome and expressed his high appreciation of the effectively implemented anti-crisis program and the one on wide-scale modernization of basically all spheres of life in Uzbekistan.

During the talks it was stressed that ADB’s current international forum in Tashkent has constituted a good opportunity to discuss and appreciate the essence of pressing issues of regional and international significance as well as the further development of investment cooperation. (Source: National News Agency)

ISLAM KARIMOV MEETS CHINESE FINANCE MINISTER

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Xie Xuren, Minister of Finance of the People’s Republic of China, in Oqsaroy on May 3.

Welcoming the guest, head of our state noted in particular, “I take this opportunity to thank the President of the People’s Republic of China Mr. Hu Jintao for a decision to send such a representative delegation led by You to the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Asian Development Bank in Tashkent. It will surely provide a corresponding impetus and weight to an international forum of such level. We in Uzbekistan highly appreciate and value the close, friendly relations established between our countries, and know well what lies behind the current growth of China’s prestige and influence in world affairs, which was laid in the renowned reforms course by Deng Xiaoping”.

The constructive nature of Uzbek-Chinese summit meetings has proved particularly critical in the steady development of bilateral relations. Contacts between specialists and representatives of business circles of our nations at different levels have been constant and productive. Uzbekistan and China vigorously cooperate, in particular, in the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The most favored nation regime in trade and economic cooperation between our countries has been practical since 1994. China has established itself as one of the major economic partners of Uzbekistan. In 2009, for instance, mutual trade turnover exceeded two billion US dollars. 223 Uzbek-Chinese joint ventures are active in our country.

During the meeting in Oqsaroy, Xie Xuren expressed his sincere gratitude to the head of our nation for the warm welcome, highly appraising the magnitude and practical effect of the Uzbek model of economy and the anti-crisis program successfully implemented in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

A thorough exchange of views regarding the prospects for further expansion of bilateral relations in trade, economic and investment spheres took place in the course of the talks. (Source: National News Agency)

ECONOMY

ADB’S TASHKENT FORUM: COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

The opening ceremony of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank was held on 3 May at the International Forums Palace “Uzbekistan” in Tashkent. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov made a speech at the opening ceremony of the forum.

The head of the state said that Uzbekistan highly valued the growing cooperation with ADB and considered the bank as an important strategic partner, which in recent years has become a leading international financial institution for the country both in terms of its credit portfolio, and in the framework of regional cooperation in Central Asia.

The ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda expressed his gratitude to President Islam Karimov and the people of Uzbekistan for their great support in organizing the ADB forum – the first meeting of the Board of Governors ever conducted in Central Asia. The main goal of ADB is to promote economic and social progress in developing countries of the Asia-Pacific region, including supporting economic growth, raising living standards, human resource development, and solving environmental issues, particularly related to climate change.

Founded in 1966, the Asian Development Bank today possesses large financial and technical resources. Its members include 67 states, of which 48 countries are in the Asia-Pacific region, a number of industrialized countries in Europe, as well as Canada and the USA. The bank provides financing of development and regional cooperation projects, and technical support in these areas. Particular attention is paid to assisting countries that implement socioeconomic policies aimed at enhancing national potential and quality of life.

Uzbekistan and the ADB have had a long and effective cooperation. The country became a full member of this largest international financial institution in 1995. Through implementation of its own “Uzbek model” and gradual reforms based on five principles set by the head of the state, Uzbekistan has retained macroeconomic stability and sustained economic growth.

This is why the decision to hold the important forum of the ADB in Tashkent was quite logical. The country’s experience in implementation of the Anti-crisis program developed by President Islam Karimov is being studied in various countries.

As a result of effective and timely comprehensive anti-crisis measures, the GDP growth in Uzbekistan in 2009 amounted to 8.1 percent. Total investment in national economy grew by almost 26 percent, including foreign investments by 68 percent. The later figure is especially important, as it proves high confidence of foreign businesses in the country and the favorable investment climate. In the first quarter of 2010, foreign direct investment used in Uzbekistan were 2.6 times more than in the same period of last year.

A distinctive feature of the financial policy of Uzbekistan is the fact that external borrowing, including ADB credit lines, are attracted on a long-term basis to fund strategic investment projects included in the modernization and technological re-equipment program, as well as for support of small business and private enterprise.

The ADB occupies the first place among international financial institutions in terms of credit cooperation with Uzbekistan. This cooperation covers many directions, with joint projects implemented in strategic areas like transport infrastructure, energy, agriculture, small business and private entrepreneurship, water resources management, healthcare, education and others.

Uzbekistan and the ADB are cooperating in expanding the network of automobile roads and railways, in particular, development of the Uzbek national highway, which is an important part of the Central Asian regional transport corridor. One of the major ongoing projects in 2009 was the program of financing the water supply and sanitation sphere worth USD 300 million. In the framework of a similar project pipelines are laid and corresponding equipment is being installed in 170 settlements of Kashkadarya and Navoi regions.

Timely fulfillment of obligations to repay the ADB funds increases trust to Uzbekistan on the world financial markets. In the conditions of the global crisis, many investors faced insolvency of not only individual banks, but also entire countries. The banking and financial system of Uzbekistan, being one of the most stable in the Asia-Pacific region, has a large reliability reserve. Measures to strengthen the banking system within the Anti-crisis program allowed to double the banks’ cumulative capital in the past two years. The level of sufficiency of the banks’ capital currently exceeds 23 percent, which is almost three times higher than international standards set by the Basel Committee. The total current liquidity of the banking system is 10 times higher than current liabilities of banks for external payments.

At the opening ceremony, it was noted that ADB’s support of long-term economic and social programs in the Asia-Pacific region was carried out in the framework of global cooperation for sustainable development and contributes to the world progress in general. (Source: National News Agency)

ADB PRESIDENT HOLDS PRESS CONFERENCE

President of the Asian Development Bank Haruhiko Kuroda held a press conference during the 43rd Annual Meeting of the ADB Board of Governors in Tashkent on 1 May.

The head of the international financial institute spoke to local and foreign media about the modern tendencies of economic development in the countries of Asia. The developing countries of this region are reviving their economies fast after the global economic crisis, he said.

Despite many problems remaining unsolved, the revival process has started. Using additional resources from the total growth of its capital, the ADB could provide significant assistance to countries that experienced the negative influence of the crisis.

In 2009, the volume of this support comprised USD 16 billion, which is 42% more than in 2008. This has helped the developing ADB member states save their principally important expenses for development of healthcare, education and infrastructure development, which contributed to the speeding up of the post-crisis revival of the region. The main task for today, ADB President stressed, is to ensure that this process is stable in the long-term perspective.

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the ADB is taking place at the moment when the region’s countries are facing adoption of a number of very important decisions. On the one hand, they have to carefully develop the strategy of the fastest revival from the crisis and to take measures to improve the situation in the monetary and credit system. On the other, they have to create and develop a system of social protection for softening the impact of possible future economic crises on low-income population, and boost response measures for serious ecological challenges, which are also related to climate change.

Haruhiko Kuroda stressed that to solve all these problems, the countries of the region have to work together to expand cooperation and deepen economic integration. This will help the region to become more stable and bring benefit for economies on all development levels.

Answering journalists’ questions, the ADB President said there are many lessons that could be learnt from the global crisis. For instance, Uzbek economy has felt the crisis’s negative influence, however, the impact was significantly lower than in many other countries.

The government of Uzbekistan adopted timely measures in tax, monetary and credit policy, supporting industry, export-oriented sectors, small and private business and social sphere. AS a result, the country could retain economic growth. The ADB forecasts that the Uzbek economy will grow 8.5% this year, which is one of the highest figures in the whole region.

In the framework of the long-term cooperation with Uzbekistan, the ADB plans to expand its support of the reforms implemented in the country, Haruhiko Kuroda said.

In conclusion, he expressed gratitude to the leadership of Uzbekistan for active assistance in organizing the annual ADB forum in the city of Tashkent. (Source: National News Agency)

UZBEKISTAN, ADB AND JICA SIGN AGREEMENTS

The government of Uzbekistan, the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency signed a number of credit agreements on 1 May in Tashkent.

Seven documents inked during the 43rd Annual Meeting of ADB Board of Governors, are worth a total of USD 1.015 billion and foresee financing projects in important sectors of Uzbekistan.

Among these projects are reconstruction of water supply system in Ferghana Valley cities, development of regional roads, support and microfinancing small business, participation of Uzbek banks in trade financing program, as well as construction of two combined cycle gas turbines at Talimarjan thermal power station. (Source: National News Agency)

ADB SEMINAR CONSIDERS 21ST-CENTURY CITIES

The new trends in urban development were considered at a seminar held in Tashkent in the framework of the ongoing 43rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank. It brought together experts, scholars and specialists in urban planning from various countries.

With growth of population on the planet, existing towns are developing and new ones are being built. More and more mega-cities, which have a complex infrastructure and a variety of industries that consume resources and affect the environment, appear on the world map. In this regard, it was stressed at the seminar, the 21st-century cities should become leaders in resource saving and environmental protection.

Creation of cities where environmentally safe technologies, modern methods of processing of secondary resources and waste, including sewage, are widely used has already begun. The example can be found in a number of countries in the Asia-Pacific region, particularly Japan, China, Malaysia, the Philippines and others.

The program of the so-called circular economy, based on transformation, upgrading and re-using of resources, is already being implemented in 15 countries in the region and involves 120 cities. According to speakers at the seminar, including Hironori Hamanaka, Chair of Board of Directors of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, Tokyo, and Amy Leung, Director of East Asia Urban and Social Sectors Division, ADB, such cities are the cities of the future.

Therefore, it was noted at the forum, the regional states should pay more attention to this problem, improving relevant legislation, using market-based instruments to promote the interest of businesses, including private ones, and society in general in the development of circular economy. All this would contribute to achieving sustainable development, this is why ADB attaches great importance to funding these projects.

“Renewable energy has great prospects in Uzbekistan,” Harrison S. Fraker, Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at University of California, Berkeley, said. “In addition to using solar energy, there are wide opportunities for producing electricity from waste.”

“This is my first visit to Uzbekistan, and I was pleasantly surprised how beautiful and green the city of Tashkent is. Greenery is a very important factor for creating a favorable environment for the people, and it is effectively used in your country,” he added. (Source: National News Agency)

PRESENTATION OF ECONOMIC AND INVESTMENT POTENTIAL OF UZBEKISTAN

The national presentation of the Republic of Uzbekistan was one of the important events of the 43rd annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Asian Development Bank, which is underway in Tashkent.

After proclamation of independence, Uzbekistan has chosen its own path of development based on five principles proposed by President Islam Karimov, which has been recognized worldwide as the “Uzbek model” of reforms and modernization of the country, said ADB Governor from Uzbekistan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance Rustam Azimov.

As a result, the country maintained macroeconomic stability and stable economic growth, created a reliable financial and banking system, achieved energy independence and grain. The state budget is consistently executed with a surplus, growth is observed in all sectors of economy, new jobs are created and incomes are growing. A great contribution to the dynamic development of the country is made by new high-tech industries like automotive, oil and gas, chemical, electrical and many others.

All this has become a solid foundation for mitigating the negative impact on the economy of the world financial crisis. Realization of the Anti-crisis program for 2009-2012 developed by President Islam Karimov made it possible not only to maintain the previously achieved results, to continue to diversify production and exports, but also to lay the foundation for future intensive development. In the structure of exports, which exceeded USD 11.771 billion, more than 70 percent of products are with high added value. At the same time, the social sector every year receives more than 50 percent of the state budget, which contributes significantly to its strengthening, development of human capital, including through improvement of educational sphere and construction of new educational institutions.

The Asian Development Bank highly values its partnership with Uzbekistan, said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda. The bank has financed large projects worth over USD 2.4 billion in the country. Uzbekistan’s economy has been developing very effectively. It managed to overcome the negative impact of the global crisis and ensure 8.1 percent GDP growth in 2009, the head of ADB said.

According to ADB forecasts, in 2010 the Uzbek GDP growth could reach 8.5 percent and 9 percent in 2011, which is one of the highest rates in the Asia-Pacific region. The ADB’s strategy of cooperation with Uzbekistan aims at supporting the development of economy and social sphere.

“We are very grateful to Uzbekistan for its initiatives to enhance regional cooperation,” said Haruhiko Kuroda, “in particular, for Uzbekistan’s intention to increase supply of electricity to Afghanistan, and active participation in the construction of transnational communications. All of this will contribute to sustainable development not only of Uzbekistan, but also of the region as a whole.”

Uzbekistan has large investment attractiveness for foreign business. It is guaranteed by political and economic stability in the country, favorable geographical position, accelerated development of all types of infrastructure, rich mineral base and highly skilled workforce. Since 2007, the annual growth of total investment, including foreign ones, in the economy of Uzbekistan has made 20 percent. Together with international partners, large-scale investment projects are implemented, including creation of new industries, and modernization and technological renovation of existing ones.

It is important that reforms in Uzbekistan are based on real possibilities and potential of the country, said Director General of the Department of Central and West Asia of ADB Juan Miranda. This is a key condition for their effectiveness. Thanks to carefully developed policy, the country has created a buffer to protect the national economy and the population from the negative impact of the global crisis. Uzbekistan is open for cooperation, and ADB within its strategy will continue funding projects in key sectors. Among the new projects are reconstruction of water supply systems in several cities of Fergana Valley, development of regional roads, microfinancing small business, participation of commercial banks in trade financing program, as well as construction of two combined-cycle plants at Talimarjan TPP.

An example of effectiveness of the “Uzbek model” of economic development is the establishment of the free industrial zone in Navoi, President of Korean Air (Republic of Korea), Chi Chang Hoon said. Wide opportunities have been created for creation of a multi-modal logistics center, which will unite Europe, India, China and Southeast Asia, on the basis of Navoi international airport. In the past year, about 8,500 tons of cargo was transported on international routes from Navoi airport, which made it possible to integrate it into the global logistics network. Rapid development of Navoi free industrial zone and attraction of foreign investment may help it become one of the largest Asian economic centers in the near future.

Development of economic cooperation with Uzbekistan has great prospects, continued Mike Arcamone, President and CEO of GM DAT, which has a joint venture in Uzbekistan. Together with Uzbek partners, GM has stepped up production in the automotive industry. This work also contributes to growth of human capital. Last year, 1,200 jobs were created, and training of specialists was established. Uzbekistan runs a very thought-out economic policy. Much work is being done to develop the infrastructure – not only in the cities, but also in rural areas, Mike Arcamone said.

Dynamic progress is observed in realization of joint projects in oil and gas industry, said head of representative office of Petronas in Uzbekistan Ilasegeran Nadaraj. The Malaysian oil and gas giant, which operates in 30 countries, opened its office in Uzbekistan in 2006. At present, it implements a number of major projects in the regions of the country with national holding company Uzbekneftegaz. Recently, an agreement was signed on joint exploration in the Aral Sea region. Today Uzbekistan is one of the most important partners of Petronas, and this cooperation will continue expanding, Ilasegeran Nadaraj said. (Source: National News Agency)

NEW STAGE OF PARTNERSHIP

International Finance Corporation (IFC), in partnership with Hamkorbank is expanding its engagement in supporting small business in Uzbekistan.

IFC and Hamkorbank signed an agreement on the channeling $3 million direct investment to the bank capital and providing a $2 million credit line. The IFC as a Hamkorbank shareholder will help the bank enhance corporate governance, improve risk management and operation system. The provided credit line will expand the banks capacity in financing small businesses in rural areas of Uzbekistan, especially in Farg’ona Valley and Karakalpakstan.

“We are pleased to expand our cooperation with Hamkorbank and enter its shareholder board,” said Rashad Kaldany, IFC Vice President for Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “We hope that the funds provided by our corporation, will help improve the performance of the bank. We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Uzbekistan.”

The decision of the IFC Board of Directors to provide direct investment toward the bank’s capital is an important step in mutually beneficial cooperation and confirms the stability and dynamic development of the banking sector in Uzbekistan.

UT Reference

The cooperation between the International Finance Corporation and Hamkorbank has been growing since 2001. Over this period, the institutions have signed three loan agreements totaling $6 million allocated for financial support to small businesses. (Source: Uzbekistan Today News paper)

SOCIETY

LEARNING TO ADDRESS IMPORTANT ISSUES THROUGH THEATER PERFORMANCES

UNDP's "Development of Capacities of the National Human Rights Institutions in Uzbekistan" project, UNFPA-supported Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER) and the Center for Youth Initiatives Kelajak Ovozi joined efforts in holding a five-day theater-based training (TBT) for 22 young people from Tashkent city, Ferghana, Andijan, Jizzakh, Navoi, Surkhandarya, and Khorezm regions.

Held during 16-20 April at Shodlik Palace Hotel, the primary goal of TBT was to raise awareness about youth related issues by teaching the participants to address these issues through staged performances.

Over the course of TBT, the trainees acquired skills in designing and implementing theater plays/skits on HIV/AIDS, sexual reproductive health, gender, and drug abuse using a peer to peer approach.

With a special focus on gender issues, this TBT marked a start-up of a mini project on gender and development to be carried out by volunteers of UNDP-supported resource centers. These resource centers offer free internet access and ICT related trainings to citizens of Uzbekistan in six regions and Tashkent city.

Armed with new knowledge on gender issues and theatrical skills, the volunteers will share them with peers by organizing mobile trainings and seminars in remote places of their regions. The mini project on gender will culminate in a Tashkent-based festival of theatrical performances to be staged by six regional teams of volunteers. (Source: Uzreport Information Portal)