June 10, 2010

Politics:
President of Tajikistan arrives in Tashkent
Uzbekistan-China: Toward enhancing cooperation
Tashkent to host 10th SCO heads of states summit
President of Mongolia arrives in Tashkent
China’s President Hu Jintao arrives in Tashkent
Meeting at Oqsaroy residence
Economics:
Uzbekistan receives new passenger locomotives from China
Uzbekistan to digitize electricity meters by next year
Uzbek Aviators at Their Best as Usual
Grants to Support Civic Activity
Society:
Implementation of legal expertise law considered
Uzbekistan marks Environment Day

POLICY

PRESIDENT OF TAJIKISTAN ARRIVES IN TASHKENT

President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon arrived in Uzbekistan on 10 June for participation in the session of the Council of heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, hosted by Tashkent.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed the high guest at the Tashkent airport.

The SCO summit will be held under the chairmanship of the President of Uzbekistan.

The leaders will consider issues of further development of SCO, improvement of activity of its bodies, political, economic and humanitarian cooperation of member states, strengthening SCO’s ties with international and regional organizations, as well as problems related to security and other issues. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

UZBEKISTAN-CHINA: TOWARD ENHANCING COOPERATION

At the invitation of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao arrived June 9 in Tashkent on state visit.

Relations shaped between the two nations are historically deep-rooted, dating back to more than a thousand years and thriving most during the era of the Great Silk Road. The mutual cultural appeal and trade relations between Maveraunnahr and the Celestial Empire were indisputably critical in disseminating the culture of tea, cotton, silk, paper and other products that have since enjoyed incomparable demand worldwide.

The particular attention paid to the viewpoint of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in addressing international issues, speaks for a high political standing of the country, a permanent member of UN Security Council. The dynamic growth of its gross domestic product, and the fact that it is among the top ten economies in the world in terms of foreign trade and export volumes, lays bare China’s economic power.

In the twenty-first century, relations between Uzbekistan and the PRC have been vibrant in all aspects meeting the realities and requirements of our times. Today they comprise political cooperation in the international arena, joint efforts in countering terrorism, religious extremism and separatism, mutually beneficial interaction in trade, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

Official welcoming ceremony of Chinese President has been hosted at Kuksaroy June 9. The guard of honor lined up for the distinguished guest. Then Islam Karimov and Hu Jintao rose to the podium, followed by state anthems of Uzbekistan and China being played flamboyantly. The two leaders reviewed the guard of honor.

During the presidents’ one-to-one meeting, the sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues related to advancing the Uzbek-Chinese relations, as well as regional and international topics of common interest.

Mutual confidence and political cooperation have been consolidated, with partnership in trade, economic and humanitarian spheres expanding. The two nations support one another in the international arena in promoting their vital interests by augmenting cooperation in the framework of the United Nations (UN), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and other international institutions. The two sides join their efforts in boosting regional security.

President Karimov said Uzbekistan highly appreciates its cooperation with China, based on mutual trust, respect and interest in deepening comprehensive interaction. As the head of nation stressed, our country supports enhancement of its interaction with China in all areas in the spirit of the Interstate Agreement on Partnership Relations of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 2005. Our republic is principally interested in expanding cooperation in energy, transportation, trade, telecommunications and other industries.

Hu Jintao maintained that China considers Uzbekistan as a time-tested friend and important partner. President of the PRC expressed his country’s willingness to carry on with the rewarding cooperation with our republic in implementing the arrangements of strategic nature reached during summits.

The Chinese leader highly praised Uzbekistan’s activity as chair nation of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and noted in particular that the Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the UN and SCO signed in Tashkent this April was a momentous event.

Presidents of Uzbekistan and China continued negotiations in a broader format with the participation of official delegations. Amid global financial and economic downturn, issues of curtailing its impact and preventing its devastating effects become central to intergovernmental cooperation. In order to address concerns in this area, the two countries have focused on expanding interaction in trade, economic, investment and financial spheres.

In this regard, joint projects in the financial sector have included interest-free and long-term soft loans provided by the government and Export-Import Bank of China. Owing to the Chinese credit line assigned for SCO member states, around 20 infrastructure projects worth over 600 million US dollars have been developed in Uzbekistan. The sum total of implemented projects in our country through soft loans from China has amounted to 127 million US dollars, while the volume of those in progress reaches 547 million dollars.

Investment cooperation has also been enlarging. In this direction, interaction is dynamically growing in the oil and gas, mining and other industries. For instance, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has had exploration work in the Aral Sea, Ustyurt, Bukhara-Khiva and Ferghana investment blocks.

In recent years, Uzbekistan and China have stepped up economic cooperation. While the volume of bilateral trade amounted to 1.2 billion US dollars in 2008, the figure exceeded 2 billion in 2009.

The agreements reached within the framework of investment cooperation include attracting investments from China worth 2 billion US dollars. Nonetheless, these indicators hardly correspond to the potential of cooperation between the two nations. Enormous opportunities for productive interaction provide transportation, logistics, construction, telecommunications, high-tech sectors. In particular, our countries can utilize the vast resources inherent in the free industrial zone in Navoi.

During the talks, the sides exchanged views on intensifying relations in cultural and humanitarian sphere, in the travel industry in particular. Set up in 1998, Uzbekistan-China Friendship Society has proved vigorous in advancing humanitarian cooperation, while the Chinese government – on a bilateral basis as well as within the SCO –provided scholarships for forty Uzbek students for the 2009-2010 academic year.

Following the negotiations, the heads of state signed the Joint Declaration on Comprehensive Expansion and Development of Partnership Relations of Friendship and Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the People’s Republic of China. Governments of the two countries inked a number of agreements on cooperation in energy and high-tech areas, the one concerning accreditation, as well as the one related to opening a credit line to support small and private entrepreneurship.

At the meeting with media representatives, Islam Karimov and Hu Jintao stressed that a trustful, friendly and businesslike atmosphere characterized the talks. Leaders of the two countries expressed confidence that the agreements reached will serve to enhance Uzbek-Chinese relations and improve the welfare of the two peoples.

State visit of President of the People’s Republic of China to Uzbekistan continues. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

TASHKENT TO HOST 10TH SCO HEADS OF STATES SUMMIT

The 10th session of the Council of heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Tashkent on 11 June.

On the invitation of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, who is chairing the SCO, the heads of states and delegations of SCO member and observer countries will take part in the summit.

Presidents of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan will attend the session as guests. Representatives of international organizations SCO has partnership ties with, including the UN, CIS, ASEAN, SCTO and EurAsEC, will also be present.

The summit participants will exchange opinions on a range of regional and international problems.

Among the issues on the agenda are deepening multilateral cooperation within the SCO, strengthening understanding, stability and security in the world and stable development of countries and regions.

Signing of a number of important documents is expected during the summit, including the Declaration of heads of SCO member states, the Regulations on the order of adoption of new members to the organization and the Rules of SCO procedure. (Source: Jahon Information Agency)

PRESIDENT OF MONGOLIA ARRIVES IN TASHKENT

President of the Republic of Mongolia Tsakhia Elbegdorj arrived in Uzbekistan on 9 June for participation as observer in the session of the Council of heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, hosted by Tashkent.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed the high guest at the Tashkent airport.

The SCO summit will be held under the chairmanship of the President of Uzbekistan. The leaders are expected to consider issues of further development of SCO, improvement of activity of its bodies, political, economic and humanitarian cooperation of member states, strengthening SCO’s ties with international and regional organizations, as well as problems related to security and other issues. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

CHINA’S PRESIDENT HU JINTAO ARRIVES IN TASHKENT

President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao arrived in Tashkent on a state visit on 9 June on the invitation of the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed the high guest at the Tashkent airport.

During the visit, Islam Karimov and Hu Jintao will consider issues of further development of Uzbek-Chinese relations, as well as regional and international problems of mutual interest.

Signing of a number of documents aimed at further development of bilateral cooperation in various areas is expected.

President of China will participate in the session of the Council of heads of states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that will take place in Tashkent. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

MEETING AT OQSAROY RESIDENCE

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received special representative of the President of Russia for development of relations with Kyrgyzstan Vladimir Rushailo at Oqsaroy residence on 7 June.

During the talks, the sides exchanged opinions on the development of the situation in the region, cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other international structures in ensuring regional security and stability, as well as other issues representing mutual interest. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

ECONOMY

UZBEKISTAN RECEIVES NEW PASSENGER LOCOMOTIVES FROM CHINA

Two electric locomotives produced by CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company (China) for Uzbekistan Railways were presented in Tashkent on 4 June.

In accordance with the agreement signed in 2008, the Chinese company was to supply 15 high-speed passenger locomotives during 2010-2011.

However, the sides had reached an agreement last year that all locomotives would be ready by the end of this year.

The new trains are capable of moving at 160 kmh speed, which will reduce travel time for passengers and sharply decrease energy costs.

For instance, the travel time from Tashkent to Samarkand will be reduced by 30 mins from 3.5 hrs to 3 hrs, while energy consumption will fall by 15%.

Chief engineer of Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Company Suo Jianguo said the supply of the locomotives was a result of economic cooperation and strengthening friendship ties between Uzbekistan and China.

Vice Prime Minister of Uzbekistan U.Rozukulov, mayor of Tashkent A.Tukhtayev, chairman of board of Uzbekistan Railways A.Ramatov and others participated in the trains presentation ceremony.

Uzbekistan is purchasing 15 locomotives from China within an investment project, aimed at renewal of the park of passenger locomotives of the country.

The project, which has a total cost of USD 75.53 million, is being financed by long-term soft credit of the Chinese government. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

UZBEKISTAN TO DIGITIZE ELECTRICITY METERS BY NEXT YEAR

The Czech Republic's Inerkon Power and Sitronics will participate in the automation of the electricity accounting system in Uzbekistan.

Through next year, a consortium of Czech companies including Inerkon will participate in the implementation of an automated control and accounting system for electricity consumption (ACASEC) in Uzbekistan, Trading Markets reported citing Uzbekenergo press service.

The Czech consortium and Uzbekenergo have signed a memorandum of understanding on the project. A $15 million project provides a 'single center' to manage the ACASEC and the central billing system for Uzbekenergo's needs. The project should be completed within one year.

According to Uzbekenergo, the ACASEC worth $34.8 million will be introduced at the company's enterprises by the end of 2010. The project is financed with funding from Uzbekenergo.

The ACASEC introduction is the first phase of the $360 million program to modernize the accounting system for electricity. The program includes the installation of 308,900 electricity meters for businesses, 93,700 electricity meters on transformer stations, and 3.98 million residential meters.

According to specialists, the project will save up to 2.75 billion kilowatt hours annually over the next ten years, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1.9 million tons annually. The energy saved will total $125 million per year.

Financial assistance will also come from Uzbekistan's Reconstruction and Development Fund, as well as foreign investment and loans.

In 2009, electricity production in Uzbekistan fell by 0.3% from the prior year, totaling 49.954 billion kilowatt hours. Currently, Uzbekistan has 42 power plants with a total capacity of 12,358 megawatts. Uzbekistan's electricity potential is around 57 billion kilowatt hours. (Source: Uzreport Information Portal)

UZBEK AVIATORS AT THEIR BEST AS USUAL

By the results of the contest “The Airport of the Year in CIS Countries” held by the International Association of Civil Aviation, three airports of Uzbekistan received awards.

Tashkent International Airport is acknowledged as a winner in nomination “The developing airport in the CIS” with the annual traffic of more than 1 million passengers.

Samarqand Airport was named the airport of the year in the category of annual conveyance volume from 100,000 to 500,000 passengers. Bukhara International Airport was acknowledged as a winner in nomination the developing airport in the CIS in the same category.

The contest upon the results in 2009 assessed performance of 23 airports including three ones from Uzbekistan.

Financial Support Precipitates Productivity

Commercial banks of the country pay special attention to the development of small and entrepreneurial businesses and financial support in the technical and technological re-equipment of manufacturing enterprises.

In particular, last year Tashkent city branch of National Bank issued 5 billion soums of loans for these purposes. And over the past period of the current year this branch has issued over 2 billion soums of credit resources.

The result is obvious: production volumes of enterprises using effectively the bank funds increases; new jobs ate created; quality of production grows. For example, Fayje Co Ltd is one of the enterprises that using bank funds for the development of its activity.

“For 400 million soums of loans allocated by Tashkent city branch of National Bank we have delivered from abroad the technology for the production of plastic bags,” told manager of Fayje Co Ltd Shakhzod Zairov. “The volumes of production of our enterprise grew twofold. And the quality of production improved.” (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper)

GRANTS TO SUPPORT CIVIC ACTIVITY

The Public Fund for the Support of Nongovernmental Organizations and other Civil Society Institutions under Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan announced two tenders for grants last week.

One of the grants is announced for projects by nongovernmental organizations and other civil society institutions directed at national program the Year of Comprehensively Advanced Generation.

The projects include such directions as growing a healthy generation, strengthening the explanation campaigns on bringing up healthy children and imparting the tendency to create a healthy and successful family. Besides, the assistance will be provided to projects aimed at further stimulation and solution of existing challenges in the sphere of development of small and family business, private entrepreneurship and house working, handicraft and national trades. The maximum amount of the grant within the tender is 10 million soums for each project.

Another tender announced the fund provides support for public projects directed toward socially important issues, guaranteeing social activeness of population, preserving environment and improving the ecological situation in regions of the country.

In particular, these are projects directed at increasing social activeness of population, ensuring employment and improving professional education in remote districts and rural areas. The civil institutions engaged in providing the population with pure potable water, improving reclamation conditions of lands, reducing their salinity, rational use of water and land resources and subsoil will also be able to participate in the tender. The maximal amount of grant is 8 million soums for each project.

Nongovernmental organizations and other civil society institutions registered in Uzbekistan can take part in the tender. For more detailed information concerning the conditions of the tender please visit www.fundngo.uz or call (+99871) 239 26 76.

The documents for both tenders will be accepted no later than 4.00 pm June 30, 2010. (Source: Uzbekistan Today newspaper)

SOCIETY

IMPLEMENTATION OF LEGAL EXPERTISE LAW CONSIDERED

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed the law on legal expertise on 1 June. The document regulates relations in the field of legal expertise in the country.

The new law outlines general norms and rules ensuring the independence of the legal experts and their conclusions.

The document will play an important role in further improvement of the legal system of Uzbekistan, vice justice minister G.Hidoyatov said at the conference on the law implementation.

The law, among others, describes rights and obligations of legal experts, as well as issues related to conducting legal expertise and its financial, organizational, scientific, methodical and other aspects. (Source: National News Agency UzA)

UZBEKISTAN MARKS ENVIRONMENT DAY

The celebrations of the World Environment Day (5 June) at Tashkent’s Mirzo Ulugbek Park gathered representatives of state, public and international organizations, specialists, senators, deputies and others.

Chairman of the State Nature Protection Committee N.Umarov said wide-scale work to preserve the environment and ensure ecological stability was being carried out in Uzbekistan.

As a result of efforts in the field of environmental protection, mechanisms of use of natural resources are being improved and the negative influence of the nature is being reduced.

The participants of the celebrations drew the attention to the importance of raising awareness of the young people about the environmental problems.

Various events, presentations and contests in this area help increase the youth’s knowledge and responsibility for the protection of nature. (Source: National News Agency UzA)