October 18, 2013

Politics and Foreign Policy:
Uzbekistan, Latvia Embark on New Phase of Cooperation
At the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan was held a meeting with a delegation from China
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov will visit Latvia
Meeting at the Oqsaroy
Economics:
Uzbekistan - a leading actor in the world cotton and textile market
International Industrial Exhibitions in Tashkent
Uzbekistan and Spain will create a joint venture for the certification of quality systems and products
Following the road of achievements and prosperity
Uzbekistan attracts the foreign investor
Appealing Presentations and Mutually Advantageous Deals
Society:
Tashkent to host Youth festival Tashkent Urbania 2013
Train with humanitarian aid and medical supplies is bound for Karakalpakstan
Khorezm is changing, but remains faithful to the traditions
Embroideries

POLICY and FOREIGN POLICY

UZBEKISTAN, LATVIA EMBARK ON NEW PHASE OF COOPERATION

As it has been reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov traveled October 16-17 to the Republic of Latvia with a state visit on the invitation of President Andris Berzins.

The visit’s major events were due October 17.

The official meeting ceremony of the high ranking guest took place at the palace of the Latvian President.

During the negotiations, the heads of our two states discussed the current state and prospects of bilateral relations and examined the major dimensions of cooperation in political, financial and economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. The two leaders exchanged views also on current issues of regional and international affairs.

It was stressed that Uzbekistan and Latvia are important reliable partners for one another and that the two nations maintain enduring, traditionally robust, close and friendly ties instrumental for prolific interaction.

Noteworthy is that the talks started with a bright occasion, namely, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been rewarded with Latvia’s highest state award – the “Cross of Gratitude” Order of the first degree, while the President of the Republic of Latvia has been prized with the Order “Buyuk Khizmatlari Uchun” (For Great Services) of Uzbekistan. This implies, on the one hand, the reciprocal acknowledgement of services rendered by the heads of our two states to the development of bilateral relations, and on the other, it underscores the community of aspirations and shared interest in the further enhancement of cooperation.

The interaction between Uzbekistan and Latvia is built on a solid agreement base. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, in excess of four dozens interstate treaties and intergovernmental agreements have been signed between our two nations across practically the entire spectrum of cooperation areas.

The inter-parliamentary bonds have also been evolving dynamically; the legislatures regularly exchange visits, while the existing expertise in the lawmaking activity has been undergoing mutual study and enrichment. A group of cooperation with Uzbekistan’s Oliy Majlis was established in 2010 in the Latvian Saeima. Likewise, a group of cooperation with Latvia’s legislative body was instituted in the Uzbek parliament in June 2012.

Constructive and regular consultations are established between foreign affairs ministries of the two countries.

During the talks, the two parties covered interaction issues in combating terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and in search for meaningful answers to other contemporary threats and challenges. The Latvian side highly appraised the assistance being provided by Uzbekistan to Afghanistan in the economic and social rehabilitation of that country as well as the cooperation of Uzbekistan with nations contributing to the international coalition for security assistance.

The two parties underlined the similarity and closeness of their perspectives and stances on all the issues under discussion.

The leaders of Uzbekistan and Latvia concentrated their attention on issues of trade-economic, investment and humanitarian cooperation.

Notwithstanding the rather vast distance between our two countries, an active interaction has been established in the sphere of transport and communications (including automobile and other international shipping), education, science, agriculture, accreditation and metrology, information technologies, tourism and other areas.

A sustainable agreement and normative foundation has been said to be created to further the economic dialogue. Agreements on economic and industrial cooperation, on assistance and protection of investments as well as those on avoiding double taxation are in force between our two countries.

Latvia is one of Uzbekistan’s chief trade partners in the European Union. Owing to the secured most-favored nation regime, the mutual trade turnover grew by almost 20 percent in 2012 to exceed 246 million US dollars, while in the first half of the current year it has already made 126 million dollars.

Uzbekistan supplies Latvia with high quality cotton fiber, engine and oil lubricants, pharmaceutical goods and other types of produce. And the imports from Latvia largely constitute equipment, vehicles, plastic materials as well as logistic services.

Investment cooperation has been expanding, as well. To date, 22 enterprises with Latvian investments are operating in Uzbekistan, while more than 40 entities have been opened in Latvia with the involvement of Uzbek companies.

Our two countries continue with the implementation of important joint projects in transport and communications, scientific and technical development, tourism, education and healthcare. The high intensity of these schemes and the considerable accomplishments being made in their realization are considered a major outcome of the regular dialogue at the highest level as well as the contacts between government representatives and business circles.

As it was underscored, Uzbekistan and Latvia wield a remarkable potential in the economic sphere. The two sides addressed issues related to the even more effective use of the capacities of our two countries.

It is noteworthy that Uzbekistan and Latvia are identical ranking economic partners. The two economies are mutually complementary. This argument is backed by the results of the participation of Uzbek companies in the international exhibition Riga Food-2013 that took place last September. As part of that exposition alone, contracts and agreements worth more than 100 million US dollars were inked for the supply of fruits and vegetables from Uzbekistan to Latvia and other European nations.

Also stressed was the significance of bolstering bilateral interaction in such an important sector as transport and communications. The two countries face the challenge of cashing in the transit potential to a maximum effect in order to raise the competitiveness of the functioning transport corridors for access to major regional and global markets.

Uzbekistan and Latvia also boast immense cooperation potential in agriculture, tourism, science, education and healthcare.

The Uzbek side said it is interested in the attraction of Latvian entrepreneurs to the interaction in travel industry, in the exchange of expertise in training specialists in this sphere.

Uzbekistan’s such cities as Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, Tashkent, Shahrisabz are well known to the people of Latvia and the Baltic states in general. The magic world of brilliant colors in the ancient Maverannahr, its rich history and traditions make everyone wish to return to these lands once they visit them.

A business forum took place in Riga as part of the state visit of the President of Uzbekistan. It served as a platform to discuss opportunities for joint business in Latvia and Uzbekistan, new aspects of cooperation, development of logistics industry in Latvia in the interests of Uzbekistan, and the food industry in Uzbekistan oriented to consumers in Latvia.

The importance of direct work of business circles has been underlined. This, for instance, is going to facilitate the satiety of the Baltic market with outstanding produce that meets all requirements of the EU. It is obvious that if any Uzbek-origin product is sold today in Latvia, it is not always imported directly, but supplied through third countries. Such a practice triggers growth in the cost of Uzbek goods. Uzbekistan could supply not only foods to the Baltic market, but also dried fruits and vegetables, including for the commercial fleet. It is a prerogative of business, and thus the two sides agreed to urge businesspeople for action on this front. The agreement base is there for this to work in full swing, and everything is contingent on direct contacts.

Equally steady has been the evolution of cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian area. The erection of monuments to our great ancestors – to the celebrated scholar and statesman Mirzo Ulughbek in 2004 and the outstanding physician and philosopher Abu Ali Ibn Sino in 2006 – in Riga is suggestive of the high reverence the Latvian people feel toward the Uzbek people and the richest scientific, cultural and spiritual heritage of our nation.

Partnership ties have been enlarging between the two capital cities. So have the creative contacts between the Alisher Navoi State Academic Grand Theater of Uzbekistan and the Latvian National Opera House. Regular have been art and photo exhibitions, film days, concerts, while folk groups from the two countries take part in various cultural events held in Uzbekistan and Latvia, respectively. Notably, musicians from Latvia are recurrently present at the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival in Samarkand.

Especially significant has been the interaction in the education sphere. Uzbekistan comes fifth in terms of the number of international students attending Latvian higher education institutions. Some 200 young people from our country study currently in this nation’s universities.

The negotiations in Riga produced a Joint Declaration of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and President of the Republic of Latvia. In addition, documents on cooperation in healthcare, environmental protection, transport and transit of freight, along with the expansion of commercial ties, tourism and investments have also been signed.

President Islam Karimov traveled to the Saeima of Latvia and held talks with Speaker Solvita Aboltina.

The head of our state enquired into the activities of the Latvian parliament.

The leader of Uzbekistan and the chief lawmaker of Latvia addressed issues relating to the development of inter-parliamentary cooperation between our two countries.

The Uzbek President met also with Latvia’s Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, where the discussion topics included practical aspects in the implementation of agreements reached during the visit.

Accompanied by the President of Latvia Andris Berzins, President Islam Karimov laid wreath to the Monument of Liberty and paid tribute to the memory of those who fell for the freedom of Latvia.

This concluded the state visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the Republic of Latvia.

The outcomes of the visit will indisputably afford a new impetus to the advancement of relations between our two countries and elevate them to a qualitatively new level.

AT THE FOREIGN MINISTRY OF UZBEKISTAN WAS HELD A MEETING WITH A DELEGATION FROM CHINA

On October 15, 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held a meeting with the Director-General of the Department of External Security of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of Qiu Guohong, who arrived in our country to participate in regular consultations at foreign ministries level.

During the meeting the sides discussed issues of the bilateral agenda and exchanged views on some international and regional issues.

At the meeting was emphasized the dynamic nature of intergovernmental cooperation, a strong impetus to which have given the meetings and negotiations between the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov and Chinese President Xi Jinping on 8-10 September in Tashkent and Samarkand. It was stressed that the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and the Joint Declaration on the further development and deepening of bilateral strategic partnership signed by the Heads of States will bring a multi-faceted Uzbek-Chinese dialogue to a new level.

In the meeting was also present the Ambassador of China Zhang Xiao.

PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN ISLAM KARIMOV WILL VISIT LATVIA

The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Latvia Andris Berzins, 16-17 October 2013 will visit Latvia on a state visit.

During the meetings and talks with the Latvian leadership the ongoing development of multifaceted Uzbek- Latvian relations, important regional and international issues will be discussed.

During the visit it is planned to adopt a joint statement by Heads of states and to sign a number of documents aimed at further strengthening bilateral cooperation in political, trade, investment , transport, communication spheres and in the field of environmental protection.

(Source: Uzreport.uz)

MEETING AT THE OQSAROY

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met at the Oqsaroy October 11 with the Acting Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Ukraine Leonid Kozhara who is in our country on official visit.

Greeting the guest, the head of our state noted that the Minister’s arrival in Uzbekistan allows, first and foremost, to directly discuss the pressing issues in bilateral relations as well as international and regional topics, and to exchange views on the agenda of the Ukrainian chairmanship in the OSCE.

It was stressed at the meeting that Uzbekistan regards the Ukraine as an important and time-tested partner who wields a considerable economic, industrial and intellectual potential, an advanced agriculture, transport and social infrastructure.

The regular interstate dialogue has facilitated the further expansion and enhancement of ties between our two nations in the political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian areas.

It was noted that Uzbekistan and the Ukraine project similar or close stance toward many issues in regional and international politics that has allowed for a rewarding interaction within multilateral institutions like the UN, CIS and OSCE.

The mutual trade turnover in 2012 exceeded one billion US dollars – a 60 percent increase from the previous-year indicator. Notwithstanding the intricate and ambiguous phenomena in the world economy, the positive dynamics of growth in the bilateral trade has persevered in the current year, as well. To this end, it was stated during the meeting that both sides are equally interested in the steadfast diversification and enlargement of its volumes, along with the materialization of joint investment projects across a variety of sectors of economy.

Leonid Kozhara thanked Uzbekistan’s President for a warm welcome and the opportunity to candidly and constructively discuss development priorities in the bilateral relations as well as other issues the two countries share interest. On behalf of his nation’s leadership, the head of the Ukrainian foreign ministry confirmed willingness to continue with the consolidation of multifaceted cooperation with Uzbekistan on the long-term and pragmatic basis.

(Source: UzA news Agency)

ECONOMY

UZBEKISTAN - A LEADING ACTOR IN THE WORLD COTTON AND TEXTILE MARKET

This has been clearly demonstrated at IX International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair, organized on the initiative of President Islam Karimov on 16-17 October in Tashkent.

Contracts for the purchase of more than 680,000 tons of Uzbek cotton fiber, as well as for the supply of the domestic textile products for over 1 bln. USD have been signed during the event. Demand for cotton and textiles, made in Uzbekistan , is very high in the world market, therefore , as in previous years, the contracting process will continue. Established new business contacts at the fair will only contribute towards the goal.

As noted at the international conference, held on the opening day of the IX International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair, its credibility and efficiency on the world stage has been constantly increasing. This is one more vivid confirmation of high effectiveness of large-scale economic reforms, carried out in our country on the basis of the "Uzbek model" of development, developed by President Islam Karimov, which has received worldwide recognition. Successive changes in the economy on the basis of market relations, its deep restructuring, diversification, modernization, technical and technological renovation, favorable conditions for raising interest of manufacturers in the production of finished products with high added value and export expansion - all this have become the most important factors in improving the competitiveness of domestic products in foreign markets. In turn, this contributes to the further development of the real sector of the economy, including the cotton-textile complex, which makes an important contribution to the stable growth of Uzbekistan's GDP, that is to the well-being of the population, development and prosperity of the country.

Foreign participants of the fair from all around the world have expressed great interest in expanding trade, economic and investment cooperation with Uzbekistan. Our country is one of the world's largest producers and exporters of cotton fiber. The policy of Uzbekistan in this area is characterized by maintaining stable volumes of cotton-growing while increasing the volume of fiber production and its quality characteristics, breeding high yielding varieties and the use of the most advanced agricultural technologies, complete modernization of ginning industry.

Much attention is given to the expansion of mechanized cotton harvesting. Modernized cotton pickers MX-1, 8, whose production is underway in "Tashkent Tractor Plant" OJSC have been presented at the fair. This season around 1,000 pickers with improved characteristics- more reliable in operation, with the fullness of the harvest paddy up to 90 percent and several times cheaper than foreign counterparts – have operated in the fields of the country.

A modern trading infrastructure in Uzbekistan, which includes a network of zonal terminals, providing all kinds of services from storage to shipment of purchased lots has been an important factor in increasing the participation of Uzbekistan in the global cotton market.

A wide range of products of light industry enterprises of the country, including cotton yarn, fabrics, knitted garments and silk products have been demonstrated at a separate pavilion of the UzExpoCenter. The industry is rapidly developing. In the last three years 74 plants have been commissioned and upgraded in the country. Their total production capacity is 131,2 thousand tons of yarn, 14,000 tons of stockinet, 42.8 million knitted wear and 19.8 million pairs of hosiery, 16.4 million square meters of fabric. Tens of thousands of new jobs have been created. In accordance with the program of modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of industry enterprises a number of investment projects for a total amount of 1.7 billion U.S. dollars have been envisaged.

Cooperation with Uzbekistan in this field has many benefits- first and foremost, the ongoing liberalization of the country's economic relations, the availability of high-quality local raw materials, stability of the energy supply, skilled workforce, access to major foreign markets, and the growing domestic market. Government support for investment projects in the sector include tax and customs privileges and preferences, which contributes to attracting foreign investment, including the expansion of the country's production of modern textile equipment with major foreign companies.

IX International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair once again confirmed the high efficiency of complex deep reforms, implemented in Uzbekistan at the initiative of President Islam Karimov, aimed at further strengthening the economic potential of the country, the welfare of the people. The fair, held annually, has become one of the key events of world cotton and textile business, and thus creates a solid foundation for the expansion of reliable, long-term cooperation with Uzbekistan.

INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIAL EXHIBITIONS IN TASHKENT

International industrial exhibitions as part of the Central Asian Industrial Week 2013 have opened at the Uzexpocenter.

The shows are organized by the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Uzmakhsusimpex state enterprise and the Tashkent city hokimiyat (administration) in partnership with the international exhibition company ITE Uzbekistan.

It was noted in particular at the opening ceremony of the event that wide-ranging reforms are being undertaken in Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Islam Karimov to boost and modernize manufacturing in all sectors of the economy, particularly in mining industry, metalworking, machinery and mechanical engineering, as well as in the spheres of security and fire safety. The resolution of the head of our state “On Priorities of Bolstering the Manufacturing Industry in the Republic of Uzbekistan during 2011-2015” signed 15 December 2010 serves as an important guide for action on this front.

Some 70 firms and companies from around twenty nations like Uzbekistan, China, Germany, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Belarus and Iran are offering their goods and services at the exposition.

A special attention is paid in our country to the further enhancement of mining industry, the introduction of cutting-edge technologies in the development of new deposits, the extraction and reprocessing of mineral resources, the rational use of production capacities, and the steadfast expansion of export oriented and import substituting competitive goods. State-of-the-art technologies are being introduced into this sector.

The exhibition Mining World Uzbekistan 2013 offers a good opportunity to exchange expertise and information on the application of modern production technologies and familiarization with new equipment and machinery in the mining industry. At the exposition, representatives of major firms and companies from around the world demonstrate mining technologies, loading machines, drilling equipment, ventilation systems, compressors, pumps, special machinery and services.

“Our company has been attending this exhibition for the first time,” says Raman Pandiyan, manager of the Singapore-based OSG Asia. “We specialize in the production of cutting instruments used in the aerospace, machine-building and engineering industries. Favorable conditions are created in Uzbekistan for cooperation with foreign investors. During the exhibition we would like to establish mutually advantageous partnership and sign agreements with business people from Uzbekistan.”

Under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan has joined the ranks of countries with advanced machine building. Wide-scale works are underway in our country to modernize enterprises of mechanical engineering and metalworking and steadily introduce advanced technologies into the production process.

Quite extensive also is the range of participants of the exposition Machinery Central Asia 2013. It presents technologies for the modernization of manufacturing enterprises, special equipment, and technologies for construction of roads, tubes, metal-cutting tools, load-lift machinery and many other types of goods.

“We have been regular at the exhibitions held in Uzbekistan,” Alexei Kovalev, director of department at the StankoGomel open stock company in Belarus, says. “Our company manufactures a variety of lathes, installments of vertical and horizontal processing. All the conditions are created at the exhibition for the participants to hold talks, reach deals and agreements.”

The building of internal highways and the connection with international transport networks requires securing reliable safety. At the international exposition “Protection, Security and Fire Safety – CIPS 2013, displayed are the domestically and foreign produced security means, tools of radiation control, gas masks, tank trucks and firefighting machines.

“Our company offers equipment for wireless networks, switchboards, routers, optic equipment, terminals, broadband mobile technologies, closed-circuit television systems, as well as goods and services for enterprises and organizations operating in the telecommunications sector,” says the senior manager of the Huawei Tech Investment Tashkent limited liability company Farrukh Nasirkhojaev. “Under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, favorable conditions and extensive opportunities are created in our country for entrepreneurship entities that serve as an important factor of the success of our enterprise, too.”

The exhibitions within the Central Asian Industrial Week will serve for an extensive attraction of foreign investments to our country, the further development of leading sectors of the manufacturing industry, in particular the mining industry, metalworking, machine building, along with the creation of joint ventures with foreign partners, the study of the demand and offer in the sphere as well as the expansion of trade turnover.

(Source: uza.uz)

UZBEKISTAN AND SPAIN WILL CREATE A JOINT VENTURE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF QUALITY SYSTEMS AND PRODUCTS

Between 16 to 20 September, 2013, a regular 36th session of the General Assembly of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) was held in St. Petersburg.

As the National Authority for Standardization of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the delegation of UzStandard agency led by the Director-General - A.K. Kurbanov took part in the work of ISO General Assembly.

During the work of the General Assembly of the ISO the delegation of UzStandard agency held a series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of the national authorities of the Member States of ISO, in which issues of cooperation in the sphere of technical regulation, standardization, and ways to further develop and strengthen bilateral cooperation between the organizations were discussed.

In particular, at a meeting with the director of the Department of International Relations of the Spanish Association for Standardization and Certification (AENOR), Mr. Fransizko Werder, the sides discussed issues of education, training and staff development, bilateral recognition of certification, testing and inspection.

In addition, the sides discussed the possibility of establishing a joint venture in the Republic of Uzbekistan, on the basis of which quality systems certification body, testing laboratory and product certification body will be established.

During the meeting, the Spanish side has expressed a desire to visit the UzStandard agency for the purpose of detailed discussion and signing of the plan of work in these areas.

FOLLOWING THE ROAD OF ACHIEVEMENTS AND PROSPERITY

The "Shark Taronalari" Music Festival held in the town of Samarkand at the end of August and the festivities dedicated to the 22nd anniversary of independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan have demonstrated to the world community reams of grandiose changes that took place and go on unfolding in the nation's economy and everyday life. Before independence, many countries confused Uzbekistan with Pakistan or Afghanistan. Today the high dynamism, wedded to an accelerated pace of social growth, the very scale and transparency of socio-economic reforms, characteristic of the Republic, make it possible to regard it not only as a nation with a great future, but also as one with the prosperous present.

Independence and transformation have changed the image of the Republic of Uzbekistan and raised its status in the international arena. It is a member of the UN, possessing equal rights with other members, and a constituent part of the world space and the global financial-economic market alike. The Uzbek state is notable for a number of features, such as a sufficiently high level of solvency, partner discipline and the ability to carry its obligations. Testifying to this fact are the following factors: an ever expanding network of the Republic's relations with the rest of the world, the successful implementation, in conjunction with developed countries, of a variety of programs for development, modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of basic industries, integration of Uzbekistan with the international market and, last but nnt least, a constant rise in the volumes of imports and exports. The inflow of foreign investments, especially direct ones, tends to enlarge from year to year and the aspiration of overseas business people for participating in the Uzbek market can also be added to the list of factors referred to above. According to available data, over 4,000 joint ventures and 100 percent foreign enterprises operate in Uzbekistan these days. Together with indigenous enterprises, they are making an appreciable contribution to the solidification of the national economic power, enlargement of the home market's capacity, creation of new jobs and improvement of the domestic employment situation. Some 5-10 years ago, commodity categories bearing the "Made in Uzbekistan" label were thin on the ground. The situation has changed dramatically since then. Nowadays the bulk of indigenous producers manufacture export-oriented goods. What is even more important is that the population's confidence in home-made produce has increased substantially.

22 years in history constitute a short period. One can hardly find a nation in the world that could have attained such enormous qualitative and quantitative changes as Uzbekistan. These accomplishments, however, do not occur automatically. All of them are the outcome of a powerful, prescient and wise policy followed by the Republic's leaders.

In the last 7-8 years, the pace of economic growth in Uzbekistan stood at 8-8.5 per cent, which is higher than across Central Asia on the average. Only in the first six months of the current year, according to official statistics, the volume of implemented investments has gone up by 10.5 per cent, including the amount of foreign investments and credits -by 13.2 per cent. In the period under discussion, as many as 1,233 production facilities have been put into operation and over 140 new investment projects launched. As a result, the nation's GDP, the main indicator of the state of economy, has increased by 8 per cent, production of industrial output - by 8.2 per cent, farming - by 7.3 per cent and construction works - by 16.1 per cent.

The course pursued by the Republic to further strengthen the role of the non-state sector and to develop small business and private entrepreneurship has proved viable. In the indicated period some 16,000 new small-scale enterprises have been set up. The bulk of them have been established in the following sectors: manufacturing (28.2 per cent of the total number), trade and public catering (26.8 per cent), agriculture and forestry (15.1 per cent), and construction (9.6 per cent). Compared with the similar period of 2012, the overall quantity of fully operational small-scale enterprises has risen by 4.6 per cent, with the sector's share of national GDP increasing from 42.6 per cent in the first half-year of 2012 to 43.3 per cent in the comparable period of the current year.

Another achievement that should be mentioned without fail is Uzbekistan's power and grain self-sufficiency. In 1991, the Republic grew only 940,000 tons of cereals, against upwards of 7.6 million tons grown in 2013. This volume allows the country not only to completely meet domestic grain and flour needs, but also to export a portion of output to other countries. As a consequence, phenomena such as the absence or shortage of flour and farinaceous foods are now removed from the agenda once and for all.

No less spectacular successes have been scored in the manufacturing sector. In keeping with the Program "On the priority development of industry in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2011-2015", the sector has not only undergone restructuring, but also acquired an innovative character. In the years after independence, dozens of new industries were created, including automobile construction, oil-and-gas machine building, oil-and-gas chemistry, railway mechanical engineering, production of modern building materials, consumer electronics, pharmaceutics and others. The annualized production volume of the nation's manufacturing industry has increased 3-fold, compared with the 1990 level.

Automobile construction occupies a special place in the Uzbek economy. Several big car-making enterprises have come on stream in the Republic. An Asaka-based joint venture with General Motors (the US) specializes in the production of motor cars; a joint venture with Daimler Benz (Germany) located in Tashkent and a joint venture with Isuzu (Japan) situated in the town of Samarkand are involved in making buses. Thanks to a new policy of distributing productive forces, the industry has moved significantly from the capital city to the regions, thus making it possible not only to align the level of economic development in the regions, but also to release them from the former raw-material (basically cotton) orientation. At present, the automobile plants and other industrial enterprises, created over the years of independence, form a powerful factor behind the process of industrialization. What's more, they can safely be regarded as a visiting-card of the regions and the country at large in the world marketplace.

It is important to stress that the afore-cited Program stipulates the realization of more than 500 investment projects, which are worth US $50 billion. All of them are designed to swell the output of processing industries as a share of GDP from 24 per cent in 2010 to 28 per cent in 2015, and as a share of the sector itself - from 41 per cent to 49 per cent. At the same time, the volume of exportable industrial output, as a share of the total amount of exports, is expected to notch up a 1.4-fold increase.

Everything points out to the fact that the Uzbek economy is making great strides, both vertically and across. The most striking examples include the free industrial-economic zones "Navoi", "Angren" and "Djizak". Enjoying an enormous potential for investment cooperation and solidification of trade and economic ties, they continue picking up speed with each passing year. Their ever growing investment attractiveness owes much, above all, to the favourable investment climate and auspicious business environment created there, as well as to a reliable system of state privileges, preferences and guarantees that make doing business in Uzbekistan safe and enticing and protect the rights and interests of foreign investors.

The successes achieved in Uzbekistan over the years of its independent development are many and varied. Tens of articles are needed to describe all of them. But there is one aspect, which shouldn't be left ignored. The aspect in question is concern for the good of each citizen and caring for people at large. As the leader of the Republic of Uzbekistan has emphasized time and again, "Reforms are carried out in our country not for the sake of reforms, but in the interests of the individual, first and foremost". The individual is not only an essential productive force, but it is also an indispensable, invaluable capital of society.

The years of independence have seen a 3.7-fold increase in the national economy. The real per capita income has gone up 7 times, the average size of pensions -almost 9 times, and wages - 18 times. Large-scale measures to raise the population's living standard, to improve the quality of life and to ensure well-being and prosperity in the country are accomplished within the framework of the Year of Welfare and Prosperity State Program. It has massive funding. Suffice it to say that the wherewithal from all sources of funding - to the tune of 3.4 trillion Soum (Currency rates of CB from 10.10.2013 1$=2158.36 soums) - will be used to materialize the entire package of measures envisaged in the Program.

The 11 July 2013 Presidential Decree, "On the increase in wages, pensions, stipends and social allowances" is aimed at further improving the quality of life and welfare of the Republic's population. In accordance with the document, the minimal rate of wages is set at 91,530 Soum. This amount is twice as high as the 2010 level and 10 times as high as that recorded in 2005- The housing conditions of Uzbek citizens tend to improve, too. Since the start of the current year, 108 individual dwelling houses, with the total floor-space coming to 15.4 thou sq. m., have been built in the countryside. In Uzbekistan as a whole, the figure is almost 5060 thou sq. m., with the rural areas accounting for 3752.9 thou sq. m of this figure.

Increasing the level of employment and incomes of people is another important direction of the Republic's progressive economic development. Under special programs, about 1 million new jobs are created countrywide each year. Of the 554,400 new jobs created in the first six months of 2013, 334,400 are in villages (or 60.3 per cent). Some 70,000 new jobs have been created thanks to the development of small business, organization of cottage labour and restoration of idle enterprises in 28 labour-excessive districts throughout the Republic. As a result, the employment rate in the domestic labour market has increased by 2.5 per cent, wages -by 18.5 per cent and average pensions - by 28.6 percent. By and large, the population's real incomes have grown by 16.3 per cent.

The recent G-20 summit in Saint-Petersburg (Russia) convened at the beginning of September has been conducted under the motto "Steady development for all". It should be observed in this connection that the same idea underlies the general policy of all economic reforms and institutional changes that have been carried out in the Republic since independence under the direct guidance of the Uzbek leader. And all the accomplishments indicated above are a striking endorsement of a given statement. All people can testify to the fact that towns and villages nationwide continue undergoing dramatic changes, new motor roads and railways are built, available housing resources tend to enlarge and improve, the ever growing economy is assuming an innovative character, small business and private entrepreneurship are increasingly becoming an engine of economic growth, more new jobs are created and the population's incomes grow steadily.

In the course of an informal conversation, one farmer noted: "I'd wish our President a longer life than I'd wish my own father. He has created for us, peasants, all the conditions for fruitful and efficient work". Most people think the same. Besides, both science and practice have confirmed the role of personality in history. The leader of Uzbekistan lives with people and works for their benefit.

(Source: “Business partner.uz” newspaper)

UZBEKISTAN ATTRACTS THE FOREIGN INVESTOR

In the first half of 2013, Uzbekistan's economy attracted over 12 trillion soums (currency rates of CB from 11.10.2013 1$=2158.36 soums) of investments in fixed assets, a 10.5% increase over the same period of the last year.

Investments will always remain one of the main incentives for the development of industries, transport and social infrastructure, the emergence of new housing, jobs. Therefore it is very important to create an attractive investment climate, especially for foreign investors who invest in the economy not only financial resources, but in many ways their unique experience and technology. Uzbekistan has created unprecedented conditions for all investors. They were granted tax and customs privileges, set up special economic zones, facilitated registration permits and increased access to concessional bank lending, and as a result sees the ever-increasing volume of attracted investments.

For example, during the first half of the year most investment has been drawn in the manufacturing sector (more than 7.5 trillion soums). Here, the leaders were fuel and energy industry with 2.19 trillion of investments, as well as transport and communication with almost $2 trillion soums attracted. As for the non-manufacturing sector, the leaders in this sphere were housing construction (2.8 trillion soums) and education (461.6 billion soums).

Moreover, most of the investments (9.1 trillion soums) were channeled in the private sector. The bulk of these funds have invested by domestic enterprises and citizens (66.2 %), foreign investments and loans made up 20.2%, loans from domestic banks accounted for 11.6%. The remaining 2% came from domestic off-budget funds.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)

APPEALING PRESENTATIONS AND MUTUALLY ADVANTAGEOUS DEALS

The 19th Tashkent international travel fair “Tourism on the Silk Road” has closed in the Uzbek capital.

Organized by the Uzbektourism National Company and the advertising agency “Great Silk Road” with support from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the event was attended by representatives of more than 700 travel agencies from more than forty nations, including Uzbekistan, China, Switzerland, France, Azerbaijan, India, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Singapore, Romania, Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, Iran, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan.

This year’s fair has been distinct with a greater number of participants and proposed projects as well as fascinating presentations. Its participants had an opportunity to get familiar with achievements and innovations in the sphere.

Attended by representatives of national and international tour organizations, hotels and restaurants, museums, banks, insurance companies and holiday centers, the fair hosted presentations of our country’s tourist potential and services offered, exhibits narrating the inimitable nature of our land and unique architectural monuments, as well as folk craft items and photo expositions.

“We have been regular at Tashkent international travel fair,” says Roman Prochazka, director of the CzechTourism. “This is one of the major events held in Central Asia. In the Czech Republic, the endeavor is tremendous for familiarization with the rich culture, ancient history and the current prosperous life of Uzbekistan. We are glad that our participation in the fair has been fruitful as always.”

The stands of “National Pavilion of Tourism in Uzbekistan” have left an immense impression on the visitors of the fair. They got familiar in particular with the tour potential of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Andijan, Kashkadarya, Jizzakh, Ferghana, Khorezm and Namangan regions.

“Located in the heart of the Great Silk Route, Uzbekistan wields vast opportunities for the development of tourism that have been made a good use of,” said Sanyog Gupta, director of the India-based travel company “Casa Nova India Tours”. “In the past, the road from India to Uzbekistan used to pass through third countries, demanding much time and funds. And now, direct air flights connect the two countries. Myriads of people in India dream of seeing Uzbekistan. And we are glad that a deal was reached at this fair to boost the tourist exchange between our two nations and establish cooperation with a range of travel agencies of Uzbekistan.”

As part of the international fair, an academic and practical conference took place to address the development of tour infrastructure in conditions of economic modernization and bolster the role of ecological tourism, along with the consolidation of interaction in tourism and education.

At the expositions organized within the fair “Festival of National Meals” and “Eastern Bazaar”, participants were offered opportunity to taste Uzbek national meals and the diverse fruit and vegetable goods and attain comprehensive information on the Uzbek national cuisine. In the section “The City of Craftspeople”, the event participants reviewed and purchased items of folk crafts created by our talented masters.

Especially appealing among the guests of the occasion were the Uzbek national melodies and stirring dances performed during the fair, as well as the display of national costumes.

At the Tashkent international tourist fair, winners were identified and awarded in such nominations as the best presentation of tour route, presentation of the best company and hotel, the best stand, the best thematic section and tourist opportunities.

(Source: UzA National news Agency)


SOCIETY

TASHKENT TO HOST YOUTH FESTIVAL TASHKENT URBANIA 2013

On October 19 in the cultural and entertainment center City Makon will be held an annual festival "Tashkent Urbania 2013".

The event is organized by the International Non-government Charitable Fund Sog’lom Avlod Uchun, the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Foundation for Development of Children/'s Sports, the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan, the Federation of extreme and mountain tourism in Uzbekistan, Eco-Forum of NGOs of Uzbekistan, etc.

The festival is a charity and is held under the theme "Youth for a healthy lifestyle".

The festival urbanists will compete in the following areas: BMX (cyclists), aggressive inline skating, artistic skating (slalom) and a skateboard (riding on the board with performance of stunts), also featuring performances by trickers, tracers (parcours) and jumpers.


TRAIN WITH HUMANITARIAN AID AND MEDICAL SUPPLIES IS BOUND FOR KARAKALPAKSTAN

Between 19 to 27 October 2013 the train Salomatlik (health in eng.) will follow the route Tashkent-Jaslyq–Karakalpakstan-Tashkent, with a team of qualified doctors of SJSC Uzbekistan Railways on board, who will conduct medical examination of the populations in remote areas of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. It also contains humanitarian aid (medicines, products of hygiene, medical supplies, vitamins, food and clothing) provided by the Sog’lom Avlod Uchun.

We remind that in 2013, similar events were held in Navoi, Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions. In the course of which over 3.4 thousand people received medical treatment, and humanitarian aid worth a total of $420.22 million and 126.3 million soums.

KHOREZM IS CHANGING, BUT REMAINS FAITHFUL TO THE TRADITIONS

In the framework of the "Program of tourism development in Khorezm region for 2013-2015 is planned implementation of over 100 projects, including the construction of 4 hotels, 6 restaurants and 10 sanitary items. Reconstruction of Railway stations have already been realized, created a lot of green areas, built entertainment facilities for leisure and recreation boat stations along the channel Shavat.

If ten years ago the annual mean number of incoming tourists to Khorezm region amounted about 216 thousand, in the past year this result is increased up to 725 thousand (about 52 thousand is foreign guests). In the region there are 27 hotels providing accommodation for more than two thousand people a day.

Tourists are offered tours with visiting the architectural and archaeological objects of cultural heritage, sacred places and nature reserves.

On the basis of Hazarasp fortress in Hazarasp district is planned to build a major tourist resort. The project envisages the construction of Oriental Bazaar, the house of craftsmen, oriental tea-houses, hotels, Museum, amphitheater on 600 places. The flowing near the fortress channel and local lake will be performed tours on boats and rafts. Similar works is carried out on the territory of the monument Cat-Kala in Shavat district and Kalajik-Kuli in Bogat district.

Modernization is underway on the shores of lakes Govvukul and Eshonravot in Khiva district. Here on the basis of the fish- farm «Khiva Korakul» will be built a tourist complex with recreation parks, hotels, points of public catering and trade, swimming pools, modern attractions. Around the lake are there 15 Yurts, established the breeding of camels and horses, which will take tourists on sightseeing tours.

In order to improve the transport infrastructure of Khorezm is planned major repairs of roads, and preparing to release a map showing of unique historical and cultural, and architectural monuments. Soon operating routes Bukhara-Urgench and Tashkent-Urgench will be complemented by a comfortable tourist train settled with restaurants in national style. It will operate on the route Urgench-Termez-Urgench, delivering local and foreign tourists to Khorezm oasis.

From April 7 to October 20, 2013, every week, there are flights Bukhara-Urgench-Bukhara. Once a week will be flights Urgench-Paris-Urgench, Urgench-Milan-Urgench for international flights. Flights to other major European cities will have been established until 2014.

(Source: “Uzbekistan travel news” newspaper)

EMBROIDERIES

According to the tradition, every uzbek family prepared wide sets of various hand-made embroideries which compiled a significant part in bride's dowry. First of all they were intended for the decoration of newly-weds' room and had a specific meaning. Wedding bed cloth (Rouidjo) with an ornament in its three edges and free from any embroidered pattern in the center was laid on the newly weds bed like the embroidered cushion cover (Bolinpush). A suzani covered the blanket. Niche for bed-clothes was curtained with an embroidered cloth (choishab). A special meaning was attached to the magic power in the ornament and patterns of the embroidery since it had to guard the newly-weds from evil sorceries.

The suzani pattern unmistakably speaks about the bride's origin, whether she is from Tashkent, Djiza Samarkand, or Surkhandarya. Crafts-women from Nourata made a unique of their ornament consisted of the floral pattern which covered the white back ground of the hand-made cotton cloth: The suzanies from Nourata hold a leading place among the embroidered items from other Uzbekistan regions for their decoration opulence and the diversity of floral motives. As a rule, the central part of the embroidery is pronounced in the composition of a panel which is framed with a wide ornamental edging pattern. More often than not the floral pattern is livened with colorful drawings of birds, butterflies, sometimes one can see even the stylized little drawings of animals inscribed in the entwinement of branches and flowers.

The embroideries from Bukhara are quite rightly considered as one of the most beautiful in Central Asia. The 19th century suzanies in the museum's displays are distinguished for their masterly employment of the tambour stitch as well as the exquisite combinations of the sky-blue, grey, lilac, pink and bright yellow hues interengaged along with red, crimson and green antique suzani from Shakhrisabz makes people stare for its complicated and fine floral decoration, presumably of red color which has inclusions of the mulatto, green and turquoise colors. A severe drawing on the Samarkand suzani fully embroidered with silk threads is noted for the large rosettes with colorful concentric and radial elements. Those patterns which symbolize pomegranate blossom as a fertility sign, similarly to the elements of the ornament reminding ram's horns, have the ancient origin dating back to Zoro-astrianism.

The favorite type of the Tashkent craftswomen's embroidery is the panel called Oipaliak. Large dark red circles inscribed in the quadrates are the principal motif of the panel, the name of which comes from the Arabic word Faliak meaning sky. They have a cosmic meaning and represent the symbols of stars, the sun, and the moon; which densely fill in the surface of the cloth.

The sun discs and flowers encircled by the stylized knives which according to folk beliefs guard the newly weds from evil spirits, are the principal motif of the suzani pattern embroidered in Djizak in the beginning of the past century. The mascots are also quite realistically embroidered there. Since women carried a case with the prayer as a mascot in their everyday life hence quite rightly its drawing on the embroidery had a magic power too. The Andizhan suzani is made in yellow and green array of colors which are typical for Ferghana Valley. It depicts solar circles and swastikas wheels, the antique symbols of the continuous rotation in nature. The pattern of the Kashkadarya embroidery made on the wine colored background has drawing of the stylized horns, solar discs and pimento which anciently served as amulets guarding from the evil Color plays a major role in the art of Uzbek embroidery. Some suzanies contain up to twenty hues, and it gives an opportunity for a craftswoman to create the opulence of colorful combinations, at the same time preserving the solidity of the general coloration. Usually women weave the threads for the embroidery from the locally made silk yarn. Every craftswoman preserves her own secrets of dyeing the threads in red violet, green, yellow and other colors. Natural plant-extracted colorants are used for dyeing, like madder saffron, walnut shells, and pomegranate rinds. Embroideresses employed the stitch called Basma and in the tambour stitch Yurma. According to the antique tradition, the embroideresses left a small part of the ornament unfinished "so that wedding celebrations will go on in the household, the daughter keep on living long, and the joy will never leave the house".

The embroidery decorates a special cover (Sandal-poush) that covered blanket over the household Sandal (Special hollow with burning coal for heating the house). Men's waist belts and sashes (Chorsi) mirror cases, pouches, kerchiefs (Joy-roumol) for wedding celebrations were also decorated with silk embroidery, beads and mother-of-pearl spangles.

Machine-made embroidery articles had become popular in the end of the 19th century. They preserved the same peculiarities of the ornamental composition like in the hand-made embroidery. The tambour stitch on velvet and atlas serves as decoration on the wall embroidery (Goulkurpa, Zardev-or, Choishab) were made by the crafts-women from Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara.

New types of embroidery, like subject image and portrait have got an impact in the middle of the past century. Craftswomen had to develop new types of seams for the artistic hemstitch. The portrait of Alisher Navoi made in silk by the folk artists F. Saidalieva and N. Sharapova is of special interest.

(Source: “Uzbekistan travel news” newspaper)