October 23, 2013

Politics and Foreign Policy:
Meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Meeting of Ministers of SCO Member States
The Concept: Priorities. The openness of activities of public authorities and management – an essential condition of modern development
Economics:
The effective tread of national business
Canadian trade delegation visited the Chamber of Commerce of Uzbekistan
Uzbek and Malaysian entrepreneurs discussed the issues of trade and investment cooperation
Uzbekistan exports 320,000 tonnes of cotton to China in 2013
Uzbekyengilsanoat to produce goods for 2 trln. soums
Toward advancement of tourism in Uzbekistan
Society:
The Fourth International Theatre Festival "Theatre.UZ/2013"
“Golden Guepard” International Film Forum starts in Tashkent
The most important tool to ensure a balance of interests in society

POLICY and FOREIGN POLICY

MEETING OF THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

On October 22, 2013 a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers took place in Tashkent, in which the results of socio-economic development of the country for the first 9 months of this year have been summed up and measures for unconditional implementation of the key priorities of economic program for 2013, determined by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the government meeting on January 18, 2013, have been worked out.

At the meeting the main macroeconomic indicators of the country, as well as the effectiveness of current measures to improve the competitiveness of the economy, deepening of structural reforms and diversification of its industries and sectors, primarily through acceleration and expansion of the scale of modernization, technical and technological renovation of production facilities, advanced development of road transport and communications infrastructure, as well as steady increase of employment, level and quality of life, have been comprehensively considered and deeply analysed.

It is noted that due to systematic and consistent implementation of the well-thought and focused program of economic reform and modernization of the country, despite the intensifying problems in the global economy and a slowdown in its growth, Uzbekistan has ensured preservation of macroeconomic stability and sustained high rates of economic growth. During the first 9 months of this year, gross domestic product grew by 8.1 percent, the volume of industrial production by 9.4 percent, including consumer goods by 15.9 percent, agriculture 6.8 percent, retail trade by 14.7 percent and services by 12.4 percent. State budget surplus constituted 0.2 percent of GDP. The inflation rate has not exceeded the forecast parameters.

The implementation of an active investment policy to accelerate the development and modernization of industries, road transport and communications infrastructure, along with measures to improve the investment climate, has contributed to the growth of investments in fixed assets by 12.5 percent, including foreign investment - 12.4 percent. 2,2 thousand of new production facilities have been commissioned, implementation of 60 investment projects have been completed. Production of localized products grew by 39.7 percent, with an estimated effect of import substitution in the amount of U.S. $ 4 billion.

Continued implementation of measures to further improve the business climate, reducing various barriers and obstacles to business activity has contributed to the creation 21.2 thousand new small businesses in this year, the volume of industrial production by small businesses increased by 15.2 percent and the share of the sector in GDP reached 51.2 percent.

Active implementation of the State Program "Year of Well-being and Prosperity" to raise the level and quality of life, strengthening the material-technical base and improvement of the social institutions have been ensured, for which funding from all sources in the amount of about 5.6 trillion soums and 250 million U.S. dollars have been allocated.

Implementation of the Program for the creation of jobs and employment in 2013 has been analyzed in detail and comprehensively as a top priority at the meeting. It is noted that the implementation of systematic measures for the past 9 months of 2013, 833.4 thousand new jobs have been created, of which more than 488,000, or 58.6 per cent are in rural areas.

During the discussions, the activities of a number of khokims of regions have been subjected to harsh criticism for the shortcomings in creation of jobs through the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship, as well as the provision of employment to graduates of professional colleges.

The heads of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of regions, districts and municipalities, commercial banks, business associations and large companies have been set specific objectives for the implementation of measures to ensure employment of population and creation of additional jobs. Meanwhile, a special attention must be paid to the leading commercial banks to ensure their investment in modern production and recovery of industrial activity of bankrupt enterprises and organization of new jobs.

During the discussion of the agenda items of the meeting, works on further development of the export potential of the country have been comprehensively analysed, with special attention to the measures taken to promote exports of small businesses and private entrepreneurs in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of August 8, 2013 "On additional measures to support the export of small businesses and entrepreneurs."

It is noted that due to ongoing systemic measures on supporting and promoting the activities of domestic producers, exporters, improving their competitiveness in foreign markets, in spite of adverse fluctuations in prices of major exports of domestic products over the past 9 months of the current year, a growth of 13 percent in export and a significant trade surplus have been achieved. 469 new enterprises have been involved in export activities from the beginning of the year. The proportion of regional enterprises in total exports has increased two-fold. Also the role and importance of small businesses in total exports have been steadily increasing, whose shares rose to 19.1 percent compared to 13.5 percent for the same period in 2012.

The attention of heads of business associations, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, the Ministry of Economy have been drawn to the need to strengthen identifying and mobilizing reserves for the expansion of production and the range of export products.

The National Bank of Foreign Economic Activity have been instructed to expedite the activities of the organization and proper functioning of the Fund for the support of exports of small business and private entrepreneurship.

At the meeting, a special attention was paid to the overall consideration and detailed analysis of the effectiveness of measures taken to further develop the construction contractor companies and strengthen their material and technical base to meet the growing volume of construction in the coming years. It is noted that due to the implementation of large-scale programs for construction, reconstruction and modernization in the manufacturing sector and the social sector, development of rural housing model projects in recent years have provided an accelerated growth in construction. During the first 9 months of this year volume of construction works increased by 19.2 percent compared to the same period last year.

The State Committee for Architecture and Construction, Ministry of Economy, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city khokimiyats have been tasked to develop and submit to the Government of the Republic a set of measures on establishment of specialized building contractors, equipped with modern construction techniques, as well as the strengthening of their financial condition, material and technical base.

The Ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Finance have been instructed to develop, based on a thorough analysis of the effectiveness of rural medical units, and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers a set of organizational measures to further improve the system of healthcare in rural areas, with the elaboration of clear standards for the evaluation of rural medical units.

Reports of the heads of ministries, agencies, regional authorities and business associations on the state of readiness of business entities, housing, social and infrastructure facilities for the autumn-winter period, as well as the stable provision of vegetables and potatoes in the autumn- winter period of 2013-2014.

At the meeting, a special attention was paid to the comprehensive analysis of the state of work on harvesting agricultural work, cultivation of winter cereals crops and carrying out complex technical measures for next year's crop. It has been noted that, despite the very difficult irrigation conditions this year, the timely holding of the whole complex of agricultural activities, management of irrigation water, as well as the skill of rural workers has allowed to grow and gather 1.97 million tons of raw cotton by 1 October, and by October 21 to fulfill the forecast state order for cotton.

Following the discussions, relevant decisions, defining concrete measures for unconditional implementation of the key priorities of social and economic development of the country in 2013 and creation of a reliable guarantee for the sustainable development of the economy of the country in the coming years, have been made.

(Source: UzA news agency)

MEETING OF MINISTERS OF SCO MEMBER STATES

The twelfth meeting of the external trade and economy ministers of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO ) took place in Tashkent on October 23.

The meeting was attended by the heads of foreign economic and trade ministries of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan, as well as the SCO Deputy Secretary-General A.Nosirov and the Executive Secretary of the SCO Business Council S.Kanavsky.

During the meeting that took place in a constructive and friendly atmosphere, a wide range of issues on further development and deepening of regional economic cooperation within the SCO framework, reports were heard by heads of the delegations on the status and prospects of trade and economic cooperation in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, by the SCO Secretariat on the implementation of the Programme of multilateral Trade and economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States and the list of actions for further development of the project activities within the SCO framework for the period 2012-2016. The activities of the Business Council and Interbank Consortium for 2012-2013 were also discussed.

The participants of the event noted that, since the eleventh meeting of the Ministers, held on November 13, 2012 in Bishkek, considerable work on the implementation of the agreements, reached during the meeting of the Heads of States and Heads of Governments of the SCO Member States in the field of trade, economic and investment cooperation has been carried out.

In order to develop multilateral economic and investment cooperation, the parties agreed to consistently carry out practical work to implement the Action Plan for implementation of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States and the list of actions for further development of the project activities within the SCO framework for the period 2012-2016, with priority attention to investment projects in specific areas of cooperation.

The parties agreed to submit the following documents to the next Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States, to be held on 28-29 November 2013 in Tashkent: the Agreement between the Governments of the SCO Member States on the creation of favorable conditions for international road transport, a report of the SCO Secretariat on the implementation of program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO member states.

Following the meeting, a Protocol was signed by the heads of delegations of the SCO member states.

(Source: UzA news agency)

THE CONCEPT: PRIORITIES. THE OPENNESS OF ACTIVITIES OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES AND MANAGEMENT – AN ESSENTIAL CONDITION OF MODERN DEVELOPMENT

As it is known, from the first years of independence the “Uzbek model” of development worked out by the President of our country was implemented. As a result, the country has an inclusive democratic legal state with stable economy, protection of human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests, including their rights to be informed, in practice, has risen to the level of the highest value, implemented huge democratic reforms and constructive work towards a society who has won the respect and credibility in the world. The results of such wide-ranging reforms rightly honored with high recognition from prestigious international organizations and experts.

Undoubtedly, the phased introduction into the practice of ideas, proposals and legislative initiatives forwarded by the president in the Concept of further deepening democratic reforms and establishing civil society in the country, serves to raising the rates of democratic modernization to a qualitative new level.

In particular, the implementation of forwarded in this concept priority areas on further acceleration of reform measures of information sphere, ensuring freedom of information and freedom of speech occupies a special place in implementing such important tasks. And this is even more relevant in the deep penetration into our life of enshrined in our Constitution norms: everyone has the right to freedom of thought, speech and expression; Everyone has the right to seek, receive and impart any information; All state governing bodies, public associations and officials of the Republic of Uzbekistan required to provide citizens access to documents, decisions and other materials relating to their rights and interests.

Ensuring freedom of information, transformation of the mass media into a platform of free expression by citizens of their opinions and ideas, attitudes and relationships to current events plays an important role in deepening democratic processes, enhancing political participation of citizens’ activeness, enhancing their participation in public and political life of the country.

As it is known, over the past few years in our country wide-ranging measures on further liberalization of the mass media have been carried out. The Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the mass media”, “On principles and guarantees of freedom of information”, “On guarantees and freedom of access to information” and a number of other relevant documents, which are perfected in accordance with the demand of time are adopted. And this, not only provides a further expansion of democratic reforms in the sphere of the mass media in the new political environment, but also plays an important role in enhancing their active participation in the process of democratization of the information sphere.

Forwarded in the concept, the legislative initiatives in the sphere, of course, serve as a comprehensive logical continuation of such efforts. In particular, definition of the need to adopt the Law “On the openness of activities of state governing bodies and management” will not only create the opportunity for a wider implementation of the constitutional rights of citizens in the sphere of information, but also largely increase the accountability of government and management of decision-making quality. So, it implies a precise definition of the order of public awareness about the activities of public authorities, strengthening of mechanisms of ensuring broad public awareness and public associations of the decisions taken by public authorities, primarily relating to the rights and freedoms and legal interests of citizens. The adoption of this law will ensure openness and transparency of the activities of the executive power, reforms in the country, the internal and external policies of the state, as well as diversity of views on developments in the country and abroad events and political pluralism.

Careful preparation of the draft law based on modern democratic standards is a requirement of time. By now, it has passed a broad discussion with the participation of foreign experts. All regions of our country held more than forty seminars and “round tables”, one international conference and international “round table” dedicated to this issue. As a result of these activities, about 100 proposals and recommendations on improving the bill are summarized and reviewed. During the preparation of the draft law, the experience of the United Kingdom, France, Germany and other developed democratic states in ensuring informational transparency of state governing bodies has also been studied and taken into account. Recommendations received from the Representative Office on issues of freedom of the mass media and the American International Center for non-profit rights was also studied.

In order to handle the practical rules of the draft law, increasing the role and importance of civil society institutions in public awareness of the work of state agencies on addressing critical socio-economic and socio-political problems, implementing tasks of democratic renewal and modernization of the country, on March 20, 2013 was adopted the Decree of the President of the country “On conducting legal experiment on approbation of the draft Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of state governing bodies and management”. It is aimed at further improving the effectiveness of measures in this direction.

On the basis of legal experiment conducted in accordance with the decree, it is intended to develop and refine proposals on identifying the effectiveness of the norms of the draft law, aimed at ensuring openness, transparency of activity of state bodies, extensive use by the mass media and civil society institutions of informed about their activities. It should be noted that the territorial-administrative units for legal experiment were determined Bukhara and Samarkand regions. Of course, this Order will open up new opportunities for the improvement of the draft law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of activities of state governing bodies and management”, the widespread introduction of legislative activity in the subjects of legislative initiative of new and promising methods.

Conducting legal experiment is one of the most important and modern methods in legislative activity. It widely uses an international experience. And it allows to develop evidence-based guidelines, deeply connected with the concrete practice of the state and public building in the way of ensuring the viability of developed draft laws. The Order of the President of our country on conducting legal experiment on approbation of the draft law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” will provide the basis for improving the draft law, the widespread introduction of legislative activity in this promising method according to democratic principles.

Conduction in accordance with the Order of legal experiment allowed the proponents of the draft law to approve the rules of the draft law in certain areas, regions and cities in the current example of the experience of state authorities and management.

In the course of the experiment revealed the effectiveness of legal norms of the draft law, about openness and transparency of public authorities, their widespread use by the mass media and civil society institutions. At the same time, it will help to develop proposals for the deep improvement of the draft law, establishment of mechanisms of their effective use, the more effective implementation of the legislative process in the methods of legal experiment.

In addition, during the process, organizational and legal mechanisms on encouraging active participation in the work of bringing to the public the nature and importance of decisions of the heads of state governing bodies, concerning the legal interests of citizens, as well as issues relating to the public were developed.

In accordance with the Decree of the President, in subjects of conducting legal experiment, their duties on ensuring openness of public authorities will be specified in order, its basic methods will be determined. As a representative of non-governmental non-profit organizations in the sphere of information in the process of legal experiment, we are interested in development of legal mechanisms on promoting wider use of the mass media and civil society institutions of information about the activities of state governing bodies and management. This increases responsibility of the heads of governmental agencies for the quality of their decisions.

Norms of the draft law and the regulations of the legal experiment directly determine the active participation of the heads of state governing bodies and management in the process of provision of information of social value. This will create the opportunity for them to work closely with the mass media. This, in turn, will form the basis for ensuring national information space with relevant and reliable information.

Of course, the improvement of legislation on ensuring the openness of governmental bodies and management places greater responsibility on journalists. If so, during the legal experiment it is important to approbate not only the part of social relationship in this direction, ordering directly by legal norms, but also the relation connected with the codes of ethics of journalists, the principles of mutual trust. This in turn requires an even greater awareness of the mass media professionals of their responsibility before society in conditions of today's information market, development of necessary arrangements. In other words, along with the new legal norms, the mass media and creative unions of journalists for the quality of their work also need to create their own norms based on assumption of “unwritten” responsibility before society.

During the experiment, special attention is also paid to strengthening, in regulatory point of view, the timing of consideration of information requests and requirements for preparation of appropriate responses to them.

In accordance with the Decree of the President of the country, in Bukhara and Samarkand regions, a separate legal order that extends rights of citizens to information on the activities of state governing bodies and management is being introduced. In particular, it is determined that the request of individuals and entities should be considered within no more than fifteen days from the date of registration. Query of the mass media for interviews with the subjects of the experiment and officials considered within no more than seven days. In addition, the right of users to information on introducing a request for information about the activities of the state governing bodies and management in writing, in particular, electronic and oral form, in addition, through their representatives is being established.

At the meetings of the Working Commission on the experiment in accordance with the schedule of implementation of measures on conducting the legal experiment on approbation of norms of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” is defined by a set of organizational and legal measures. In particular, during the legal experiment, the public is inquired about the course of the experiment, activities of public authorities, their decisions, programs in the sphere of socio-economic development, new opportunities of obtaining information in accordance with other documents.

In addition, case studies on assessing the efficacy of legal experiment, activities of subjects of the experiment will be conducted. At the same time, conferences, “round tables” and seminars devoted to the discussion of the norms of the draft law will be organized; participation of foreign specialists and experts is planned. This will provide an opportunity to develop proposals on further improvement of the draft law.

In addition, within the framework of organizing the legal experiment with the direct participation of the heads of subjects of the experiment, press conferences, briefings and interviews will be conducted. And it will help to develop a well-thought-effective forms and mechanisms on wider public awareness of the activities of state governing bodies and management. In short, all results obtained on the basis of legal experiment, will be deeply analyzed, concrete proposals and recommendations that will taken into account in improving the content of the draft law will be developed on their basis.

In conclusion, we can say that in the process of approbation of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management” is widely discussed with participation of national and foreign experts. Suggestions and recommendations received from seminars and meetings, “round tables” and international conferences held in all regions of our country are summarized. Conducted by international experts analyzes of normative-legal framework implemented in Uzbekistan of legal experiment shows that our country has the necessary legal basis for its conduction, that it is complete and certain. And this is an essential requirement of effective conduction of legal experiments.

In general, the experiments carried out in accordance with the Order on legal approbation of the draft law “On the openness of state governing bodies and management”, show that democratic reforms in our country are more and more profound.

(Source: “Business partner.uz” newspaper)

ECONOMY

THE EFFECTIVE TREAD OF NATIONAL BUSINESS

Since independence, the leaders of the Republic of Uzbekistan have been pursuing a well thought-out strategic course, characterized by the following priorities: the formation of a state with a socially-oriented market economy, expansion and strengthening of the position of the non-state sector, including the status of private property, attraction of investments from abroad (notably FDI), modernization and upgrading of national manufacturing and precipitation of the country’s entry into the group of the world’s developed nations.

An essential constituent part of a given course of action is the development of small business and private entrepreneurship, which are generally viewed as the reliable engines that power the economy as a whole. As President Islam Karimov emphasizes in his book, “Uzbekistan, directed towards the 21st century”: “We should ensure that small and private business occupies a deserved place in the national economy. It is necessary to create all economic and legal conditions for free entrepreneurial activity; to give indigenous entrepreneurs access to raw materials; to create a system guaranteeing the sale of their output domestically and abroad; as well as to solidify their relationships with financial, banking and other market institutions, especially international financial organizations”.

Today domestic business is following this very path of development. In addition to the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “On guarantees of free entrepreneurial activity” (and other regulatory and legislative documents), the Uzbek government has approved a complex program designed to further liberalize, simplify, reduce the price and ensure a high level of transparency of all the procedures associated with doing business in the country. Electronic forms of relationships between state and controlling authorities and entrepreneurial structures are being introduced on a step-by-step basis. The principle of priority of business agents’ rights is implemented consistently, according to which all possible contradictions and obscurities in legislation that can arise while organizing entrepreneurial activity are interpreted in favour of business agents. Many indigenous businessmen think that a current registration procedure (now taking only 2-3 days) is much more civilized and effective than a previous one. It is no mere chance, then, that in 2012 the World Bank has moved the Republic of Uzbekistan up 14 places in its league table of the world’s most business friendly destinations.

It goes without saying that all efforts made by the Uzbek state with a view to supporting the development of domestic small and private business have been accompanied by radical changes in thinking and outlook of people, the rise of their confidence in the economic reforms and institutional, regional, sectoral and other transformations accomplished in the Republic. Before independence we were afraid of speaking about private property and did everything we could to strengthen and develop state property in the first place. Nowadays things have turned 180 degrees. It doesn’t mean, however, that everything has been going as well as one would like it to be. Private property, business and even profit-making have still been treated as capitalist categories. To take only one example, mainly high-level functionaries (ministers), directors of big enterprises, secretaries of the governing party’s provincial, city and district sub-divisions, famous writers and poets had automobiles. And in most cases, those were official cars. Now each third family has its own automobile. Each citizen has the right to devote himself to whatever business he prefers: to build and put into service his own enterprise, to open a restaurant or a shop of his own, to create a farm etc. The state doesn’t oblige all citizens to work, as was the case in the Soviet economy. Moreover, the state renounces its claims to the monopoly of the use of labour resources in the field of public production. In the market environment, another principle takes central stage – the principle of freely chosen occupation, including the right of all able-bodied citizens to voluntary unemployment, provided legal sources of income are available. The right to be the master of his own capacity for work (labour force) belongs exclusively to its owner.

The enormous difference between the way people and society at large lived previously and how they are getting along is reflected in the Uzbek leader’s book, “Uzbekistan – its own model of transition to market relationships”: “The legacy’s detriment lies in the wrong thought that if the state is affluent, each family and each person alike will automatically be rich. Given such an attitude, it is very difficult to attain the efficiency of production and labour. The perniciousness of such a world outlook lies in the thesis that has firmly come into life: the rich state will maintain us”.

At the same time, the state neither declined nor is getting out of resolving urgent problems, especially those that affect people’s interests. As the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan reiterates: “The reforms are carried out not for the sake of reforms themselves, but, first and foremost, for the sake of the man.” Each citizen’s right to work is enshrined in the country’s Constitution. The state creates all prerequisites for a family, person and society as a whole to be engaged in useful labour, including small business and private entrepreneurship, which are currently regarded as the main source of employment and profit-making.

Comparing the situation in the Republic before and after the acquisition of independence, one can clearly see that in 1995-1996, the share of small business in the nation’s GDP (one of the basic indicators characterizing the state of economy) came only to 1.5-2.0 per cent. On the one hand, that was due to people’s passivity and contemplative mood, and in some cases to their doubts about reforms, business included. And on the other hand, it was necessary to fight against the negative consequences of the crisis triggered by the demise of the former Soviet Union. In particular, every effort was exerted to halt the slump in production and labour fluidity, to restore broken off economic ties and links and to curb inflation.

Naturally, all those complex problems had to be tackled simultaneously. The task was complicated by the acute shortage of resources. That is why a step-by-step approach was applied to their resolution. By the way, the Uzbek model of economic development rests on this very principle – the principle of succession, stage-by-stage realization and priority. Its remarkable success has enabled the Republic of Uzbekistan to demonstrate to the entire world community the correctness, vitality and efficiency of this model.

In the space of the past 7-8 years, the rates of economic growth in Uzbekistan stood at 8.0-8.5 per cent, which is far higher than the average figure for the Central Asian region. In 2013, this rate is maintained in the country.

In the first six months of the current year, GDP has grown by 8 per cent and the share of small business in GDP – by 43.2 per cent, against 42.6 per cent in the comparable period a year earlier. Since the start of 2013, 15,800 new small-scale enterprises have been set up in the Republic. Their contribution to the creation of new jobs, employment and exports activity is on an upward trend. The total amount of operational small businesses has gone up by 4.6 per cent on the similar period of 2012.

Everything points to the fact that the development of business is gaining speed in Uzbekistan. This can hardly be possible without the solid financial backing from national and foreign financial institutions. In the period under discussion, commercial banks have extended to domestic small enterprises credits to the tune of 3.7 trillion soum, 1.3 times above the amount given in the same period a year earlier. As for the credit lines allotted by international financial institutions, the amount earmarked to small enterprises has reached US $59.8 million. Bank credits help both start-ups and experienced entrepreneurs to develop their business and make it profitable. In pursuance of the July 28th 2010 Presidential Decree, “On additional measures to ensure the attraction of graduating students to entrepreneurial activity”, indigenous banks are financing their promising projects, thus enabling young people to set up their own business. The Kishlok Kurilish Bank, for instance, has given about 5.6 billion soum worth of micro-credits on preferential terms to as many as 396 graduates from vocational colleges, towards the costs of organizing their own business and financing entrepreneurial projects.

Reviewing what has been said above, it should be pointed out that not only the small sector, but the entire national economy have been advancing along the path of civilization and prosperity. At the same time, the nation’s power and image alike are growing at a fast clip. Manufacturing is modernized: the sector is becoming more and more innovative and competitive. The exports potential of Uzbekistan is tending to swell, with small companies and micro-firms contributing to its continuous growth on a par with big enterprises. Economists used to call such a successful development “effective activity”. At present, this sort of activity is witnessed across all industries of the Uzbek economy, including small business and entrepreneurship.

(Source: “Business partner.uz” newspaper)

CANADIAN TRADE DELEGATION VISITED THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF UZBEKISTAN

On October 22 this year the Canadian trade delegation, consisting of Mr. Vladimir Shehovtsev, an expert on trade development in the province of Saskatchewan and Mr. Alexander Antonov, the Honorary Consul of Canada in Uzbekistan, visited the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

During the meeting, the sides discussed issues of trade and investment cooperation between the two countries in agriculture, mining, road transport system, irrigation, education, and information technology and other areas.

UZBEK AND MALAYSIAN ENTREPRENEURS DISCUSSED THE ISSUES OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT COOPERATION

On October 18, 2013 within the framework of the visit of the parliamentary delegation of Malaysia led by the Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Malaysia Tan Sri Abu Zahar Udzhang, a business meeting was held in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the future directions of bilateral cooperation in house and road construction, energy and trade sectors.

The delegation includes representatives of business circles of Malaysia - Member of the Board of Directors of “Bina Puri Holdings Berhard”, Tan Sri Tee Hock Seng, the project manager of the company, Tau Fook Yeng and CEO of “Ba Urus Bina Sdn Bhd”, Bahari Haji Abdullah.

The meeting discussed the development of trade and investment cooperation between the business communities of Malaysia and Uzbekistan.

UZBEKISTAN EXPORTS 320,000 TONNES OF COTTON TO CHINA IN 2013

Uzbekistan exported a record volume of cotton – 320,000 tonnes – to China in 2013, the chairperson of the board of the Chinese ???????? Xinjiang Yinlong International Agricultural Cooperation Co., Ltd V. Lyan said.

He said that the demand for cotton is growing and yarn is highly demanded in textile market. He said that Uzbekistan is a key partner of China in the market. Uzbekistan provides cotton for sustainable work of Chinese textile industry, he said.

He added that Uzbekistan exported the record party of cotton to China – 320,000 tonnes. He said that the volume can reach 400,000 tonnes in near future.

Pravda Vostoka reported that Uzbekistan currently processes 400,000 tonnes of cotton-fibre.

According to the forecast of the experts, internal processing of coton-fibre will reach 60% by 2016 in Uzbekistan.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

UZBEKYENGILSANOAT TO PRODUCE GOODS FOR 2 TRLN. SOUMS

Uzbekyengilsanoat state joint stock company is planning to produce goods for 2 trillion soums (currency rates of CB from 16.10.2013 - 1$=2163.83 soums), UzA news agency reported.

Cotton yarn, fabrics, sewing, sewing and knitting, hosiery and other products are manufactured at 280 enterprises, which are part of Uzbekyengilsanoat. Many of them are joint ventures, created with the participation of foreign partners of the leading countries of the world. During 2008-2011, the sector attracted over $ 450 million of foreign investment.

Currently, total annual production volume of all enterprises of Uzbekyengilsanoat makes up 320,200 tonnes of cotton-fibre, 225.2 million meters of cotton fabrics, 54,600 tonnes of knitted fabrics, 179 million of sewing and knitting products and 45 million pairs of hosiery. This year, the enterprises of the industry are planning to produce industrial goods for over 2 trillion soums.

Uzbekistan plans to implement 30 investment projects, which envisages creation of over 5,500 new jobs. Large part of the projects was already implemented.

In September 2013, 10 new industrial enterprises were launched. They will produce 29,500 tonnes of yarn, 6.2 million knitted products, 3.02 million hosiery and 120 tonnes of raw silk, etc.

In particular, Jizzakh Plastex with the cost of US$42 million has been launched in Jizzakh region. The second stage of the project at Indorama Kokand Textile has been implemented. Uzbekistan is implementing a project with South Korean partners on creation of Textile Technologies Group in Tashkent region.

Uzbekyengilsanoat is also working on realization of local products in Brazil, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Peru, Chile, Columbia, France and other countries of the world. The companies of the light industry are actively participating at the specialized exhibitions and forums in Europe and Asia to promote their products in foreign markets.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

TOWARD ADVANCEMENT OF TOURISM IN UZBEKISTAN

In the today's global world, for each state it is very important to have its own face. And we are not talking about economy and products under the brand "Made in ...", but a cultural and historical identity, a kind of cultural code of a nation, which demonstrates its uniqueness. It is the uniqueness is becoming one of the main products in the world markets, and especially in the sphere of tourism.

TOURISM FROM A TO Z

Tourism is a very specific area. There is no manufacturing or products that one can touch, no need to purchase new equipment and technologies, there are no huge investments. When an average person speaks a word on tourism, it is most often involves some historical or cultural attractions, unique places of nature or of human civilization. But under this guise hides a huge scale industry, which has already overtaken by turnover leading manufacturing industries. According to the International Monetary Fund and the World Tourism Organization, the tourism industry is now ranked first in the world exports of goods and services, ahead of automotive, chemical and food industries. Last year overcame a unique threshold: the number of tourists for the first time exceeded one billion, and revenues from international tourism leaped over US$1 tr.

From these figures it is clear why even the most advanced in terms of the industrial countries today rely on the development of various types of tourism. And here is the main peculiarity of the country, its uniqueness, serving as one of the main ways to attract tourists. Uzbekistan in this area has a number of advantages. So what is it, the tourist face of the country in the international arena? It's more than 7,000 objects of material and cultural heritage of different epochs and civilizations, ancient cities - Samarqand, Khiva, Bukhoro and Qarshi and many others. But even more important than in individual monuments and a unique synthesis of epochs and civilizations, the old and the new, the past and the present, and the nature of the technological society, which allow to develop virtually all existing types of tourism - from the usual historical, cultural and religious to the specific rafting, eco-and geotourism. Not For nothing that many call Uzbekistan "crossroads of time and civilizations". Indeed, the country is located in the heart of Central Asia, has long been a regional hub of the Silk Road, which flocked leading architects, poets and writers, culture and technology. And now Uzbekistan continues this tradition, not only by developing transport and transit potential, but also creating conditions for the development of the cultures of dozens of nations and nationalities, which is called the land of the Uzbekistan.

An original idea generator for development of the domestic tourism industry is the traditional Tashkent International Tourism Fair (TITF) 'Tourism on the Great Silk Road', taking place this year for the 19th time. Over the years the fair has gained wide popularity not only in domestic but also foreign members of the tourism community. According to the organizers, attracting hundreds of foreign tour operators and the tourism business from abroad, the TITF become a showcase of the tourism potential of Uzbekistan and a beacon for tourism. Therefore, the exhibition was organized by the National Pavilion 'Traveling in Uzbekistan', where each region presented their zest able to lure local and foreign tourists.

Not a random selection of the main topic of the fair this year 'Education in Tourism', because it is the quality of the service depends largely on the experience that tourists take away with them, going back to their cities and countries. And if they are good - they will come back to Uzbekistan, already with their friends and acquaintances. A TITF business program this year focused on two themes - all the same education in tourism and development of ecological tourism, which is perhaps the major trend of recent years.

GLOBAL MARKET

With all benefits of tourism one should not forget how complex market is. Now it is global both in terms of players and customers. Therefore, on the one hand, it is an advantage - because Uzbekistan can be visited by tourists almost from every corner of the world, but on the other - you have to compete with a large number of countries, and our sights are in line with such giants of tourism as the Egyptian pyramids, the beaches of Bali, the Eiffel Tower, the Great wall of China - the list is endless.

How to win .this tough competition, perhaps even. more serious than in any industrial sector - because there is fighting fairly limited number of developed countries of the world. Today, this issue is the forefront of many economic policies. and yet found only one answer - creation f own unique brand and development of tourism infrastructure in the country.

As for the own brand, this way the country has gone since last year. Then, the Association of Private Tourism Organizations held a contest for the best slogan and logo for the tourism industry of the country. The best were chosen not only by experts, but those who focus on this work, tourists themselves, both from Uzbekistan and beyond on the website of the association. The top three winners were 'The Oriental Tale', 'Uzbekistan, the Heart of Central Asia' and 'Uzbekistan, the Heart of Asia, Soul of the East'.

In the past year, more than two million foreigners visited Uzbekistan, and about 600,000 of them are tourists. With many of these, correspondents of Uzbekistan Today have talked at various international conferences, exhibitions and other events. Almost all the interviewees mentioned that before coming to the country they were trying to find information about it on the internet, but unfortunately, many queries have not been able to satisfy their curiosity. Indeed, until recently little has been made in this direction. Information about tourist attractions, hotels and services has been extremely fragmented and unstructured. But this year the situation has seriously changed. In late September, an official tourism portal of Uzbekistan - welcome Uzbekistan.uz was launched, responsible for promotion of the national tourist brand in the world. A kind of example for others in implementing of technologies in the tourism industry is Khorazm region. There is a specialized website VisitKhorazm. uz, with movies and 3D photos images of tourist attractions, electronic maps. In addition, a creation of mobile applications for iOS and Android platforms with the necessary information about hotels, tourist destinations, tour operators is ongoing. For tourists to see a particular object, details of Khorazm's monuments are placed on Google Maps, a work continues on creation of three-dimensional model of Khiva in Google Earth, writing articles for Wikipedia.

In late September, the government of Uzbekistan adopted ? Program of development of tourism in Tashkent region for 2013-2015. Without exaggeration, this document may be called structure-shaping for the sphere, as one of the main domestic tourist pearls of our time - Chimyon and Chorvoq long demanded modernization and new campaigns to its development. This much talked about and experts in various conferences and seminars on TITF 2013.

Many tourist centers, recreation areas and hotels in the region were outdated and did not meet the requirements of the time. Therefore, in this direction will be considerable work. For example, at the camp Yangiobod, track for skiing and tobogganing will be prolonged for 2,500 meters, a new platform and ski equipment rental will be opened, and in the recreation area Sumcha a current hotel complex to be modernized, new homes to be built and pool remodeled.

But the improvement the conditions at the facilities is only part of the story. As noted by exhibitors, two important factors must be taken into account - improvement of transport accessibility of facilities and training of professional personnel for their service. These two areas are also provided in the program. So, for the convenience of tourists additional bus sightseeing tours in three areas will be launched: Tasnkent-Parkent district, Tashkent-Bostonliq district, Tashkent-Angren-Yangiobod village. Regarding the training of tourism personnel, there will be implemented a range of activities. The National Scientific-Educational Consulting Center of the Uzbekturizm specialized courses for guides to be opened, and workers of tourism sphere will be retrained in the Management Development Institute of Singapore.

The Program also focused on historical and cultural attractions of the capital region. It is planned that at expense of the state budget 15 monuments will be renovated and improved, among them -Kulbulak Assembly in Ohangaron district, the Kanka settlement in Oqqurghon district, the Kirk-kyz place in Pskent district and others.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


SOCIETY

THE FOURTH INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL "THEATRE.UZ/2013"

The Fourth International Festival ‘Theatre.UZ’, held as part of Style.Uz Art Week 2013, is oganized by the Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation, the Ministry of Culture and Sports Affairs of Uzbekistan, Uzbekteatr and the Youth Theater of Uzbekistan.

At the opening ceremony the First Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Uzbekistan Fotih Jalalov, artistic director of the Youth Theatre of Uzbekistan N.Abdurahmanov and others emphasized that wide-scale reforms, conducted under the guidance of President Islam Karimov, on the development of arts, efforts to further improve the activity and to strengthen the material - technical base of theaters have been yielding good results. The presidential decree "On the development of theatrical art in Uzbekistan" of March 26, 1998 is an important guideline in this regard.

The program of international theater festival "Theatre.UZ", held this year for the fourth time, includes a number of plays, a result of cooperation between domestic and foreign theater groups. In addition, there will be an exhibition of works of theater artists and master classes with theater directors from Germany, Belarus and France, presentation of new projects, creative meetings.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


“GOLDEN GUEPARD” INTERNATIONAL FILM FORUM STARTS IN TASHKENT

The third Tashkent International Film Forum "Golden Guepard", held by the Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundation in conjunction with "Uzbekkino" National Agency, started in the capital. A solemn opening ceremony was attended by representatives of ministries and agencies, national and international organizations, the diplomatic corps, accredited in our country, filmmakers, critics, film fans and the press.

Director-General of the third Tashkent International Film Forum "Golden Guepard" A.Hakimov and others noted that under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, a special attention is paid to development of national cinematography, raising the quality of artistic films and their role in the education of the young generation. All-round promotion of filmmakers, creating the necessary conditions and opportunities for their free and effective activity, further improving the material and technical base of the studios have been .

Films, to be demonstrated at the third Tashkent International Film Forum "Golden Guepard", carry the idea of "On the mirror and the riddle, in the reflection and allegory". The film festival features more than 500 works from countries such as Uzbekistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Bolivia, Germany, Hungary, Peru, Poland, Spain, France, Croatia, Czech Republic, Switzerland, China, South Korea, Japan , Iran.

Film Festival 's competition program includes films by local filmmakers - "The Lower Depths" by Khilol Nasimov and "Garden" by Sabir Nazarmuzammedov. Short films competitions will showcase the work of our young filmmakers - "Ballerina" by Hasan and Husan Salikhov, "Dog" by Anvar Safaev, "The house number 16" by Aziz Ahmadjanov.

The film forum, which will last until October 24, will be held at the Alisher Navoi Palace of Cinema, "Premier Hall" cinema, "Grand Cinema", "City Makon" cultural and educational entertainment center, the Youth Creativity Palace, the State Institute of Arts and Culture of Uzbekistan. Demonstration of films of the festival is planned in Samarkand as well.

THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL TO ENSURE A BALANCE OF INTERESTS IN SOCIETY

The role and importance of civil society institutions in promoting democratic values, expansion and deepening of democratic reforms in Uzbekistan is growing year by year. A special part in this process is assigned to nongovernmental non-profit organizations.

Overall support for NGOs is one of the important areas of state policy, as evidenced by the two-day workshop on 'Relevant issues of enhancing social significance of the projects, ensuring effective and targeted use of grant funds'. It aimed at rendering NGOs and other civil society institutions the legislative, advisory, organizational, technical and other assistance in the implementation of relevant projects, at building the organizational and informational capacity, as well as advancing skills on enhancing the social significance of projects and targeted use of grant funds.

The workshop was attended by representatives of more than 90 national and regional NGOs, winners of grant competitions, Public Fund, officers of ministries and agencies, national and international experts.

Since gaining independence, Uzbekistan has built the legislative base and constantly streamlines it. The country possesses a considerable experience of running NGOs, as well as maintaining social dialogue between civil society entities. Uzbekistan is working on ensuring the participation of NGOs in the development and implementation of state programs, socio-economic development programs in the regions, as well as in monitoring their implementation. Today NGOs of Uzbekistan are financially supported through government grants and subsidies, as well as through social orders.

"Compared to 2011, the total number of NGOs, the grantees of the Public Fund under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, grew by 60.7 %," said Akmal Saidov, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission for Management of Assets of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. "As a result of the financial support of the Public Fund, as part of implementation of the objectives outlined in the national program the Year of Wellbeing and Prosperity 12 structural NGOs and their regional affiliates are currently implementing 18 big projects based on bilateral agreements with state authorities in the form of social orders. As of the beginning of 2013 to date the number of funded and implemented socially important grant projects of regional NGOs makes up 239. 3,303,800 soums (Currency rates of CB from 18.10.2013 1$=2163.83 soums), have been already allocated for their implementation.

Thanks to the active state support the number of ongoing grant-based projects of regional NGOs increased by 62.6%, against 2011. In the third quarter of 2013, the number of projects exceeded 250, and the amount of funding will reach 3.5 billion soums. The number of supported projects of regional NGOs will increase to 72.8 %, against 2011.

Thus, supporting NGOs, the Parliamentary Commission promotes their independence, and strengthens social partnership with the local authorities. Their mission is to address relevant social, economic, and humanitarian issues, implement important ecology and environment, nurturing the harmoniously developed generation, social support for vulnerable people, development of entrepreneurship and home-based work, further democratization and strengthening the capacity of independent media and NGOs.

As a result of the purposeful work, today the country's civil institutions, including NGOs and the media, turn into the crucial tool to balance the interests in the society, strengthen public control and the feedback between the state and society. They ensure the protection of democratic values, human rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the people, create conditions for citizens to exercise their capacity, and promote strengthening of social, and socio-economic activity, and legal culture.

Under the agenda, the second day of the workshop offered master classes to introduce the participants to the development and implementation of grant projects in environment, healthcare, education of the youth and children, the project budgeting. The participants also discussed the need for strengthening social partnership, advanced their skills in reporting on the project's results, and the ways of monitoring its implementation.

The meeting was crowned with awarding certificates to 91 winners of the third, fourth and fifth contests of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Dilyara Sharipova, Executive Director is a grant winner. In an interview with our correspondent she said as follows:

"Today we have won the grant that should help us in the implementation of a project on reproductive health of girls and young women. We plan to conduct a series of training workshops in two universities - Nizami Tashkent State Pedagogical University, and Uzbek State World Languages University, and three pedagogical colleges to enhance the students' knowledge on health and hygiene, on upbringing of healthy generation and promotion of healthy lifestyles. Grant programs of the Public Fund are very relevant and important. Each grant contributes to building a model for solution of a certain task or problem, and that model can help similar situations in other regions or districts. I think, this is what these programs are so important for. The fact that the programs are implemented on the level of the Oliy Majlis evidences of the high responsibility of both grantors and grantees, the relevance and importance of the issues addressed. This proves the close collaboration between the government and social agencies and NGOs, which is a sound reason to anticipate good results from fruitful and mutual assistance.

Participants noted that this kind of workshops for community leaders, the grant winners, would strengthen social partnership in the field, ensure transparent implementation of grant projects, and enhance their social relevance, effectiveness, and intended use of grant funds.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)