INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN
INFORMATION DIGEST OF
PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 208
October 23, 2017
Uzbekistan: Expert opinion on the outcomes of Sochi Summit 1
Uzbekistan implemented the first deliveries of fruit and vegetable products under the single UzAgro brand to Russia. 3
BUSINESS CLIMATE.. 3
In Tashkent, within the next two months, it is planned to launch a new small industrial zone. 3
International cooperation.. 4
On October 19, Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan business forum was held in Tashkent 4
Uzbekistan: Expert opinion on the outcomes of Sochi Summit
Senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Nizomiddin Ziyamov states that in international political and expert circles they openly acknowledge: thanks to the active policy of Uzbekistan, a new political reality has been created in Central Asia within a short span of time.
- What is the place of the CIS in the foreign policy of Uzbekistan?
- To begin with, according to the Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Uzbekistan, cooperation with the CIS countries is one of the priority areas of foreign policy. Our country with the states of the Commonwealth is linked by historically formed political, economic, transport-communication and other ties. The Republic of Uzbekistan will continue to build bilateral relations of cooperation with the CIS countries on the basis of equality, mutual benefit, respect and consideration of each other’s interests.
The evidence of this was the new conceptual ideas and proposals of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Sochi CIS summit. The head of state noted that “Uzbekistan intends to seriously optimize its approaches and give a qualitatively new dynamics to participation in the CIS activities”, “for us it is the most important institution of practical cooperation in priority areas, and the member countries of the Commonwealth are our natural partners, neighbors and friends”. Moreover, the President made a proposal to hold a summit of the heads of the Commonwealth member states in 2020 in Uzbekistan.
Undoubtedly, such an active policy of the country will give a powerful impetus to further deepening cooperation between the CIS countries in various fields, intensifying cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, transport, tourism, education, science and security. A fundamentally new approach cannot but find the reciprocal interest of our partners in the Commonwealth. Today, Uzbekistan is the third largest post-Soviet country after Russia and Ukraine, with a rich historical and cultural heritage, a fast-growing economy, and an attractive, peaceful foreign policy aimed at ensuring peace, stability and security in Central Asia.
It should also be emphasized that further deepening of cooperation within the framework of the CIS will also be facilitated by large-scale, profound reforms implemented in Uzbekistan in all spheres of public life. It should be noted that the ongoing transformations within the framework of the Strategy of Action in 2017-2021 open up new opportunities not only for us, but also for all our partners, including the Commonwealth.
- Today, the focus of foreign media is placed on Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s initiatives aimed at enhancing the cooperation among the member nations of the organization. How can this have effect on the advancement of bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Central Asian states?
- Currently, Uzbekistan is dynamically developing cooperation with the states of Central Asia both on a bilateral and multilateral basis. In international political and expert circles, they openly acknowledge: “thanks to the active policy of Uzbekistan, a new political reality has been created in Central Asia within a short span of time”.
Such dynamics in Central Asia does not contradict, but, on the contrary, becomes a powerful factor in implementing the main idea of the Commonwealth, which is to strengthen multifaceted cooperation, ensure security and joint sustainable development in the CIS space. It is no coincidence that Shavkat Mirziyoyev carried out the first foreign visits as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.
To date, Central Asia is rightly considered one of the key regions in the CIS area.
In recent months, the attractiveness of the regional market for foreign investors has increased significantly. Strong ties have been formed that ensure a close exchange and dialogue between our countries, and also contribute to the growth of business activity throughout the CIS.
- What are the prospects for cooperation between Uzbekistan and the CIS countries?
- Since the establishment of the Commonwealth, an extensive legal field has been created within the CIS. The instruments and mechanisms of interaction have been developed for many areas of vital importance for the Commonwealth member states, including the development of trade, economic, communication and transport links, security and cultural cooperation.
Since 2011, the Free Trade Agreement has been put in place, which is designed to promote the formation of a qualitatively new economic space, to foster the activation of mutual trade between all CIS countries. Positive dynamics, despite the negative trends in the global economy, is already evident.
Since early 2017, Uzbekistan’s trade with the Commonwealth countries has increased by more than 20%.
A new impetus to the further growth of trade and economic ties will give an early formation of a full-fledged free trade zone in the CIS space without any exceptions and limitations.
It is noteworthy that not only Uzbekistan, but also our partners are interested in this. The Uzbek consumer market is growing rapidly both in terms of volume and quality. This is evidenced by the high degree of interaction between business circles of Uzbekistan and its partners in the CIS - Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, which we have been seeing since the beginning of 2017. By the way, the other day Tashkent hosted an exhibition of industrial goods of Tajikistan with great success.
- What is the role of cooperation in the cultural and humanitarian sphere?
- The interaction in the cultural and humanitarian sphere is based on the Agreement on Cooperation in the field of Culture, Science and Technology, Education, Health, Information, Sports and Tourism, signed by the heads of CIS states in 2001. Nevertheless, since the beginning of this year, it is impossible not to notice the attention paid by the leadership of our country to the development of cultural and humanitarian ties with the states of the Commonwealth. This issue has always been on the agenda of the bilateral talks of the President of Uzbekistan with the leaders of the CIS countries, as well as in the framework of the Sochi summit.
In particular, the head of our country noted that the expansion of applied scientific and technical cooperation and educational exchange is one of the priorities of joint actions within the framework of the CIS. The implementation of joint programs in the field of training highly qualified personnel, projects in the field of high technology, as well as joint research.
Even today in Uzbekistan, branches of the Moscow State University, the Gubkin Russian State University of Oil and Gas, the Plekhanov Russian Economic University are carrying out their activities. It is currently planned to open branches of the Higher School of MGIMO and the Pavlov First St. Petersburg State Medical University in Tashkent.
It is gratifying to note that recently the traditional day of cultural and humanitarian cooperation is the joint holding of days of culture of the CIS countries, exhibitions, scientific and practical conferences, round tables and seminars. A number of such joint events were held with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan.
Cooperation in the sphere of tourism occupies a special place in the development of cultural and humanitarian ties. The Commonwealth countries have a huge tourist potential, a large-scale implementation of which will contribute not only to their economic growth, but also to the rapprochement of peoples. It is no accident that at the CIS summit in Sochi, the President of Uzbekistan proposed holding one of the regular meetings of the Commonwealth Tourist Board in the ancient city of Samarkand.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Uzbekistan implemented the first deliveries of fruit and vegetable products under the single UzAgro brand to Russia
The first consignment was sent the other day by air to the trading house of the company "Uzagroexport" in Moscow. More than ten names of fresh and dried fruits, as well as 40 tons of grapes, are exported by charter flight.
As reported in the company "Uzbekozikovkatholding", the work on the export of Uzbek fruits and vegetables under the brand UzAgro is aimed at maintaining a steady growth rate of export volumes of the industry. In addition, transportation of fruit and vegetable products under the new unified brand will now be carried out not only by road and rail, but also by the NAC aircraft.
"The delivery of fruit and vegetable products by air will enable buyers in the Russian market to purchase the most fresh, environmentally friendly product of high quality," the press service of the company emphasized.
The Uzbek side also entered into direct contracts with the largest Russian trading networks, such as X5 Retail Group, Magnit, Holiday, Maria Ra, for the supply of fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products. At the same time, representatives of "Uzbekozikovkatholding" noted that fruit and vegetable flights are planned to be performed once a week.
It should be reminded that the Minister of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Elyor Ganiev recently announced that the republic intends to increase the annual volume of deliveries of fruits and vegetables to Russia to $ 1 billion. Only this year, the export of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables to the Russian Federation grew by almost 30%.
Currently, agreements exist between countries on the organization of a simplified procedure for the conduct of customs operations in the movement of goods and vehicles, as well as simplification of the phytosanitary control procedure.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
In Tashkent, within the next two months, it is planned to launch a new small industrial zone
The new zone will be created on the basis of buildings and structures of the former research and production association "Signal" with a total area of 5.1 hectares located in the Uchtepa district of the capital. In the near future, these facilities will be fully transferred to the jurisdiction of the capital city hokimiyat in accordance with the decision of the Tashkent inter-district economic court.
It should be noted that three small industrial zones are already operating in Tashkent. In addition, this year should appear five more, in 2018 - two. Production areas and land plots located on their territory are provided for long-term lease for a period of 10 years. In the future, the term can be extended for another 10 years, provided that companies fulfill agreements on the implementation of projects and timely payment of all taxes and other mandatory payments.
Companies in the territory of the zones are exempt from paying property tax and corporate income tax, as well as a single tax payment for a period of two years. Effects of benefits can be extended for another two years, provided that no less than 30% of the total volume of output is exported.
In total, the number of small industrial zones in Uzbekistan reached 96. They implemented 1021 projects worth 535 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 23.10.2017, 1$= 8058,77 soum). As a result of the launch of new enterprises, more than 9.6 thousand jobs were created.
Within the framework of various projects in the regions, products of light, chemical, food industry, electrical engineering, modern building materials, furniture and other finished products are in demand not only on the domestic market but also on the foreign market. In addition, as a result of the implementation of 248 prospective projects, an additional 11,000 new jobs are envisaged to create.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
On October 19, Uzbekistan – Kazakhstan business forum was held in Tashkent
It was attended by the heads of ministries, departments and companies of the two countries operating in such spheres as trade, investment, construction, automotive, light and food industry, agriculture and water resources, energy, transport and logistics, information technologies.
Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan A.Ikramov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Kazakhstan to our country E.Utembayev, Chairman of the Board of “Kazakh Invest” company A.Arinov and others noted that relations between our countries are consistently developing in all directions. An important legal basis for this became the Treaty on eternal friendship, the Treaty on strategic partnership and a number of other documents signed between our countries.
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan are implementing promising projects on mutually beneficial cooperation in investment, trade, economic and social spheres. The trade turnover is growing steadily. There are more than 200 companies with participation of Kazakhstan capital, in our country. In 2016, the trade turnover exceeded 2 billion dollars. In January-August this year, this indicator grew by 35 percent. An important guide to action in this direction became the Strategy of economic cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2017-2019, adopted in March of this year.
Business forums between the two countries contribute to an even more effective use of the potential of trade and economic cooperation. Agreements worth a total of 1,2 billion dollars were signed at such forums held in Astana in March of this year and in Tashkent in September.
During the current event, businessmen of Kazakhstan were provided with information on the ongoing structural reforms in accordance with the Strategy of actions on five priority areas of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, developed at the initiative of the President of our country Shavkat Mirziyoyev. It was noted that laws and other legislative documents aimed at creating a favorable investment climate, granting tax and customs preferences for entrepreneurs and investors are being adopted in our country.
Within the framework of the business forum, a memorandum of cooperation between Chirchik Transformer Plant and “Alageum Electric” JSC of Kazakhstan and other agreements were signed.
B2B meetings were held within the framework of the forum. Participants discussed prospects of establishing mutually beneficial cooperation in various spheres.
Issues of implementation of new investment projects, organization of joint ventures were also considered.