DAILY NEWS HERALD
DAILY NEWS HERALD #38
Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan
February 23, 2018
Tourism is the future of Uzbekistan’s economy. 1
Jasur Aripov becomes First Deputy Chairman of State Customs Committee. 3
CENTRAL ASIA - THE PRIORITY OF FOREIGN POLICY OF UZBEKISTAN.. 4
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan hold talks on delimitation of state border 4
International relationships. 4
Freight to Go via New Corridor 4
UZBEKISTAN - THE COUNTRY OF TOURISM... 5
Uzbekistan’s State Committee for Tourism Development says it will come with a project to create new tourist zones. 5
Tourism is the future of Uzbekistan’s economy
On February 22, a meeting dedicated to a critical analysis of effectiveness of measures taken on increasing the flow of foreign tourists, further development of domestic tourism, improvement and expansion of tourism services was held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The colossal potential of Uzbekistan in the sphere of tourism has not been used effectively and fully for many years. Favorable economic and organizational-legal conditions for development of tourism were not created, activity in the sphere was neglected.
According to the Decree of the Head of the state “On measures of ensuring accelerated development of tourism industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan” of December 2, 2016, tourism is defined as a strategic branch of the economy of Uzbekistan. Program of priority measures on development of tourism for 2018-2019 was approved by the Resolution of the President of August 16, 2017.
Four important documents, adopted by the President only in February of this year, related to this sphere is the embodiment of high attention paid by the state to the development of tourism. These documents identified priority tasks on solving problems accumulated in the industry, increasing the tourism potential, providing many benefits and preferences for further development of domestic tourism.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev, highlighting the role of tourism in the economy, analyzed in detail the current state of the sphere and measures taken on its development.
An increase in the number of staff units of the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development and its territorial divisions, organization of departments and tourism offices in the regions, introduction of the post of deputy khokim on the issues of tourism development has expanded capabilities of these departments.
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Since February 10 this year, a visa-free regime for 30 days has been established for citizens of Israel, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Turkey and Japan. In addition, the procedure for issuing visas to citizens of 39 countries has been simplified. Electronic visas will be introduced from July 1, 2018.
At the meeting held under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, instructions were given on completing the introduction of e-visas in a timely manner, further simplifying this system with the study of world experience and consistent simplification of the order of visiting Uzbekistan by foreign tourists.
It was noted that the order, according to which tourists should be registered at the place of residence within 3 days from the time of arrival in Uzbekistan, creates inconvenience for them. It was emphasized that ensuring safety of tourists is the task of law enforcement agencies.
A tourist should travel, not wasting time in law enforcement agencies. If we want to create jobs through tourism, it is necessary not to make demands on tourists, but create conditions for them, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
In this connection, instructions were given on transferring the registration system completely to the electronic format, imposing registration obligations on internal affairs bodies, hotels, medical institutions, private houses and other individuals and legal entities that host tourists, freeing them from this affair.
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At the meeting, held on February 22 under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, it was noted that almost 2 million 700 thousand tourists visited Uzbekistan in 2017. This indicator was analyzed from a qualitative point of view. It was noted that most of tourists are those who come to see relatives, to study, for medical, commercial and other purposes.
The State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Tourism Development was tasked to ensure, together with relevant ministries and agencies, an increase in the number of tourists in all promising areas of tourism and the volume of real export of tourism services by at least two times in the next 5 years.
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At the meeting dedicated to a critical analysis of effectiveness of measures taken on increasing the flow of foreign tourists, particular attention was paid to the role of air transportation in enhancing tourism potential.
According to the World Tourism Organization, almost 60 percent of the world’s tourists enjoy air travel, despite the high cost of its services.
Passivity of Uzbekistan Airways in this direction has been severely criticized. Effective work is not conducted on optimizing the prices for air tickets, opening new flights, expanding possibilities for transit transportation of passengers and the geography of flights.
In this regard, Uzbekistan Airways was given a number of tasks. Thus, modern marketing technologies will be introduced into the airline’s activity, opportunity will be created for purchasing air tickets through systems present in leading airports of the world, mobile communication facilities. It is envisaged to introduce the “Open skies” regime in “Karshi” airport on the basis of studying foreign experience. In the future such a system will be introduced in the airports of Andijan, Nukus and Navoi.
As noted at the meeting, after the introduction of a 30-day visa-free regime, all tickets from Israel to Uzbekistan were bought up to June in 2 days. Therefore, the number of flights to countries, in respect of which the visa-free regime has been introduced, will be increased. In addition to the city of Tashkent, direct flights abroad will also be carried out from Bukhara, Samarkand, Urgench, Navoi and Karshi.
The President paid attention even to the smallest details affecting the stay of tourists in Uzbekistan, including dim illumination in airport halls, non-use of all available passport control booths, artificial queues, disorder of private taxi owners’ activities. Instructions were given on eliminating these and other shortcomings.
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Issues of extending tourism season, expanding the types of provided services and improving the tourism infrastructure were discussed at the meeting held under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. The main part of hotels is located in Tashkent, Bukhara and Samarkand, despite this, in the tourism season, there is a shortage of seats even there. Instructions were given on increasing the number of hotels, creating private accommodation facilities and guest houses, allocating land plots to entrepreneurs for these purposes. The need was noted for increasing the number of sanitary-hygienic stations at places of tourist visits and along highways.
Instructions were given on improving the system of visiting cultural heritage sites, installing turnstiles, video cameras and road signs, organizing information centers and providing a wide range of tourist-attractive services.
At the meeting, special attention was paid to the issue of increasing foreign exchange earnings through creation of new types of trade services. The need was noted for producing souvenirs and their sale in special kiosks, opening “Duty Free” and “Tax Free” stores in operating airports of tourist cities, organization of car rental centers and Wi-Fi zones with involvement of business entities.
Reports of officials on the ongoing work of creating round-the-clock tourist zones in historical cities, “Ancient Bukhara” and “Samarkand city” tourist zones were heard.
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Issues of development of domestic tourism were discussed at the meeting dedicated to a critical analysis of effectiveness of measures taken on increasing the flow of foreign tourists.
Recommendations were given on formation of a tradition of visiting the regions of the country by the population, especially by activists of makhallas, the elderly, youth and low-income families, increasing the share of expenditures for excursions in the budget of trade union organizations.
Uzbekistan has a great potential in the sphere of pilgrimage tourism. For creating necessary amenities in this direction, the Department for supporting pilgrimage tourism has been established in the structure of the Committee for Religious Affairs under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, a visa-free regime has been introduced for countries such as Malaysia, Turkey and Indonesia.
At the meeting it was noted that opportunities available in this sphere are not being fully used, a number of pilgrimage sites are in poor condition.
There are many mausoleums of scholars, sacred sites in our country that are recognized in the Islamic world, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev. For example, the last refuge of 12 spiritual guides, who had preached the teaching of Naqshbandiyya, were found in various regions. Currently, we are working on improvement of 8 complexes, including of seven spiritual guides in Bukhara and Khoja Ahror Vali in Samarkand. However, the mausoleums of Muhammad Zahid Bukhari, Alauddin Attor in Surkhandarya, Muhammad Darvesh, Muhammad Imganaki in Kashkadarya need to be repaired.
In this regard, the khokims of Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions were given instructions on ensuring improvement of these pilgrimage sites, improving the condition of roads leading to them, creating all conditions for pilgrims.
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Issues of promoting Uzbekistan’s tourism brand abroad were thoroughly discussed at the meeting held on February 22 under the chairmanship of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The need was noted for advertising the investment, trade and tourism potential of Uzbekistan under a single brand, coordinating activities of relevant structures. The National Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications were given instructions on organizing an international television channel with round-the-clock broadcasting, which will promote the tourism potential of Uzbekistan and transmit various interesting travel programs.
It was noted that our ambassadors in foreign countries should promote Uzbekistan, our national values, and compatriots abroad should also make contribution to this. Priority tasks for the development of tourism have been identified.
Reports of officials of the industry, ambassadors of our country abroad and leaders at places were heard.
Jasur Aripov becomes First Deputy Chairman of State Customs Committee
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev appointed the first deputy chairman of the State Customs Committee on 21 February 2018.
According to the presidential resolution, Jasur Aripov was appointed to the post of the first deputy chairman of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan.
Prior to this appointment, he served as the first deputy director of the Bureau of Enforcement at the General Prosecutor’s Office of Uzbekistan.
As the first deputy chairman of the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan, Jasur Aripov replaced Bakhtiyor Raimov.
CENTRAL ASIA - THE PRIORITY OF FOREIGN POLICY OF UZBEKISTAN
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan hold talks on delimitation of state border
Working groups of governmental delegations of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic held a regular meeting on the delimitation and demarcation of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz state border.
The parties discussed proposals on passing the Uzbek-Kyrgyz state border along the remaining sections.
Freight to Go via New Corridor
The automobile corridor was initiated by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the state visit to the People’s Republic of China last May, when the two sides signed an intergovernmental agreement on the international automobile communication.
As representatives of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Foreign Trade informed, the implementation of this project will have a positive effect on the volumes of mutual trade turnover and allow the countries to fully cash in the existing transit potential of Uzbekistan, China and Kyrgyzstan. The Afghan partners are also showing interest in the route for cargo transportation by rail from Mazar-i-Sharif to Andijan and further to China.
The pilot truck rally on the route Tashkent-Andijan-Osh-Irkeshtam-Kashgar with the participation of lorries from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China took place from October 30 to November 3 last year. The 920 km long route was overcome in 31 hours, of which the automobiles were in motion for 16 hours, while the average speed of the convoy was about 50-60 km per hour. The time for the passage of the Dustlik crossing point on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz border took about 1.5 hours, and the Irkeshtam point on the Kyrgyz-Chinese border took around two hours.
It is established that the road passing through the Sary-Tash urban settlement and the Irkeshtam pass in Kyrgyzstan at an altitude of more than 3,500 meters above sea level is the shortest automobile route from the Ferghana Valley of Uzbekistan to China.
In January 2018, all organizational and technical issues related to the opening of regular road transport of goods along the route Tashkent-Andijan-Osh-Irkeshtam-Kashgar were agreed between Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and the PRC.
For the organization of transportation of export-import cargoes on this new motor corridor, the joint enterprise Silk Road International is created. To implement its activities at the first stage will be involved about 80 trucks. In the future, based on the volume of transportation, the fleet will increase.
Great interest in the new route is primarily due to the minimum delivery time. According to the earlier acting corridor, the cargo from Uzbekistan to China went 8-10 days, but now it will take two days. And, if necessary, an urgent freight can be delivered from Uzbekistan to the Middle Kingdom within 24 hours.
An important factor is the cost of transportation. Transparent and flexible system of tariffs for transportation of containers and modular cargoes allows to save from $ 300 to $ 500 for delivery of each lot. In general, expenses in this direction will decrease by about $ 2.5 million per year, which, undoubtedly, will affect the competitiveness of domestic products on the foreign market.
To create additional conveniences for consignors and consignees of the republic, a multimodal transport and logistics center has been created in the Andijan region on the basis of the terminal of the station Akhtachi, allowing cargo to be transported from all corners of Uzbekistan to Andijan by rail and then by motor road to China.
All the work carried out serves as a basis for further cooperation of the countries of the region, including the activation of the construction of the new Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan-China railway that will allow for the creation of new transcontinental corridors China-Central Asia-Caucasus-Europe and China-Central Asia-Afghanistan-Iran. Thus, the length of route along these routes will be reduced by almost a thousand kilometers.
And with the construction of the new Mazar-e-Sharif-Herat railway (Trans-Afghan corridor), according to experts, the transcontinental transport corridor China-Central Asia-South Asia-Middle East will be complete.
By late this year, the new route will carry about 100,000 tons of export-import cargo. There are already applications for three months ahead in the amount of 27 thousand tons.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
UZBEKISTAN - THE COUNTRY OF TOURISM
Uzbekistan’s State Committee for Tourism Development says it will come with a project to create new tourist zones.
Small tourist zones will be set up to promote domestic tourism and improve the travel infrastructure in the regions.
In the period until July 1, 2018, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan will make proposals on the establishment of small tourist zones in the regions with the introduction of a simplified mechanism for allocating land plots to business entities.
Small tourist zones are said to be subject to the provisions of the legislation on small industrial zones.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)