DAILY NEWS HERALD
DAILY NEWS HERALD #194
Public Relations and Mass Media Department of the MFA
October 3, 2018
Jovan Jekic appointed as Uzbek Foreign Trade Minister's advisor on WTO entry. 1
Prices for goods and services in Uzbekistan grow by 8.1% in Jan-Sep. 1
free economic zoneS. 3
Jizzakh FEZ continues to attract new investors. 3
The Singapore-based RV Healthcare PTE intends to implement a project designed to create production facilities in Uzbekistan. 3
International relationships. 4
Meeting in Washington. 4
To Those Indifferent to the Future of the Aral 4
Louvre Museum experts pay visit to Uzbekistan. 6
Jovan Jekic appointed as Uzbek Foreign Trade Minister's advisor on WTO entry
Jovan Jekic, an expert in international trade law, has been appointed as an advisor of Uzbek Foreign Trade Minister, the ministry said on Tuesday.
“Becoming a member of WTO allows to significantly expand the geography of export and increase the amount of goods delivered to foreign countries. As it is clear, becoming a member of WTO is considered as a complex, hard and long-time process, and in this context, international expert helps us to take actions towards entering WTO on a purpose of taking as much benefit from becoming a member of the organization as possible,” Jamshid Khodjaev, a foreign trade minister, said.
During 2001–2017 years, Jekic consulted the government of Azerbaijan, Tajikistan as well as Serbia and Montenegro WTO’s entry.
According to the ministry, Jekic will assist in the preparation of a memorandum, which explains Uzbekistan’s foreign trade policy for further presentation to the WTO Secretariat. He will also prepare proposals to amend the Uzbek legislation “in accordance with the provisions of agreements of WTO.”
Prices for goods and services in Uzbekistan grow by 8.1% in Jan-Sep
In September 2018, prices for goods and services on the consumer market of Uzbekistan increased by an average of 1.8%. In general, for 9 months, inflation in the consumer sector was 8.1%, the Uzbek State Statistics Committee said.
Goods on the average increased in price for the month of 1.9% and services – 1.2%. In relation to the end of 2017, prices for goods on average increased by 7.4%, services rose by 10.1%.
Analysis of inflation in annual terms (in the current month in relation to the corresponding month of the previous year) showed that from January to August 2018 the nature of inflation tended to gradually decrease the level. In September, the inflation rate in annual terms increased, although it remained lower than in January-July this year.
In September 2018, food products for the month went up by 3.3%, non-food products - by 0.3%, services - by 1.2%. The study of price changes for the period from the beginning of the year in the context of these groups showed that services and non-food products rose in price for 9 months of 2018 more than food products.
An assessment of the contribution of each aggregated group to increase in composite consumer price index for month showed that in September 2018 increase in food prices led to an increase in the inflation rate by 1.4 percentage points (hereinafter - pp), while the price increase on non-food goods and services added only 0.4 percentage points to the consolidated indicator.
Among the factors that influenced the level of inflation for 9 months of 2018, the key were the liberalization of regulated prices for individual goods, the expansion of consumer and investment demand in the economy as a result of increased lending, changes in inflation expectations, seasonal price fluctuations, as well as changes in the positions of the national currency.
During the month, they increased by 3.3%, which ensured an increase in the CPI by 1.4 percentage points. As of December 2017, the price growth was 6.0%, which led to an increase in the composite indicator by 2.6 percentage points.
Based on the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of September 13, 2018 No. 731 "On Measures to Reliably Provide the Population and the Economy with Grains, Flour and Bread on the Basis of Competition and the Introduction of Market Mechanisms," the wholesale selling price for flour of grade 1 (1,400 soums (currency rates of CB RU from 03.10.2018, 1$= 8179.66 soums) was increased, and free prices for sold population bread.
In general, for January-September of 2018 the average increase in prices for bread from flour of grade 1 amounted to 64.0%, of premium flour - 47.2%, flour of grade 1 (including imported) - 10.5%. The overall impact of price increases on these products led to an increase in the inflation rate in the consumer sector for 9 months of the current year by 1.0 percentage points.
Rice rose in price by the end of last year by 44.8% and this added to the consolidated CPI for January-September 2018 another 0.8 percentage points.
The dynamics of price changes during the 9 months of 2018 was uneven. The peak of the monthly price increase for beef and mutton was registered in July. Prices for poultry meat, on the contrary, declined monthly until July and began to rise starting from August.
Despite the decline in egg prices relative to the end of last year, in August and September the prices for them again increased.
Without taking into account changes in prices for fruit and vegetables, the CPI for food products for January-September of 2018 amounted to 11.0%.
Prices for other types of food products have not undergone any significant changes.
The increase in prices for non-food products in September, 0.3% led to an increase in the consolidated CPI for the month by 0.1 percentage points. In general, over the past 9 months, non-food products, on average, added 9.1% to the price, which led to an increase in the consolidated CPI for this period by 3.2 percentage points.
The main impact on the consumer price index in this group in September, prices for building materials, tobacco products and prices for propane, sold to the population through a network of gas stations, increased.
Leadership in Influence in the Growth of the Consumer Price Index for non-food products for 9 months of this year belongs to building materials, household fuel (coal), clothing and fuel for cars.
The increase in fuel prices for cars has added to the level of inflation for 9 months of the current year of about 0.4 pp. Propane for this period became more expensive by 48.8%, methane - by 24.1% what was influenced by the prevailing market conditions in the fuel and lubricants market and related fluctuations in stock quotes during the year. At the same time, in September 2018, there was a decline in prices for propane - by 15.4% and a rise in prices for methane - by 1.6%.
Of the building materials, the price of brick increased by 9 months by 48.4%, cement - by 24.7%, putty - by 16.5%, wallpaper - by 16.3%, slate - by 14.3%.
Tariffs for services for the population in September 2018 increased by 1.2%, which led to an increase in the consolidated CPI for the month by 0.3 percentage points. For three quarters of 2018, tariffs in this area grew by 10.1%, which ensured an increase in the composite indicator for this period by 2.2 percentage points.
The key factor in the growth of prices for paid services to the population. In September 2018, there was an increase in tuition fees in higher educational institutions on a contract basis. Starting from the 2018/2019 academic year, the cost of contracts for training in higher education institutions in Uzbekistan has become tied to the size of the minimum wage (MWWP).
According to the observed directions, the cost of contract training the average for the republic increased by 20.3% (taking into account the increase in the MWRP from July 15 by 7%), which led to an increase in inflation for month by 0.2 pp
In general, in January-September 2018, the consumer price index for services was formed under the influence of an increase in regulated tariffs in the municipal sector (an average of 13.8%), an increase in the cost of travel in passenger transport (9.1%), leisure services (18.2%), educational services, including the cost of training in language courses and driver training (15.7%) and services of domestic character (8.1%).
In relation to the end of 2017, passenger transportation services by rail increased by 19.1%, automobile services by 9.8%, and by air services by 1.5%.
It should be noted that a tangible jump in the cost of travel by rail in February this year with the transition of Uzbekistan Railways to use in calculations of the official Swiss franc rate according to the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan, instead of the previously applied fixed rate. To mitigate the consequences of this transition, the company applied a number of decreasing coefficients to the cost of a reserved seat.
free economic zoneS
Jizzakh FEZ continues to attract new investors
This was mentioned at the Regional Forum “Jizzakh region: Investments. Innovations. Informatization”, held at the khokimiyat of Jizzakh city.
The event was organized within the framework of ICTWEEK Uzbekistan 2018 by the Committee on Innovation Development, Information Policy and Information Technologies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the country and Jizzakh city khokimiyat. It was attended by deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of local state bodies and Jizzakh FEZ, as well as foreign investors and companies.
The main goal of the forum was to discuss issues of increasing the economic potential of Jizzakh region, attracting new investments and innovations. Therefore, presentations were organized for the forum participants, including potential investors. In particular, the results of activities of several foreign enterprises, which for several years produced their products in Jizzakh FEZ, were presented.
The current state and prospects of ICT and telecommunications development in Jizzakh region, increasing the capitalization of enterprises and development of the telecom infrastructure of Jizzakh region were discussed at the forum.
The Singapore-based RV Healthcare PTE intends to implement a project designed to create production facilities in Uzbekistan
This was announced during the recent talks between the first deputy chairman of the State Investments Committee Sunnatulla Bekenov and representatives of the Singaporean company.
In the first stage of the project, in 2018, it is planned to open a distribution center with the establishment of a trade enterprise with foreign investments and the range of more than 40 types of medicines, including auxiliary substances.
In the second phase of the project, in 2019-2020, the Singaporean partners intend to transfer technologies for the production and packaging of high-tech antiviral medicines (hepatitis B, C and antiretroviral drugs), oral anti-cancer drugs, injections and bio-stimulators. And finally, in the third part, in 2021-2022, it is projected to launch full-cycle production of pharmaceuticals.
It is worth noting that RV Healthcare PTE is one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers in Asia. It has three manufacturing plants in India, two mills in Vietnam and Myanmar, and one enterprise each in mainland China and Hong Kong, Cambodia, the United Kingdom, Thailand, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Meeting in Washington
On October 2, 2018, the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan led by the Minister of Public Education Sherzod Shermatov, who is in Washington on a working visit, held negotiations with the U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
According to the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the United States, the sides discussed practical aspects of cooperation in education aimed at implementation of agreements reached within the framework of Uzbekistan – American Summit in May 2018.
In this context, cooperation prospects in improving educational process management mechanisms, introduction of ICT into the system, material incentives and social support for teachers, as well as school education financing models were considered.
Special attention was paid to issues of further implementation of intergovernmental Memorandum of cooperation in English language teaching. Mutual interest in implementation of joint projects, including opening of secondary schools with teaching all disciplines in English, was emphasized.
The American side expressed its readiness to assist in establishing teachers’ online training at the first stages of cooperation and subsequently develop special programs based on modern teaching methods together with relevant universities of the United States.
Following the negotiations, the sides agreed to continue contacts between the two ministries in implementation of best practices of the United States in improving school education system in Uzbekistan.
(Source: Web site of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
To Those Indifferent to the Future of the Aral
Dilshod Bazarov, member of the International Academy of Ecology and Life Safety Sciences, Doctor of Technical Sciences, Professor of the Hydraulic and Hydroinformatics Department at the Tashkent Institute of Irrigation and Agricultural Mechanization of Agriculture, believes that Uzbekistan has its own unique approach to solving the problem of water deficit.
- Last week you participated in the academic seminar “How to save the Aral” as its co-organizer. What conclusion did the participants eventually come to with regard to the future of the Aral?
- Yes, we organized the abovementioned event together with the research center “Bilim Karvoni”, with scientists, young specialists, representatives of various international organizations and the public attending the discussions – in a word, all those who are indifferent to the future of the lake, which in the 1950s ranked fourth in size and volume of water among the world’s lakes.
I would like to note that the seminar was designated as a free communication platform. There were no pre-written scripts, the guests participating represented different professions. Each of them asked questions and expressed opinion precisely on the basis of their professional sphere.
In my view, very interesting was the presentation of the associate professor T.Sh.Majidov devoted to the past and present state of the Aral Sea, and forecasts for the future.
Concerning the conclusions on the prospects of the Aral crisis, I would like to note that our planet is a living organism. A person can get sick within a few minutes, and the treatment may take a long period of time. The same can be said about the ‘diseased’ part of the planet. The drying out of the Aral began, as I noted above, from the mid-1950s. This is another natural cycle (during the last millennium the Aral Sea has dried for the fourth time). The drying process accelerated the anthropogenic factor.
The seminar participants came to the conclusion that the Aral must be restored, but this will take some time.
- President Emomali Rahmon, following talks with Shavkat Mirziyoyev, said that Tajikistan will not leave Uzbekistan without water. But water deficit is a problem not only for Uzbekistan, it is a global problem and, probably, there are countries in the world where the issue of water saving has already been resolved. What do you think, whose experience would be useful for us to study?
- Yes, the issue of water supply has a specific character. Water allocation problems exist between the US and Mexico, China, India and Pakistan, Russia and China, Libya and Israel, between many countries in Africa and Asia.
By profession I am a hydraulic engineer, “Construction of hydroelectric power stations and river structures”, so with your permission I can answer from my professional point of view. I think, and maybe even believe in this, we have our own approach and our experience in addressing this problem. Uzbekistan has one of the most complicated irrigation and drainage systems in the world. We have a very powerful scientific school with authoritative scientists, a world-class higher education institution training highly qualified specialists for this branch with a highly equipped material and technical base. There is a production capacity and a very harmoniously developing youth able to successfully solve many of today’s problems. And most importantly, unlike many leaders of countries, the head of our state is a person with industrial experience in solving the problems of the water management complex. I believe that we, the specialists dealing with water issues, are very lucky. We have a person who acts as an example in solving water issues. His example of tolerance, integrity, consistency, efficiency, ability to see the distant future, the ability to feel the needs of ordinary people and put the interests of society much higher than his own deserves high respect. He listens and hears the aspirations of all segments of the population, is aware of the problems in all sectors, is ready to discuss them with the people in order to make fair decisions. This does not require proof, since every resident is a witness of positive transformations taking place in our country.
- Water conservation is the main principle of transition to integrated water resources management and the basis of rational water use. What do you think are the tasks in this direction today in Uzbekistan?
- Based on the experience of holding master classes at the Kazakh-German University on the masters program “Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia and Afghanistan”, I can say that in the issues of integrated water resources management, our country occupies a leading place among Central Asian nations, although, probably, even among the states of Middle Asia. Just in case, let me comment on the difference between the terms “Middle Asia” and “Central Asia”.
Central Asia comprises Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Middle Asia, in addition to the above listed countries, encompasses also a part of Russian Federation, Iran, Afghanistan and a few other states of Asia. We are carrying out complex of works on the integrated (rational, mutually agreed, complex, consistent) management of water resources. In particular, improvement of the operational state of irrigation systems and edifices, the start of the reconstruction and construction of hydropower stations of various capacities under the scheme 32+42.
32 hydropower stations are expected to be reconstructed and 42 others be built in Uzbekistan by 2025.
I think it is necessary to strengthen the work on improving the efficiency of irrigation systems; it is not a secret that the utility of many channels in the region is below 50%, which indicates about 50% on average of water loss for filtration, discharge, evaporation and surplus – a blank pass, etc.
In addition, it is essential to work out projects aimed at making profit by using water-saving technologies, changing crops that require less water for cultivation (by the way, which is already being done in Uzbekistan).
Besides, concepts aimed at saving the region’s water resources still have to transform into projects. Among them is the concept ‘Aspects of solving the problem of regulation of the upper course of the Amudarya River’ and “Concept for improving the environmental situation in the Aral Sea area with the formation of a supply Aidarkul”.
Several academic reports have already been made on them during international conferences in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. They are also published in scientific journals of national, international and regional levels. Masters dissertations were written at the German-Kazakh University and the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University, their discussion was held during scientific sessions at the International Academy of Ecology and Life Safety Sciences.
The developed concepts can bring concrete benefits to increase the volume of water transported to the Aral Sea. To be sure, the concepts are expensive, but, as noted by my mentors – the great classics of channel hydraulics and hydrotechnical construction of the Russian scientific school, V.M. Lyatcher, A.M. Prudovsky, A.N. Militeev, I.S. Rumyantsev, D.V. Sterenlicht, A.G. Mishuev, T.G. Voynich-Sianozhentsky, B.M. Kizyaev and others: ‘We are not so rich as to choose cheap ways of solving problems’. Deeply thought out, sound designs and methods for addressing many issues of channel hydraulics and hydraulic engineering require serious material costs. As one of the authors of these concepts, I am sure it’s time to start implementing specific solutions to water management problems, not only here, but also in the region as a whole.
- The amount of water demand for each person is individual and can range from a minimum of 10-12 liters a day up to 70-100 liters. Experience has shown that the main cause of overuse of water is its irrational use. How can we address this issue?
- Yes you are right. We have many cases of irrational use of water resources. It seems that separate episodes are not rather significant, but as a result as a whole, the water discharge is very significant. For example, we cool down melons and watermelons by leaving an open water tap. The toilet bowl with a capacity of 9 liters is drained in one descent. Why not in three or six attempts? If we consider that in each apartment there are two or three bathrooms, how much can surplus expenditure be accumulated in one city and the region as a whole? This is a colossal unearmarked expenditure!
There is an old parable: young parents bring a newborn baby to the sage-educator and ask him to bring it up. He asks how old he is. The question takes parents by surprise and they say that the baby is 20 days old. The sage answers: it means you are late with bringing up the child for 20 days proper!
Therefore, we must educate the culture of using water in our children from birth and continue to do this throughout the life of a person. All the more so there is scores of information, including scientific and documentary films, about water problems in the world, military conflicts between countries over water. I can say that it is better to learn from other people’s mistakes than on your own.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Louvre Museum experts pay visit to Uzbekistan
A group of French specialists from the world famous Louvre Museum, led by the director of the department of Islamic art of the museum, Yanik Linz, is on a working visit to Uzbekistan from 19 to 28 September.
Also, the delegation includes the director of the French-Uzbek archaeological mission in Bukhara, archaeologist of the department of Islamic art of the Louvre Rocco Rante and experts-restorers Anna Ligei, Christina Pariselle, Dolphin Elie Lefevre, Geraldi Fray.
The main purpose of the visit is to conduct research in cooperation with experts from Uzbekistan, to provide scientific analysis and draw up an expert conclusion on the status of exhibits previously selected in museums of Uzbekistan for exhibiting at the exhibition "Civilizations and Culture on the Silk Road", which will be held at the Louvre in 2021 .
This is the second visit of the French delegation on the holding of the exhibition; The first visit took place in May 2018. French experts on the restoration and conservation of museum exhibits are carrying out systematic work on the study of cultural heritage items of Uzbekistan. Experts conduct their research in leading museums and research institutes in Uzbekistan.
In particular, during the visit, the experts visited the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan, the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, the Oriental Studies Institute, the Institute of Art Studies of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, the Museum of History of Samarkand "Afrosiab", the Institute of Archeology, Samarkand State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Bukhara State Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Museum of History of Pikend Site, Termez Archaeological Museum, Museum of the Holy Quran in Muji Muborak Madrassah under the Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan, Museum of the Agency for Precious metals at the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Also, French archaeologist Geraldi Fray, in order to study the collection, is scheduled to visit the Karakalpak Scientific Research Institute of the Humanities.
Within the framework of the preparation for the exhibition, French and Uzbek scientists and art historians carry out a large-scale work on the selection and study of the preliminary list of exhibits that most fully reflect the ancient and medieval culture of the states that existed on the territory of modern Uzbekistan. Based on the results of the joint study, an expert opinion will be given on each selected exhibit and a single list of works of art is drawn up for exhibiting at the exhibition in the Louvre.
Gayane Umerova, Deputy Executive Director of the Foundation, speaking about the visit of French specialists, said: “The exhibition of the cultural heritage of Uzbekistan in the Museum of the Louvre is a unique opportunity to demonstrate the rich heritage of our country to the world. The Foundation, together with the Louvre, works with the French side on the creation in Uzbekistan of a mobile laboratory for the conservation and restoration of museum exhibits, as well as the organization together with the school “Ecole de Louvre” a series of lectures and practical seminars on the professional development of museum specialists and art critics”.