DAILY NEWS HERALD
DAILY NEWS HERALD #209
Public Relations and Mass Media Department of the MFA
October 24, 2018
President of Uzbekistan receives U.S. Secretary of Commerce. 1
Uzbekistan to establish the Ministry of Energy. 1
The Uzbek-British joint venture Bek Сluster operating in the Mirzaabad district of the Syrdarya region operates 18 thousand hectares of acreage. 2
INNOWEEK – a great opportunity to find reliable partners. 3
International relationships. 3
Uzbekistan and the United States sign agreements for US$2.5 billion. 3
Uzbekistan – American Business Forum.. 4
The Aral Region as Environmental Innovations Zone. 4
President of Uzbekistan receives U.S. Secretary of Commerce
On October 23, 2018, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received the United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who is in Uzbekistan on a working visit.
Regular meetings and contacts of the leaders of the two states, including the official visit of the President of Uzbekistan to the United States in May this year, brought Uzbekistan – American multifaceted relations to a higher level, opened a new era of strategic partnership.
The first visit of the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to Uzbekistan is evidence of mutual interest and desire of the parties to further development of relations within the framework of signed agreements, expanding trade-economic and investment cooperation.
Warmly welcoming the guest, the Head of the state emphasized the existing great potential for increasing mutual trade, implementing promising projects in various sectors of the economy based on attracting direct investment, advanced technologies and experience of leading American companies, as well as expanding cooperation in banking and financial sector.
Fruitful results of the events of the American Business Week in Uzbekistan with participation of managers and representatives of world famous industrial holdings, financial and investment corporations and the United States banks were noted with deep satisfaction.
At the meeting, issues of practical cooperation in implementation of specific projects and programs in the sphere of trade, industry and high technologies, agriculture, logistics and transport were discussed.
Much attention is paid to creation of favorable conditions for expansion of activities of American companies in Uzbekistan, including issues of financing joint projects.
Views were exchanged on development of trade-economic cooperation in Central Asian region.
The U.S. Secretary of Commerce, expressing deep gratitude for the warm welcome, conveyed sincere greetings and best wishes of the United States President Donald Trump to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Wilbur Ross highly appreciated the pace and scale of reforms in Uzbekistan, which are of great interest and open up new opportunities for American business in Uzbekistan.
Readiness to make all the necessary efforts for expanding multifaceted cooperation and strengthening strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and the United States was expressed.
Uzbekistan to establish the Ministry of Energy
The Ministry of Energy will be founded in Uzbekistan in the near future, Kun.uz correspondent reports with reference to the presidential decree.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev ordered the Commission to reform the electric power industry, which is headed by the Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, to prepare a draft presidential decree on the formation of the Ministry of Energy by December 15, 2018. The organization and regulation of the activities of fuel and energy complex of Uzbekistan will be entrusted to the PM.
In addition, before March 1, 2019, the Commission should present a modern scheme for organizing the production, transportation, distribution and sale of electric energy. It should attract foreign direct investment enterprises for the production and distribution of electric energy in Uzbekistan on a public-private partnership basis.
At the same time, full state control over the transportation of electricity will be maintained with the gradual formation of a modern wholesale electricity market based on competitive procurement of products directly from generating establishments.
In the coming years, the domestic electric power industry will encounter major changes.
The Uzbek-British joint venture Bek Сluster operating in the Mirzaabad district of the Syrdarya region operates 18 thousand hectares of acreage
More than 14 thousand hectares are sown with cotton. This area is divided among 8 farms, in which 192 teams are assigned 120-150 hectares. In each farm and each brigade, chiefs were chosen from among the experienced dehkans residing in the territory.
In brigades comprising 12-15 people, the team members work on a permanent basis and 1,700-1,800 people are engaged into seasonal work. In order to provide the latter with work and income after harvesting, conditions are created for working at home, being busy with rabbit breeding, sericulture, and growing peppers.
Cultivation of cotton and other agricultural products is based on innovative technologies. In order to yield high-quality cotton, the company effectively uses 100 modern tractors and other machinery. In practice, 40 seed drills, 30 laser systems for leveling the soil, 100 Turkish-made cultivators, 20 K-744 tractors imported from Russia, and other modern machines and devices have been successfully used.
Basically, the team prefers machine harvesting. For this, 16 modern six-row cotton collecting machines of Chinese production are involved.
Owing to the annual growth in yield, it is planned to harvest at least 42.6 thousand tons of cotton in the first three years and to increase this volume in subsequent years.
A cotton processing plant is built and operates to process the cultivated crude at a joint venture in cooperation with the Turkish company SUMER.
“The enterprise has adopted a program for the development of agricultural production designed for 2018-2022. Together with the Research Institute for Soil Science and Agrochemistry and other organizations, an action plan has been elaborated,” says Ulugbek Sotiboldiev, head of Bek Сluster JV. “The bonus point of land here is 45 points. Based on this, in order to increase fertility by raising the humus in the soil composition by 3 thousand hectares, siderats were planted (plants known as “green fertilizers”). To obtain seeds on 40.6 hectares, we plant barley, wheat, oats and rye imported from Serbia – a total of 11 species of cereals.”
In the future, they intend to set up a system of mixed sowing of cotton and soybean in cotton squares. Practical work has begun on the harvesting of seeds of short, early ripening soybean varieties.
Based on the technology imported from South Korea, it is planned to build modern greenhouses for 100 hectares. This year, greenhouses on 40 hectares have already been erected. Currently, work is underway to set grape plantations on 200 hectares and pomegranate plantations on the same area.
Today, 1,500 people have been provided with permanent work at the enterprise, and by the end of this year this figure will be 3 thousand employed. In the future, following the implementation of all projects, 10 thousand people are said to be provided with permanent job.
For scientific creation of new, promising varieties of crops, to obtain a rich harvest, ensure its safe storage and processing, cooperation is established with qualified specialists and scientists. Much attention is paid to testing new equipment and advanced technologies, expanding the possibilities for implementing innovative projects, and delivering conditions for the free work of scientists. In this regard, it is planned to organize a scientific center for technologies for harvesting and processing plant products by uniting scientists from agricultural universities, research institutes and attracting foreign specialists.
Today, as a first step, a laboratory has been opened at Gulistan State University, where collaboration is carried out. In the future center, it is planned to create laboratories for the analysis of plants and soil, study plant biotechnology, plant genomics, gene bank and others.
An important issue of production is not ignored, that is, the search for markets for products. To do this, a special program provides for the organization of electronic commerce or online marketing.
In order to establish the activity of the scientific and practical center in the building of the Mirzaabad Vocational College of Hydro-Reclamation, 7 laboratories of regional significance and branches of the center will be established on the basis of the investments of the enterprise and its foreign partners. Laboratories will be provided with modern equipment for conducting scientific and practical research. 44 specialists are projected to work there.
Special attention was paid to the development of international cooperation. Based on this, 5 young specialists in 2019, and 10 in the year 2020 are envisaged to be sent for training and enhancing experience in foreign research centers.
In the following years, the company plans to implement a number of extensive projects.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
INNOWEEK – a great opportunity to find reliable partners
The Innovative Ideas Week, organized by the Ministry of Innovation Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, kicked off at Uzexpocentre.
Business people, investors, representatives of foreign research and innovation centers, investment funds, technology agencies and parks, business incubators are attending the events of the week.
The purpose of the event is to create large-scale opportunities for implementation of innovative ideas, technologies and projects by providing technology transfer between Uzbekistan and developed countries.
On the first day of the week, innovations implemented in all sectors of the economy and regions of our country were discussed, the public was presented with the essence of Innovative Development Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2019-2021, creating necessary conditions for the country to become one of the top 50 countries in the Global Innovation Index rating until 2030.
Within the framework of the Innovative Ideas Week, an exhibition of developments proposed for introduction into the social sphere, financial and banking sector, agriculture, the real sector of the economy and public administration, as well as a conference on their commercialization will be held.
Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.Abduvokhidov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan S.Kholmuradov addressed the event.
Uzbekistan and the United States sign agreements for US$2.5 billion
Uzbekistan and the United States signed agreements for US$2.5 billion at the annual Uzbek-American business forum.
Air Products and Uzbekneftegaz signed an agreement on implementation of promising gas processing projects, including the production of industrial gases for US$2 billion.
Silver Leaf and BMP Trade intend to create a textile cluster in Jizzakh region on an area of 31,000 hectares. The volume of investments in this project will be US$350 million.
Coca-Cola and Uzbekoziqovqatholding signed an agreement on the sale of part of the state share of Coca-Cola Uzbekistan to an investor.
Uzagrosanoat Holding and John Deer will create a joint venture for production of agricultural machinery based on the Tashkent plant of agricultural machinery after the delivery of 500 units of tractors. John Deer will also supply agricultural equipment and tractors.
Imperial Jewerly and the Jewelry Industry Association of Uzbekistan will establish a joint venture for the production of jewelry based on the Zargarlik factory in Tashkent.
The Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine signed a protocol of intent with Caterpillar on the supply of 10 mining dump trucks.
CETS and the Ministry of Agriculture signed a protocol on cooperation in the introduction of modern technologies for the production of high-quality potato seeds in Uzbekistan.
The American company United Investment Healthcare Group received in trust a network of pharmacies of the Dori-Darmon company on the principles of a public-private partnership.
US Inc. and Farm Agency plans to organize facilities in Tashkent to produce a wide range of diagnostic test systems for detecting various diseases.
Davlat Belgisi and Crane Currency have agreed to cooperate in production of banknotes. The American company will supply a special micro-optical thread and chemical materials.
The State Investment Committee and the Macro Advisory will cooperate in attracting direct American investment in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan – American Business Forum
On October 23, Tashkent hosted Uzbekistan – American business forum.
The event, organized by the State Investment Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan in cooperation with American – Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, was attended by members of governments, representatives of business circles, leading companies and enterprises of the two countries.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Chairman of the State Investment Committee Sukhrob Kholmuradov, First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis Sadik Safoyev, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, Chairman of American – Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce Carolyn Lamm addressed the opening ceremony of the forum.
The state and prospects of economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United States were discussed at the forum.
In 9 months of this year, due to active cooperation with American companies, it became possible to double the trade turnover and bring it to 332 million dollars. Currently, 210 enterprises are successfully operating in Uzbekistan, and 25 enterprises have been created since the beginning of this year with participation of American capital.
Meeting of American – Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce was held within the framework of the forum. It was attended by U.S. Secretary of Commerce. During the event, negotiations were held between representatives of American member companies and Uzbekistan partners.
The Aral Region as Environmental Innovations Zone
For Uzbekistan, like any country implementing economic reforms, the urgent need to take into account the environmental component is conditioned by underlying factors.
The projected rates of economic growth and social progress are becoming so large that, without taking into account the investment in maintaining a healthy environment, ecologically friendly recycling of waste and production, it is possible to come up with a situation in which such growth and progress will prove problematic.
Considering the water problems of the Central Asian region, it can be noted that the complex of intricate environmental issues, including the drying up of the Aral Sea, has become a global ecological catastrophe, which has undermined the very basis of life in its basin.
In this region, the number of days with temperatures above 40 degrees has doubled. Also recently, there has been an increased frequency of days with an extremely cold temperature in winter – below minus 30 degrees. In addition, a further swell in temperature by 1.5-3 degrees will lead to growth in water loss by 10-15% due to evaporation from the water surface and by 10-20% due to an increase in transpiration by plants.
Due to its socio-economic, environmental and humanitarian consequences, the tragedy of the Aral Sea has acquired a global character and poses a direct threat to the sustainable development of Central Asian countries, the environment, health and the gene pool of the population. According to experts, only the direct annual economic damage from the impact of negative factors of the Aral crisis in the region amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.
In the years of independence, Uzbekistan faced the need to independently search for a way out of this situation. Realizing the importance of taking urgent measures and the degree of threat posed by the Aral Sea crisis for the population of the Aral area and the entire Central Asian region, our country took the initiative of joining efforts to preserve the ecological balance and improve the environmental situation.
A historic turning point in addressing these problems was the meeting of the heads of Central Asian states in Tashkent in January 1993, during which the Uzbek side supported the creation of a regional organization for the Aral Sea issues – the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. In March 1993, in the city of Kzyl-Orda, Kazakhstan, at the Central Asian summit meeting, an agreement was signed on joint actions to address the Aral Sea crisis and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) was created.
From the high rostrum of the UN General Assembly, Uzbekistan repeatedly called upon the world community to realize the seriousness of the problem and the need for an urgent response to the environmental security challenges of a multi-million populated region. It was emphasized that the Aral problem is becoming global in nature due to the extent of its impact on the biosphere, living conditions and the gene pool of the population.
In January 2017, at the initiative of the head of our state, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the National Program for the Development of the Aral Sea Region for 2017-2021 was adopted and has ever since been implemented, aimed at improving the living conditions and quality of life of the inhabitants of the Aral area, providing for comprehensive measures to create new jobs for the locals, as well as increasing the investment attractiveness of the region; developing the water supply system and raising the level of providing the population with clean drinking water, improving sewage systems, sanitation and recycling of household waste; measures for the further development of the healthcare system in the region and the preservation of the gene pool of the population; the further implementation of measures aimed at improving the living conditions of the people living in the region, the repair of in-house utilities and common areas in apartment buildings, as well as the improvement of territories adjacent to homes with the creation of children’s and sports grounds; development of transport, engineering and communication infrastructure of settlements in the region, enhancement of the irrigation network and outdoor lighting networks, perfection of the heat supply systems of the cities of Nukus and Urgench, providing for the introduction of modern energy-saving technologies. As part of the Comprehensive Program of Measures to Mitigate the Effects of the Aral Disaster and the Development of the Aral Sea Region, designed for 2013-2017, over 500 projects have been implemented, more than half of them are at the national nature.
In order to further solve the problems of the Aral Sea and the Aral Sea region, it is also proposed to carry out comprehensive environmental projects, including:
1. Development of a system of local reservoirs – wetlands – along the dried coastline of the Aral Sea and the Amudarya delta, which will restore the biodiversity of the region and improve the socio-economic situation of the population, increase employment by participating in the development of fisheries and animal husbandry.
2. Conduct of forest protection measures on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea, aimed at restoring tugai forests and strengthening the system of protected areas in the Amudarya river delta.
3. Implementation of the water supply program of the Republic of Karakalpakstan for the period up to 2020, as a result of which it is envisaged to bring water supply in the cities to 100%, and to 80% in the countryside.
4. Restoration of flora and fauna populations, including the saiga population.
5. Development and implementation of a comprehensive program for the introduction of environmentally friendly renewable energy sources and technologies.
6. Promotion of the provision of environmentally sound volumes of water in the Aral Sea area through the application of the mechanisms of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and the Convention on the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses.
7. Development of ecological forms of tourism aimed at both the knowledge of the surrounding nature and its conservation and maintenance.
The provision of water resources and rational water use in the context of the socio-economic development of the region and the preservation of environmental sustainability is one of the urgent tasks for the countries of Central Asia, especially in the areas of lower reaches of rivers and watercourses.
In his speech at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Uzbekistan noted that today our country considers the region of Central Asia the main priority of its foreign policy, the problems of water, peace and security are inextricably interconnected, and there is no alternative to addressing the water problem that takes into account equally all the countries and peoples of the region, and also expressed the position of Uzbekistan on the support of draft conventions on the use of water resources of the Amudarya and Syrdarya river basins, developed by the UN Regional Center. The head of our state drew the attention of the world community to the Aral catastrophe, which is one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time, and expressed Uzbekistan’s interest in the region becoming a zone of stability, sustainable development and good neighborliness. Uzbekistan is resolutely committed to dialogue, constructive cooperation and consolidation of good neighborliness, is ready for reasonable compromises with the countries of Central Asia on all issues without exception, and stands for the full implementation of the special UN program this year to provide effective assistance to the population affected by the Aral crisis. At the same time, overcoming the consequences of the desiccation of the sea requires active consolidation of international efforts.
In order to fulfill the task set by the President of Uzbekistan at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly to attract the attention of the international community to one of the most pressing environmental problems of our time – the desiccation of the Aral Sea, an international conference was held at the Central Asian International Environmental Forum (CAMEF) on the consequences of the Aral disaster, new approaches, innovative solutions, investments. Following the conference, a package of more than 20 proposals aimed at improving the ecological and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea region was approved, for the realization of which foreign investments and representatives of local business were attracted, specific responsible executors and finances were identified: more than 6 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 24.10.2018, 1$= 8226.10 soums), over 1 billion dollars US and 12.7 million euros.
The region of Central Asia is identified as the main priority of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy. Our country is ready for close and active cooperation with the Central Asian states in solving water and environmental problems on a constructive and mutually beneficial basis, in the spirit of good neighborliness, and stands for the fair and rational use of transboundary watercourses in compliance with generally accepted norms of international law.
Uzbekistan consistently pursues a rational nature management policy, implements measures to improve land and water management, and intensify agriculture. Owing to the measures taken, it was possible to reduce annual water consumption by 14 billion cubic meters, and the specific volume of water consumption per hectare in agriculture was more than halved, and to improve the reclamation state over half of the irrigated land.
More than 5.5 billion dollars alone were directed to stabilize the ecological situation in the Aral Sea zone. Together with partners from foreign countries and international organizations, projects are being carried out to create forest protective plantings on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea and new protected natural areas, improve the drainage system for drainage waters, and increase the livelihoods of the population. Over the past ten years, about 350 thousand hectares of forest from saxaul and other salt-resistant plant species have been laid on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. The total area of such territories reached about 700 thousand hectares.
In a number of significant initiatives put forward by the head of our state at the IFAS summit on meeting on August 24, 2018, aimed at combining the common efforts of the region in order to create conditions for attracting foreign investment in the development and implementation of environmentally clean technologies, complex introduction of principles of green economy, the ecologically clean energy and water saving technologies, fixing the mobile sands, reducing the disposal of poisonous aerosols from the dried bottom of the Aral Sea, prevent further desertification and ecological migration, develop ecotourism and implement other measures:
- on consideration of the issue of declaring the Aral region a zone of environmental innovation and technology;
- on opening representative offices of the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the Global Environment Facility at the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea;
- on the establishment of the Regional Center for the cultivation of seedlings of desert and forage plants, which will become a unique scientific and educational base for the preparation of popular specialists;
- on the creation of transboundary protected natural areas in the Aral zone in order to preserve the unique fauna of our region (preserve endangered species of animals, such as the cheetah, the kulan, the saiga, among others);
- a cardinal increase in the level of regional cooperation based on mutually acceptable mechanisms of interaction in water conservation, management and rational use of transboundary water resources of the Aral basin. Adoption of the Regional Water Resources Management Program in Central Asia;
- on conducting joint interdisciplinary research, including at the site of scientific information centers of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination and the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development.
Stressing the objective expediency and necessity of declaring the Aral region a zone of environmental innovations and technologies, one can note that this initiative of Uzbekistan, launched at the IFAS summit meeting, is fully supported by our neighbors – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
We also consider it important to appeal to the UN General Assembly to adopt a special resolution on boosting the regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, security and sustainable socio-economic development in the Central Asian region.
Its adoption would imply a strong support from the UN and the entire international community for the efforts of our states to bolster constructive dialogue, enhance mutually advantageous interaction and work out concerted approaches to addressing the problems existing in the region.
Member of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)