DAILY NEWS HERALD #104 Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan May 29, 2018

posted 1 Jun 2018, 13:30 by Webmaster Ambasciata

Investments. 1

A joint Uzbek-American enterprise, SilverLeaf BMB Agro Trade Group, has been set up in Jizzakh region  1

FINANCE.. 1

Message of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan. 1

IFC issues inaugural bonds in Uzbek soums. 1

Analysis. 2

Reacting to the Reaction. 2

International relationships. 5

Meeting of Contact Group “SCO – Afghanistan”. 5

Society.. 6

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed a resolution on additional measures to boost social support for the military servicemen and women and members of their families. 6

UZBEKISTAN - THE COUNTRY OF TOURISM... 6

The XVII International Festival “Silk and Spices” took place in Bukhara. 6


investments

A joint Uzbek-American enterprise, SilverLeaf BMB Agro Trade Group, has been set up in Jizzakh region

In March this year, representatives of the American company SilverLeaf International, while on trip in Uzbekistan, enquired into the investment climate in the Jizzakh region as well as the possibilities of nurturing, processing and exporting agricultural crops.

The guests then visited the fields of Arnasai, Mirzachul, Dustlik and Pakhtakor districts, machinery and tractor companies, cotton reception points, studied the state of irrigation systems, land reclamation conditions, cultivation, cotton processing on the basis of modern technologies.

During a meeting in the regional hokimiyat, representatives of the American company and Jizzakh entrepreneurs discussed in detail the prospects of cooperation in the cultivation, processing and export of agricultural crops. The talks between the American businesspeople and the limited liability company BMB Trade Group resulted in an agreement on the cultivation of cotton and other agricultural crops.

The agreement also led to the creation of the Uzbek-American joint venture SilverLeaf BMB Agro Trade Group. To implement this joint project in 2019-2025, it is planned to attract investments totaling $ 350 million.

The new joint venture will work in a full technological chain - from growing cotton to producing cotton goods. Currently, preparations are in progress for the establishment of the joint venture.

“The enterprise will occupy its own niche in not only the provincial, but also the national economy,” says B. Mamatkulov, chairman of the supervisory board of BMB Trade Group. “The project allows to combine the processes of production, processing and sale of products. The American partners are very interested in this scheme, which is indicative of the growing economic opportunities provided in our province, the favorable business environment.”

As a result of large-scale reforms implemented in Uzbekistan, foreign investors are becoming more interested in investing in the country’s economy. The practical steps taken by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to spearhead friendly relations with advanced nations like the US deliver a solid basis for the enhancement of economic cooperation with them.

The establishment of a new joint venture in Jizzakh in cooperation with a renowned American company is aimed at producing competitive and quality goods, developing and perfecting the infrastructure in rural areas, increasing the level of employment and incomes of the villagers. The introduction of such a modern production model is a practical implementation of the tasks envisaged in the Strategy of Actions along Five Priority Tracks in the Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

FINANCE

Message of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan

The Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan has established from May 29, 2018 the following rates of US dollar to the sum:

1 US dollar - 7982.25

(Source: UzA)

IFC issues inaugural bonds in Uzbek soums

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has issued its inaugural bond in Uzbek Soum (currency rates of CB RU from 29.05.2018, 1$= 7982.25 soums), raising 80 billion Uzbek soums — ten million USD equivalent — to expand lending for micro, small and medium enterprises in Uzbekistan. This is the first-ever Uzbek Soum-denominated transaction issued in the international markets.

The bond, dubbed ‘Samarkand’, will be listed on the London Stock Exchange. The two-year bond was placed with European asset managers dedicated to emerging markets, with the deal arranged by ING Bank.

“We were very pleased with the broad, global investor interest in IFC’s inaugural Uzbek Soum issue,” said Mr. Timur Ishmetov, First Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan. “Successful completion of the issuance is greatly expanding the investor base in Uzbek Soum and will help raise the profile of the currency in international debt capital markets.“

The proceeds of the bond will be used to support Hamkorbank, allowing the country’s leading private bank to boost long-term local currency financing, which enables businesses to grow and avoid risks related to borrowing in foreign currency.

Ikram Ibragimov, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Hamkorbank said: “We are delighted to partner with IFC in their first Uzbek Soum bond. This landmark issuance will increase our capacity to lend to customers in local currency – and reduce our foreign exchange risk exposure.”

IFC has provided Hamkorbank with more than US$20 million in debt, equity and trade finance since 2001. IFC has also helped the bank develop prudent risk management practices, build capacity to finance agri-businesses, and introduce international best practices in several areas, including corporate governance, SME banking, HR management, asset and liability management (ALM) and treasury, internal control and audit, monitoring, branch management, and management information systems.

Jingdong Hua, IFC Vice President and Treasurer, said: “This first-ever Uzbekistan Soum bond issued by triple A-rated IFC is an important capital markets innovation. It will help provide local currency solutions for Hamkorbank – enhancing its ability to lend to local entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises”.

“This was a very significant trade and IFC’s debut Uzbek Soum Medium Term Note," said Richard Proudlove, Head of MTNs (Medium Term Notes) and Private Placements at ING Bank. “ING as a leading niche currency dealer sourced investor demand for the instrument. It was bought by offshore emerging markets investors as an opportunity to get exposure to that currency.”

IFC issues local currency-denominated bonds in emerging market currencies as part of its regular program of raising funds for private sector development, and is one of the key steps in developing domestic capital markets. In many cases IFC is the first, or among the first, nonresident issuers in local currency both in domestic and international markets. IFC bonds are rated triple-A by Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.

Since the inception of the local currency lending program in the early 2000s, IFC has extended more than US$16 billion in financing to its clients globally, in more than 50 currencies including the Chinese renminbi, Brazilian real, South African rand, Turkish lira, Kazakh tenge, Tajik somoni, Armenian dram, Azerbaijani manat, Georgian lari, and Russian ruble. IFC’s local currency finance commitments are on a steep rise, surpassing US$3 billion in the current Financial Year, up from US$500 million in 2009.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

Analysis

Reacting to the Reaction

In the political encyclopedia, ‘expert opinion’ is referred to as one of the mechanisms for manipulating public opinion, which implies in fact appealing to the opinion of so-called ‘experts’, that is, people who are widely known and have knowledge of a particular area of specialization quite well. However, their thoughts are sometimes stereotypically embedded in the mass consciousness. Today, to help us have an understanding of some expert assessments we ask the director of the scholarly institution Caravan of Knowledge, Doctor of Political Sciences Farhod Tolipov.

- Professor of the Ukrainian National University, Doctor of Sciences Valentin Yakushik believes that the US now has the utmost respect for Uzbekistan as a sovereign state, does not even let itself hint at a possible ‘petty tutelage’ by completely ruling out what is still encountered in political practice the instructions as to with whom to make friends, and whom to avoid, whom to promote to this or other government positions, and whom to remove, what norms to bring into the legislation, and which ones of them to eliminate. What do you think about that?

- I think the notion of ‘petty tutelage’ reflects little the US policy in Central Asia, particularly in Uzbekistan. Even if Valentin Yakushik positively says that the US does not allow any ‘petty custody’, and in this sense they respect the sovereignty of Uzbekistan, without making any clues in matters whom we should be friends with or what norms should be introduced into legislation, then this idea gives the impression that the United States had done that before.

Considering that I have studied the US policy in the region for a long time, I note that the Americans have never allowed themselves any ‘petty tutelage’; they have never dictated who should occupy which government positions. The maximum, if it can be interpreted as an attempt to influence what the United States allowed itself to do with the Central Asian states, including Uzbekistan, is the constant demand for the development of democratic processes. In case of deviation from democratic norms, America has always expressed a critical position. At the same time, some analysts dealing with Central Asia often falsely assert that the United States, and the West in general, seeks to implant democracy under the slogan “democracy promotion”. And it often manifested itself in the form of color revolutions, cases being in Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Ukraine.

In fact, ‘implanting democracy’ by the Americans, if you use such term, is not the case either. And such a presentation is rather superficial in itself. I can cite scores of quotes from American sources, where analysts, experts and even officials, perfectly aware of the impossibility of such ‘implanting democracy’, repeatedly claimed that each country opts for its own model of democracy based on circumstances and its mindset. It chooses the pace of transition and establishes democratic institutions convenient for itself. Americans perfectly understand that there cannot be one model inherent in everyone. The only thing that distinguishes the United States is that they are always critical of violations of human rights in all countries without exception. But they do it without any kind of guardianship, without any statement about the specific forms of government. Therefore, such terminology as ‘petty tutelage’, even if used in a positive sense, is inappropriate, since the United States has always respected our independence, our sovereignty since the first days of Uzbekistan’s independence. And, by the way, in many official documents of the United States regarding Central Asia, which can be classified as strategic, they always reiterated from one document to another their goals like support for sovereignty and independence. Perhaps they were aware that we are in a region where it is easy to lose independence because of the proximity to great powers and to be in someone’s sphere of influence. Realizing the existence of such a probability, right from the very start they appreciated the independence and sovereignty of the Central Asian states. And the assertion that the America’s hand is to blame on the revolution in Kyrgyzstan is also a big question, which deserves serious analysis and discussions. I do not claim to bear ‘the ultimate truth’ in the issue of who was behind the Kyrgyz events. But I have my own opinion and very much doubt that there were some American subversive elements behind the Osh events, and I maintain that no external force can organize a whole revolution if there are no conditions for it inside the country. Therefore, even if we assume some form of support from the West, the main subject was the population itself, who demanded change. I do not think that it is so easy physically and technically to do so, standing beyond the ocean: after all, the masses are rising. The root cause is always within the country itself.

- The Spanish political scientist, professor of San Pablo Madrid University Antonio Alonso writes that “the President of Uzbekistan is well aware that for the attraction of foreign investment into his country what is needed is a stable Afghanistan. This is a clear example of a pragmatic approach and a mutually advantageous solution, in which everyone will benefit.” Stability in Afghanistan: is that a possible reality or a distant dream?

- First, I will comment on Alonso and say that the linking of Central Asia with the situation in Afghanistan, which has often been the case in recent times in the literature, is not always justified. There are such concepts in analytics, where Afghanistan is called a Central Asian country, and such conception interferes with more objective research of Afghanistan and Central Asia separately. And, in particular, when they say that a stable Afghanistan is needed to attract investments in Central Asia – it is a distortion of facts.

Afghanistan is one problem for the world community, Uzbekistan and its development through attracting investments is a completely different autonomous issue. Whatever the situation in Afghanistan, for all the years of Uzbekistan’s independence, the influx of investments has been, perhaps, somewhere more, somewhere less. And it was not conditioned by the situation in Afghanistan.

Let’s take the last two years, the time when Shavkat Mirziyoyev came to power in Uzbekistan. Look at how many breakthrough contracts and deals have been signed with neighboring states and with such major powers as Russia and China. From China, for example, the President of Uzbekistan brought investments worth $ 23 billion. It turns out that the Chinese did not look back at Afghanistan and are ready to invest in the Uzbek economy. Russia also invests without regard to the Afghan situation. To be sure, a prosperous Afghanistan is an additional factor in the growth of investments in the region, no one disputes that, but the direct link given by the Spanish political scientist, with all due respect to him, is not very accurate.

By the way, the Americans will invest in our country with one main condition – namely, in the protection of human rights and the maintenance of democratic institutions. If these factors do not work, no stable Afghanistan will ensure the growth of US investments into Uzbekistan.

And answering your question: stability in Afghanistan is a possible reality or a distant dream, no matter how sad it may be, I will say that that is a distant dream.

I dealt with the problem of Afghanistan, participated in various platforms where the issue was discussed, was part of international projects related to approaches to Afghanistan and development of solutions to this problem. And my experience of communication with colleagues, including Afghan experts, gives me not quite an iridescent food for thought. And I believe that the situation of instability in Afghanistan will continue for a considerable time. And this is not connected with any terrorist attacks, extremist forces, which are settling there. This is due to the fact that long before the terrorists appeared there, Afghanistan itself was never a centralized state that fully controlled its territory. Afghanistan is a centuries-old problem, where there has always been an intertribal conflict. The country is fragmented in accordance with tribal trait, and due to continuous internecine disputes, internal split and scrapes, it has always been weakened, and “is torn where it is delicate”, which is exactly the reason the outside forces entered it.

Until a modern state is created in Afghanistan, and the state is not just a word, it is a system of attributes that includes the army, the police, border protection, punitive agencies, conflicts in that country will constantly be reproduced and weaken Afghanistan itself.

There is also such a paradox. Afghanistan needs investments, so that the economy begins to develop there, but how can major companies pour their financial resources there if the country is torn by war? And it won’t stop unless the economy starts to develop and jobs are created. And this dilemma has pursued the fate of Afghanistan for many years. Thus, it turns out to be a vicious circle.

But for me it’s obvious that Afghanistan alone cannot cope with that. To stabilize the situation there, it is necessary: ​​on the one hand, the construction of a modern state in Afghanistan, on the other - an international peacekeeping presence in that country and international assistance for the restoration of schools, hospitals, higher educational institutions, road infrastructure.

- While Donald Trump and Shavkat Mirziyoyev in Washington talked about the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation, there appeared some articles in the Russian media, whose authors claimed that a certain strategic triangle Washington-Astana-Tashkent is being created. What, in your judgment, is that which has worried so the Russian political scientists?

- Yes, I read the article of the Russian political analyst Aydin Mehdiyev with the question in the title: “Mirziyoyev in the US: is a triumvirate created against Russia?” I must say that there is no such triumvirate; I do not even see any signs of a triumvirate. Perhaps a temporary coincidence of a new impulse in relations between Kazakhstan and the United States, on the one hand, and Uzbekistan and the United States, on the other, gave rise to some idea that these are synchronized actions of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the United States. In addition, a sharp improvement in the relations between Tashkent and Astana - all this could in turn lead to the generation of troubles of this kind.

But, in my view, even if there are any parallels, to think that behind all this there is some idea or strategic design against Russia is a fundamental blunder.

Even if Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan agreed on improving relations with the US, this does not mean that it is being done against Russia. That is, I deny the triumvirate, but even if I accept the logic of the triumvirate, I can say: so what? From this it is not necessary to make such far-reaching hasty conclusions that this is an anti-Russian project of three states. The world is not so simple; the picture of the post-Soviet space is far from being simplistic to make such very narrow geometric constructions. It’s all awfully intricate. And if we take Kazakhstan separately, then unlike Uzbekistan, this state is very open to the influence of Russia in many respects. And, crucially, has the longest land border with the Russian Federation in the form of 7 thousand km. In addition, from the first days of independence, Kazakhstan demonstrated a pro-Russian policy. In spite of official statements that Astana conducts a multi-vector foreign policy, in fact, this multi-vector nature turned out to be asymmetrical. If you look at it in a geometric plane, then you can clearly see the sharpness towards Russia. Let’s take at least the membership of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the EAEC, as there can be some kind of triumvirate, when Uzbekistan is not a member of this organization. The triumvirate would have been the case if Kazakhstan had decided to withdraw from the Eurasian Union.

In this terminology, there is a certain provocation, some alarming thought. But this is out of the question. Perhaps Russian political scientists, in the context of sanctions imposed on Russia, are looking for alternative solutions for diversifying foreign economic orientations. Although there is nothing wrong with the term ‘triumvirate’: why deny a tripartite union whose members have common interests, but this does not mean that they will be anti-Russian.

But my final statement is: there have been no triumvirates whatsoever.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International relationships

Meeting of Contact Group “SCO – Afghanistan”

On May 28, 2018, the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan led by the Special Representative of the President for Afghanistan Ismatulla Irgashev took part in the meeting of the Contact Group “SCO – Afghanistan” at the level of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in Beijing.

Delegations of the SCO member states and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan discussed current issues of cooperation, exchanged views on the situation in the IRA and its impact on the surrounding vast region, the steps taken on the afghan settlement.

In his speech, the head of the delegation of Uzbekistan informed participants of the meeting about the results of Tashkent Conference on Afghanistan “Peace process, security cooperation and regional connectivity”, held on March 27, 2018.

It was emphasized that promotion of settlement of the situation, establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan, maintenance and development of friendly relations with this brotherly neighboring state is one of the main priorities of foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Uzbekistan is ready to continue to support all efforts that can make a practical contribution to stabilization of the situation in Afghanistan and its return to normal development.

(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Society

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed a resolution on additional measures to boost social support for the military servicemen and women and members of their families

In accordance with the document, starting from the 2018/2019 school year, additional scholarship quotas will be allocated for the children of officers, sergeants and ordinary soldiers serving in the ministries and departments in the structure of the Armed Forces.

In ordinary universities, the receiving quota on a scholarship basis will be 5% of the total number of seats, and in military schools – of the total number of cadets admitted.

Fellowship positions will be provided to children of the military on the basis of recommendations of corresponding ministries and agencies. The admission will be carried out on a competitive basis.

The 5% acceptance quota is distributed in the following order: Ministry of Defense is granted 44% of the total quota, State Security Service is assigned 33%, the National Guard - 10%, Ministry of Internal Affairs - 10%, Ministry of Emergency Situations - 3%, State Security Service of the President - 2%, Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications - 1%.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

UZBEKISTAN - THE COUNTRY OF TOURISM

The XVII International Festival “Silk and Spices” took place in Bukhara  

On May 25-27, a variety of products of gold embroidery, jewelry, embroidery, pottery, carpet weaving, embossing and carving, fine and applied art were presented at the XVII International Festival of Silk and Spices, in Bukhara.

The festival started from the ancient fortress Ark and continued along Lyabi-Khauz complex, as well as their surroundings. Each event of the festival reminded of handicraft, paintings of cultural life of ancient Bukhara.

The buyers were satisfied with pottery, jewelry, gold-embroidered handmade products, silk fabrics of Fergana valley, woolen carpets with floral ornaments of Baysun, skullcaps, silk products of Shakhrisabz, original works of Karakalpak, Khorezm, Navoi, and Samarkand masters.

The festival has become a unique demonstration of possibilities of handicraft of Uzbekistan. Examples of works of master Abdullah – representative of famous in the country and abroad dynasty of Narzullayevs – potters from Gijduvan especially distinguished among products.

The event also made a great impression on foreign tourists. It was attended by artisans from Central Asia and Russia.

The exhibitions present not only samples of national craftsmanship, but also provides opportunity to become familiar with the complex handmade process at master classes.

Uzbekistan is also rich in spices. They not only give the dishes flavor, but also have medicinal properties. Visitors tasted dishes with various condiments at pilaf competition.

Collections of young designers, presentation of a film about history of Uzbekistan also aroused great interest.

 

The festival ended with a large concert program with participation of famous and young artists.

(Source: UzA)

 

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