INFORMATION DIGEST - PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN - March 11, 2016

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ECONOMY
Uzbekistan approves program for development of services for 2016-2020

LOCALIZATION
Uzbekistan: Localized Production on the Rise

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Healthy mother – healthy generation

PERSONNEL POLICY
Prioritizing the task of personnel training

TOURISM
Eco-Tourism in Uzbekistan: Opportunities and Prospects

SPORT
Judokas’ Victory in Rio de Janeiro


economy

Uzbekistan approves program for development of services for 2016-2020

The resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan approved the Program for development of services for 2016-2020. The document was adopted in order to ensure the balanced development and diversification of service industries, improving competitiveness and quality of their services.

The document has defined the following directions and tasks, as important for development of services:

- raising gross domestic product through service sector development, bringing its share in the economy of the Republic up to 48.7%;

- growth of services in rural areas by 2020 by 1.8 times;

- creating conditions for the accelerated development of services, structural changes through the development of engineering and communication, road and transport infrastructures, implementation of modern information and communication technologies;

- formation of a competitive environment, development of small and private entrepreneurship;

- expanding variety of innovative services and new means of communication;

- ensuring the technical capabilities of the accessibility of the population to telecommunication networks, providing the basis for their quality services, the full transition to digital telephone system and television, to bring by 2020 the share of communication services and Informatization in the economy up to 2.5%;

- development of financial services with the introduction of new electronic payment technologies;

- further development of hi-tech services in the field of health.

The Program of development of sphere of services for 2016-2020 contains information on:

- target parameters of development of services sphere in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2016-2020;

- target parameters of development of the sphere of services in rural areas in the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2016-2020;

- a complex of measures on further development of services for the period 2016 - 2020;

- expected volumes of loans to be provided by commercial banks towards the development of services in 2016-2020.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

localization

Uzbekistan: Localized Production on the Rise

The Production Localization Program ranks among the important mechanisms of engagement of internal resources and opportunities in the further building of the country's industrial capacity through enhanced processing of raw materials and expansion of output of high value-added products. In 2015 alone, Uzbekistan manufactured localized products valued at 4 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 11.03.2016, 1$= 2856.64 soums).

Uzbekistan has been carrying out various system-based programs of production localization are for 15 years. Over the years, domestic enterprises have increased the production of import-substituting products by more than 220 times.

696 localization projects were implemented in the republic in 2015, and estimated effect of import-substitution exceeded $1.5 billion. Throughout the year, enterprises handled the production of more than 820 new types of industrial products, including the exemplary products of the real economy from the technical and innovative point of view - sophisticated petrochemical and mining equipment, high-voltage transformer substations, composite materials, fitness equipment and many other kinds of finished products that are popular in the domestic and foreign markets.

There is a key condition for the projects - localized by domestic enterprises, the products should be much more affordable in price against the imported. This allows stimulating the domestic demand and replacing the scarce quality of foreign goods with quality domestic products.

Meanwhile, experts point out to a steady increase in the level of localization for different types of products. For example, by 2014 the production of LCD TVs was based on large-block assemblies with localization level of no more than 35%, while in 2015 the localization level exceeded 40% as a result of development of manufacture of integrated circuit boards, external panels and component parts, cables, remote controls and other components. The index is expected to grow by 50% in 2017 through the development of production of LCD panels in the domestic facilities.

Over the past two years, the localization has made it possible to completely stop imports on 97 product groups, including, for example, tower cranes, welding electrodes, sandwich panels, audio systems for cars, baker's yeast, and reduce twice imports on 306 positions, including TVs , air conditioners, refrigerators, copper pipes, medical vials, printing inks, toys and much more.

Involvement of foreign investors, establishment of joint ventures with the world’s leading technology partners has been contributing in the success of localization program. This implies to the heavy vehicle plant in Samarkand region with the MAN company, joint agricultural machinery plants with German companies CLAAS and Lemken, electrical appliances manufactures with Toshiba, Candy, LG, SAMSUNG, and ZTE.

The saturation of the domestic market with domestic goods has revealed a tendency of expansion of volumes and range of supplies of localized products to foreign markets. In 2015 alone, Uzbekistan established exports of 52 new kinds worth $25.1 million.  Single- and dual-chamber washing machines, industrial energy-saving LED lamps, medical glass tubes, profile shapes of vulcanized rubber, cosmetics and other products were in demand abroad.

Partnered by other concerned authorities, the Ministry of Economy has been developing a list of goods that enjoy a steady demand at home and abroad, which is published on its website. The domestic enterprises that are willing to invest in the industry are recommended to study it and to establish a production of import-substituting products from among the recommended items. At the same time, they will be provided with incentives like exemption from customs duties, single tax payment, income and property tax.

Experts say that in the medium and long term, the program of localization of production and expansion of cross-sector industrial cooperation promises to remain the most important tool of the current industrial policy in Uzbekistan. In the near future, it will allow to optimally egnage the potential of all sectors of the economy for the sequential organization of processing of raw materials in globally popular products.

(Source: NA «Uzbekistan Today»)

INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

Healthy mother – healthy generation

A solemn ceremony, dedicated to the International Women’s Day, was held at the Turkiston Palace on 5 March.

It is symbolic that the the Women’s day is celebrated in the first days of spring. Spring is beautiful as women.

Erection of the Monument of Happy mother at the main square of our country- at the Mustaqillik (Independence) square – is a symbolic manifestation that in Uzbekistan respect and veneration for women, upbringing a healthy generation is one of the priority areas of reforms, carried out under the leadership of President Islam Karimov.

The main square of our country became even more magnificent on 5 March. A group of representatives of women’s organizations, women, successfully occupied in the spheres of economy, law, science, education, culture, arts visited the square. They laid wreath to the Monument of Independence and humanity, which is a symbol of our freedom, bright future and noble aspirations.

The participants of the event acquainted with the mass-scale creative work in the capital. They visited the republican specialized centre for water sports development, went to the Alisher Navoi state academic grand theater of Uzbekistan to see the play Sadoqat (Fidelity).

A solemn ceremony, dedicated to the International Women’s Day took place at the Turkiston Palace. Women from different walks of life, revered mothers, representatives of ministries, agencies, public organizations, winners of Zulfiya state prizes participated at the event.

Khokim of Tashkent city R.Usmanov opened the solemn ceremony.

State advisor of the President Kh.Sultanov read out the festive greeting address of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the women of Uzbekistan.

Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan – Chairperson of the Women’s Committee of the country E.Basitkhanova noted that huge efforts have been taken to enhance the status of women in the society, ensuring their rights and interests, strengthening their health.

The decree of the head of our state “On additional measures to support the activity of the Women’s committee of Uzbekistan” from 25 May 2004 serves as an important factor augmenting the socio-political activity of women, their role in the life of famility, society and the state.

Women constitute 16 per cent of the members of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan. As of now, 14 women have been awarded the highest awards of the Motherland- the Hero of Uzbekistan award, which is a vivid manifestation of the huge attention and care for women in our country.

As has been noted by the President Islam Karimov numerous times, a cultural level and spiritual development of any society can be determined by its respect for women. Respect and reverence for women, first of all for mothers, is one of the highest values in Uzbekistan. No wonder we call it the Motherland.

Thanks to such high respect, women in our country can realize their wishes and aspirations, achieve successes in different areas. Women’s entrepreneurship has been consistently developing. Favorable conditions for developing small business and private entrepreneurship, family businesses play an important role in ensuring employment of women, increasing their public participation, family welfare.

Wide-scale creative efforts, undertaken in our country, serve to increase the welfare of the nation. New rural settlements on standard designs, “Kamolot” houses for young families increase the level and quality of life of people, facilitate the work and life of women, support fostering harmonically developed generation.

Thanks to created conditions and opportunities, life conditions of our mothers and sisters have improved. Their health is strengthened; life longevity is increasing.

Our women are worthy of the highest respect and admiration. They give life to children, foster a healthy generation. The future of the country is inextricable linked to physical and spiritual health of women.

This goal lies on the basis of the announcement of the 2016 “The Year of healthy mother and child” on the initiative President Islam Karimov. Within the implementation of the State program in this regard, the scale of efforts on strengthening the health of women, support of women’s entrepreneurship, professional orientation of girls and their involvement in sports have been widening.

People’s artist of Uzbekistan Mirza Azizov, a consultant on the issues of religious enlightenment and ethical education of the Ulugbek mahalla in Angren city Rano Khayitkulova congratulated women with the holiday.

14 girls, awarded the State Zulfiya prize for their particular achievements in literature, arts, science, education and culture, were handed these high honors in a solemn ceremony during the event.

Winners of this year’s State Zulfiya prize – a student of the Yakkabog’ food industry and services college Mohidil Nizamova, student of Uzbekistan State Conservatory Zulhayo Raimkulova and others expressed their sincere gratitude to President of our country for his support and care for women.

– Deep respect and veneration for women of our country is conveyed in a congratulatory address of President Islam Karimov, which has deeply touched our hearts and inspired, says the head of the farming unit “Nurli obod” in Oltiariq district of Fergana region, honored worker of agriculture of Uzbekistan, commander of the order “El-yurt hurmati” Lola Murodova. – When the women, effectively heading farmer’s units, was mentioned, my heart was filled with the sense of pride, as I am also one of them. Our multi-faceted farmer’s unit achieves high efficiency in all directions. The opportunities for women, created in our country, encourages us to be more active and take initiative.

A particular attention is paid in our country to developing sports among women as a main factor of strengthening their health. Women’s sportswear, corresponding to national mentality, is produced. On the initiative of President of Uzbekistan young sportswomen are presented sportswear annually.

As a result, family and women’s sports have acquired a big scope. In existing 35 thousand sections for girls and women throughout the country over 3,5 million people are regularly training in 39 types of sports.

Our sportswomen and students of schools of music and arts have been achieving high results in international competitions and contests.

– I am one of the happiest girls in our country,- says a 3rd-year student of the Tashkent state dentistry, winner of the State Zulfiya prize Shokhida Zokhidova. – Thanks to attention to developing women’s sports by our President, we are achieving high results. I am a 17-fold champion of Uzbekistan on synchronized swimming, winner of international competitions.

An exhibition of artworks by women, organized by the Women’s committee of Uzbekistan in cooperation with Arts Academy and Hunarmand Association, took place at the lobby of the Turkiston Palace.

The event was finalized with a gala concert of famous and young artists.

The Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan N.Yuldoshev, the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis N.Ismoilov, Prime-Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh.Mirziyoyev took part at the solemn ceremony.

(Source: UzA)

Personnel policy

Prioritizing the task of personnel training

It is stressed in the works by President Islam Karimov that “whatever tasks we set ourselves these days, whatever problems we have to tackle, everything, in the final analysis, turns on personnel and exclusively on personnel. Our future, the future of the nation as a whole completely depends on who will come up to take our place, what sort of cadres we bring up”.

It is common knowledge that people constitute the wealth, “the fixed capital” of any society. It is people, and first of all, their educated and qualified portion, who create a desired economy, which, subsequently, serves the aims and interests of citizens and society at large. Today, such specialists are mainly trained at higher educational establishments, which carry out their activity in keeping with the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “On education” and the National Program on Personnel Training. The training of personnel is rightly viewed as one of priority directions of the current state policy designed to guarantee the forward development of the national economy and achievement of the level of the world’s highly developed countries.

As analysis suggests, the indigenous institutes of higher education have everything at their disposal to train highly qualified and physically healthy specialists – from modern textbooks, educational supplies, visual aids and curricula, to lecture halls outfitted with up-to-date computers and sophisticated laboratory equipment, libraries, whose stockpiles of books number in the millions, to canteens, winter gym-halls and summer playing-fields, and to innovation centers of every description. For instance, the Tashkent State Economic University hosts a number of such establishments, including the Information-Resource Center, the Center for Information Technologies, the Innovation Integrated Center, the Center for Economic Research, the Center for Creative Innovations etc. The university’s students participate in a program that is intended to cherry-pick candidates for study and work on probation at some prestigious foreign higher educational establishments. This program is run by the Umid Foundation for Support of Gifted Youth.

The present-day specialists should be skilled enough at meeting both the challenges of time and the requirements of rapidly developing production. He has to know the particulars of equipment and technologies used in the sphere of production, as well as the economics of production itself. Comprehensive knowledge of engineering and technology, rich overseas experience and technical achievements in the field will allow them to develop production and labour on an innovative basis. At the same time, extensive knowledge of economics will also bring big advantages, such as the ability to connect supply with demand, to ensure the efficient use of available resources, to cut production costs, to reinforce stability and to raise an enterprise’s competence in the marketplace etc.

Put differently, these days one cannot do without the knowledge of technology and economics alike. Today’s specialist has to possess a complex of knowledge, including a good command of a foreign language, the ability to keep up the conversation and to conduct business talks, to quickly gain an understanding of the situation and to take a correct decision. As a rule, such a specialist has an attractive image and may easily find his place in economic practice. In any way, a considerable fund of knowledge and skills can be very helpful in life, in terms of earnings and career growth, among many other things.

In the former Soviet Union, the main objective of its personnel training system was the uniform interpretation of history and national tasks, on the one hand, and the transfer of a strictly limited package of specialized knowledge needed for the fulfillment of concrete work, on the other. Such a system made it possible to ensure the uniformity of training of university students and particular specialization for each of them. A given educational system, however, proved useless in a market environment. There are, at least, three reasons for this. First, the level of education in the former USSR was often higher than in many foreign countries, but the subsequent training too early became excessively specialized. Second, the professional training of adults, which is so vital for the purpose of maintaining the mobility of labour force in the market environment, was practically ignored, because it was considered that an individual should not change the specialty acquired at the institute as long as his working life endures. Those who moved from job to job were called “birds of passage”. And third, the economic theory in that period, dubbed “political economy”, was oriented, in the main, towards the reflection of advantages available in the socialist economic system. At the same time, the political cover played a rather significant role in the system of education and personnel training.

With the acquisition of independence, the Republic of Uzbekistan started building a market-oriented economy and market relationships. And first of all, it threw away the previous methods of economic activity and administration that failed to demonstrate their value in practice. And the obsolete methods hitherto used in the field of personnel training suffered the same fate. All spheres of life and production were subject to radical progressive changes.

The previous system of 100 per cent funding of higher educational establishments out of the state budget disappeared. For now, students are mainly taught on a contract basis. It doesn’t mean that the state is standing aloof of personnel training; it does make a certain contribution to the process, backing up the studies of young people, in particular the most gifted students.

According to official data, there are over 60 institutes of higher education and universities in Uzbekistan to date, excluding colleges, which also train specialists of a certain level. In the process of personnel training, all domestic educational establishments adhere to a set of state educational standards. They form a system of basic parameters, which are accepted as the state norms of the amount of education and qualification. These state educational standards help maintain the quality of education and personnel training at the required stable level. Moreover, they ensure the unstoppable reproduction and skills improvement that meet not only the present-day requirements, but also all the prospects of socialist development.

It is necessary to emphasize at this point that the quality of education is an underlying concept of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “On education” and the National Program of Personnel Training. While implementing these documents at the national educational establishments, a big effort is under way to identify priorities and work out measures to further perfect the educational process, whose aim is to improve the quality of personnel training. For example, the higher education these days becomes a priority, including university certificates of degree given to students, who successfully complete the entire program of education.

Cadres were and remain one of the major forces fuelling the efficient development of production and the economy as a whole. In today’s world, both the role played by researchers and their position in the field of public production are undergoing appreciable changes. Bringing to light the essence of such changes and making scientific prognostication of the role to be played by personnel in the near and distant future is one of the most pivotal tasks facing all educational establishments and, first and foremost, institutes of higher education. They should not only train a certain number of cadres, but prepare highly qualified specialists, who will really be in great request across all economic sectors, thus making it possible to create an army of personnel capable of functioning in the most efficient way, on the one hand, and to pay education-related expenses and derive social dividends, on the other. Otherwise, one cannot expect promising results from the higher educational establishments and vocational colleges.

As analysis shows, virtually all students wish to become good specialists in one or another sector. But practice, in turn, clearly demonstrates that, as a rule, the wish is not enough to attain a given purpose. Students should not just long for becoming high-calibre cadres, they should make efforts to secure this purpose. However, it should be said in all fairness that not a lesser proportion of success in this process will depend on the teaching staff. While giving lectures and conducting interesting seminars and laboratory works, they should simultaneously cultivate in students a range of business skills, proceeding from demands and achievements of modern production and economic practices. Only in this case the training of personnel can bring big practical advantages.

There is one more important aspect that should be taken into account. The renewal of teaching staff at higher educational establishments deserves special attention. The point is, many lecturers, basically professors, university readers and holders of a Doctor’s degree, retire or change a place of residence.

Being an objective phenomenon of life, this process, however, has resulted in a certain decline in the number of highly qualified lecturers in the university teaching staff, which, in turn, has affected the guidance of research work carried out by younger lecturers, who are seeking to defend a thesis for a Doctor’s degree. That’s why the higher educational establishments have to address not only the task of training qualified specialists, but also the task of preparing university lecturers of the highest scientific rank. As is generally known, a bad producer cannot manufacture quality goods. The same is true of a young lecturer, who doesn’t possess thorough knowledge yet. Nor is he interested in modern research or in the experience amassed by his elder colleagues. In such a situation one cannot hope for a successful long-term pedagogic activity. That’s why it is advisable that younger lecturers are guided in their pedagogic activity by elder fellow lecturers – holders of a Doctor’s degree, professors, university readers etc. Possessing a big stock of knowledge and rich teaching experience, they are well-positioned to boost the preparation of lecturers with academic degrees.  As well as that, their presence at the higher educational establishments is needed to maintain a certain balance between common representatives of teaching staff and those with academic degrees. Their contribution in scientific consultancy and perfection of pedagogic mastery in younger lecturers is indispensable.

However, one has to say in all fairness that university teaching can suffer not only from the insufficient pedagogic experience, a low level of mastery or the absence of an academic degree in younger lecturers, but also from a low efficiency of pedagogic activity carried out by some professors and holders of a Doctor’s degree. Sometimes the latter neglect meeting students in auditoria, shifting their duty to give lectures on their former post-graduate students. What is even worse, they don’t publish serious research works for years.

The institutes of higher education have to train personnel skilled at tackling concrete tasks and problems in the economy and society alike. The knowledge young specialists acquire at universities should be confirmed in practice and inure to the benefit of society and specialists themselves. Otherwise their skills can become useless, with their university certificates getting dusty on a shelf.

In Uzbekistan, the concept “from the strong state to strong civil society” is put into practice under the leadership of President Karimov. The state is seeking to decrease its presence in the national economy in a gradual and consecutive order. Citizens are given opportunities for increased participation in the organization and control over their own life and the life of society at large. In such an environment, both the role and significance of modern highly competent cadres are tending to immeasurably grow from day to day.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

Tourism

Eco-Tourism in Uzbekistan: Opportunities and Prospects

Boriy Alihanov, Chairman of the Executive Committee, the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan:

“In recent years, the country’s eco-tourism has seen a significant boom. The exotic nature of our region, with its striking contrasts, rich landscape, the variety of flora and fauna attracts many tourists from different countries.

To preserve the diversity of animal and plant life, a detailed network of protected natural areas was created in the country. Today there are 24 protected natural objects, among them eight nature reserves, two national parks, one biosphere reserve, 12 nature reserves, a nursery for breeding gazelles, wild donkeys and Przewalski horses.

The Sarmishsai Gorge in Navoi region has a unique eco-tourism potential, where there is an unique gallery of 10,000 ancient rock carvings, also known aspetroglyphs. It is a kind of natural archive of documents, telling about the life, history and culture of our ancient ancestors who inhabited these places 5 to 7 thousand years ago.

Favorable weather conditions throughout the year contribute to the development of eco-tourism in the country. The centers of mass nature tourism may be the territory of Karakalpakstan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Navoi, Kashkadarya and other areas of particular natural feature which is mountainous, numerous caves, glaciers, lakes, springs, waterfalls. Many of these objects of nature tourism have a long geological history. Summer temperature in the mountains is 5-10 degrees lower than in the valleys, and the relatively warm winter has a high snow cover, which allows year-round use of medium- and high-altitude areas for skiing and hiking as well as climbing and mountaineering.

A special role can be assigned to the unique desert landscape, botanical, geological and hydrogeological objects, which can attract tourists thanks to ski, horseback, water and hikes and other types of outdoor activities.

Many foreign experts and environmentalists are showing interest in the Aral Sea area, to get acquainted with the extent of the environmental catastrophe and to contribute to its resolution. And in this regard, ecotourism has a crucial role to play. The spread of deserts in place of the dried seabed, degraded riparian forests and reed beds lower reaches of Amudarya and Syrdarya, attracting not only scientists, but also eco-tourists. Also of interest is the Borsa-Kelmes saline land that occupies a huge depression located in the middle of the desert with the formation of salt Ustyurt thickness of more than two meters, and the system of lakes in the Aral Sea region.

What are the benefits of eco-tourism? With the active development of its expected sustainable use of natural resources, improving environmental culture visitors, saving costs for environmental measures, support the regional economy, the participation of local communities in tourism development and obtaining financial benefits from this activity. Therefore, the government in 2013 adopted a program of development of this sphere in Khorezm, Surkhandarya, Tashkent and Kashkadarya regions, which provides for the use of more than $260 million. In addition, an ecotourism development program in Uzbekistan for 2016-2018 is presently on the anvil.

I would also note problems in this area that need addressing urgently. These include the poorly developed infrastructure, the small number of visit centers and camping sites on protected nature areas, the lack of guides, and an inadequately developed system of specialist training.

To handle these challenges and overcome problems, this year we are considering holding an international conference, “Ecological Tourism as an Important Factor in Sustainable Development and Environmental Protection: Uzbekistan’s Experience and Foreign Practice.”

(Source: NA «Uzbekistan Today»)

sport

Judokas’ Victory in Rio de Janeiro

Uzbek athletes won one gold, silver and bronze medals at the Judo Grand Prix Tournament among Paralympians, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

According to the National Paralympic association of Uzbekistan, 250 athletes from 20 countries participated in the tournament. Our judoka Utkir Nigmatov in the final of the competition in the weight category up to 66 kg defeated the winner of the Paralympic Games in 2012, champion of the 2014 World Judo Championship, the Ukrainian judoka David Khorava and rose to the highest step of the podium.

In competitions in weight category over 100 kg Shirin Sharipov took the third place.

Sevinch Salaeva won a silver medal in the competition among judokas in weight category up to 52 kg.

(Source: UzA) 

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