INFORMATION DIGEST - PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN - March 15, 2016

posted 19 Mar 2016, 05:19 by Webmaster Ambasciata
ECONOMY
The construction industry of Uzbekistan

PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (2015-2016)
SCO Secretary General: Uzbekistan takes an active part in the activities of the SCO
The delegation of Uzbekistan to participate in the meeting of the SCO CNC
Meeting at the SCO Secretariat with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan 6

2016 YEAR - THE YEAR OF HEALTHY MOTHER AND CHILD
Health Ministry Launches Extensive Medical Checkups


economy

The construction industry of Uzbekistan

The construction industry and related furniture and interior industries have always acted as a litmus test of economic development in the medium term.

No investor would invest in the construction of warehouses and industrial buildings, and developer – in apartment houses, if the market is weak and there is no demand. However, unlike foreign markets, the domestic market has been showing an enviable GDP growth for the past decade, including construction volumes. The reason is obvious: the business community and the people are confident in the future of the country.

The right approach

Globally, investments in construction are deemed a fairly risky game today – a payback period in residential or commercial construction is long enough and stretched for dozens of years. Investors are willing to invest in such long-term projects in a rapidly changing economic reality, galloping fluctuations of exchange rates and prices for construction materials, only if they are confident in the future.

Uzbekistan is an exception in this case. The country has not just been pursuing gradual development of its own economic model and diversifying the real economy, but is becoming a noticeable player in the global export market, and with the increasing share of finished goods with high added value. In 2016 alone, Uzbekistan is planning to complete 164 big investment projects worth more than $5 billion.

It is envisaged to build 13,000 residential buildings with a total area of over 1.8 million square meters in rural areas, as well as lay 900 km of water, gas and electricity networks, 325 km of access roads. A total of $17.3 billion of investments with a growth rate of 9.3%, including more than $4 billion of foreign investments with 20.8 percent increase against 2015, is allocated in the current year for the development, modernization and structural changes.

In today's globalized world, the competition between countries has been toughening. If one wants to be successful on the domestic and foreign markets, he needs to constantly evolve, track the latest trends, and attract investments and new technologies. However, this is not a complete formula of success. The state policy ranks among its key factors as an important mechanism of stimulating business initiatives. This successful symbiosis is evident in the construction industry and manufacture of construction materials as nowhere else.

The state often assumes most of the risks in the construction of large industrial and public facilities, funding such projects through bank loans or creating the transport and communication infrastructure at the expense of the government budget. The effective tax policy that has long evolved from the burden into the motivation for further development is another important factor. This fact is especially evident by the example of the domestic industry, as it has managed to re-equip its facilities, introduce advanced equipment and launch the production of domestically and internationally competitive output markets using privileges and preferences.

A mechanism of public-private partnership plays an active role in the development of large-scale construction projects. Experts say that in the present conditions, no big investment project is feasible without a combination of integrated development of resource capacity, human capital assets, generation and active application of new knowledge and technologies, which can be fully ensured solely through the close interaction between the state and investors. There are plentiful examples. The unique economic zones like Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone, Jizzakh and Angren Special Industrial Zones are not just a kind of investment beacons, but successful models of interaction between the state and private business. The state has invested heavily in the creation of engineering, transport and communications infrastructure in the zones, not loading the investors with extra expenses.

It is important that the enterprises specializing in the production of construction - the pillar for any other industry – stand at the cutting edge of technological development.

The Uzstroymaterialy Joint Stock Company has scheduled the implementation of six investment projects totaling more than $36 million for this year. The development of production of sanitary ceramics at EMG San Ceramic worth more than $10 million ranks among the biggest initiatives. The launch of the facility is scheduled for this December. The company will annually produce up to 350,000 items.

Moreover, the domestic enterprises will establish the production of new kinds of decorative cement-based materials in partnership with the Italian Gamma International, as well as launch a cement plant in Karakalpakstan with the involvement of the British Chief Corporate Solution. Another three projects will be aimed at the upgrade of Kyzylkumcement and Kuvasaycement cement plants.

Bekabadcement and Kyzylkumcement intend to implement programs and radically cut the electricity and natural gas consumption, thereby reducing the cost of their products, and therefore their price for final consumer. By the end of 2020, it is planned to carry out a total of 40 projects on the upgrade of existing facilities, and introduction of modern technological equipment.

Several big projects will be implemented with the involvement of the long-standing partner of the domestic construction materials industry - the German company Knauf International GmbH. The company has planned to build a new manufacture of dry building mixes with an annual capacity of 120,000 tons, and expand the existing production of plasterboard to 8 million square meters. The German side intends to invest over $52 million in these initiatives.

A unique production of modern construction materials will be established in Uzbekistan this year. The National Ceramics JV is currently completing a project on the establishment of porcelain and ceramic tiles production at the Angren SIZ with total annual capacity of 4.5 million square meters, and project cost more than $21.1 million. The Lux Granit company in Angren has launched a project on the development of production of porcelain stoneware with the annual capacity of 3 million square meters. It is planning to purchase unique equipment by the Italian SITI B&T, unprecedented for the region. The facility will be commissioned in 2017.

Uzstroymaterialy is hoping to significantly expand its export capacity through the implementation of new projects. Last year, the company exported about 40 kinds of construction materials like drywall, lime, decorative bricks, cement and others. This year, it is planning to increase the range to 50 kinds.

See and Be Seen

The rapid development of the domestic construction industry and production of construction materials would be impossible without the involvement of foreign experiences, technologies and equipment. A unique exposition area, which traditionally opens the domestic exhibition season and incorporates three core events – the building exhibition UzBuild, exhibition of HVAC and water supply equipment Aqua-Therm Tashkent and the exhibition of furniture and wood MebelExpo Uzbekistan - has always been a highlight in this context.

The interest of participants and experts in the exhibition has been growing year by year as a result of the growth of Uzbekistan's economy and, consequently, the increasing introduction of up-to-date technologies by local businesses. For example, last year’s exhibitions attracted more than 15,000 visitors. This year is equally fruitful: the number of visitors has exceeded 20,000, and exhibitors - 300 companies from more than 50 countries around the world.

There is a noteworthy fact: 75% of exhibitors are represented by international companies, suggesting the gradual development of cooperation of world manufacturers of construction industry with their Uzbek colleagues. The interest is mutual, since modern construction standards in our country require innovative solutions and tools.

It is a platform for parties to work out joint long-term projects, build plans for the future, sign contracts, and discuss relevant issues of further development of the sector. According to experts, an international forum has long become not just an image event, but a truly business platform, which has won the trust of the industry leaders.

“The exhibitions have helped to create a branch of our company in Uzbekistan,” said the Executive Director of the Youngsan Group for the CIS Chong Man Soo (South Korea). “We offer our Uzbek partners mini boilers designed for water and space heating in private and apartment houses, cottages. We are pleased with the effective cooperation and look forward to its extension.”

It is important to understand that it takes long time and hard work to sell square meters today. The competition is tough as never before, so we need to look for something to stand out of the crowd. The developers have become more inventive in applying unusual architectural solutions, innovative engineering systems, providing Internet connections. It would seem that the additional costs can hardly motivate someone in the conditions of the crisis, but the closer examination reveals that they bring benefits both to sponsors and tenants.

The innovative solutions of this kind were presented at the stands of foreign and domestic exhibitors. This trend is especially noticeable when it comes to the furniture industry. There are currently nearly 1,500 furniture enterprises. In 2015, their production volumes exceeded 468 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 15.03.2016, 1$= 2866.75 soums). The next exhibition MebelExpo Uzbekistan will allow finding new partners, establishing effective cooperation, and signing profitable contracts.

“There are all the conditions for furniture manufacturers in our country,” said the Deputy Director of El E’zoz Company Olim Isroilov. “They have been empowering us to offer quality furniture for kitchens, living rooms, bedrooms for over 20 years. Last year, our production volumes amounted to 2 billion soums. The participation in international exhibitions is a good opportunity to establish cooperation with foreign companies, increase export capacity and purchase the equipment.”

“The dynamics of the furniture industry development in Uzbekistan has been growing year by year, as proved by this exhibition, so we have a good opportunity to expand the cooperation,” says the Duerkopp Adler AG Sales Manager Andrew Olfert. “It offers a wide range of high quality and modern products by Uzbek manufacturers. I think that sewing machines we offer will allow the manufacturers to expand their capacities and increase the product range.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper )

PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (2015-2016)

SCO Secretary General: Uzbekistan takes an active part in the activities of the SCO

This year, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization marks the 15th anniversary of its foundation. Over the past period characterized by major changes in the international and regional situation, the structure has become an effective mechanism for mutually beneficial multi-partnership. On the prospects of further development of the SCO, the role and importance in the Republic of Uzbekistan in her exclusive interview to the Jahon Information Agency Secretary General of the organization, Rashid Alimov.

- Mr. Secretary General, please share their assessments of the level of cooperation of the SCO member states? What results have been achieved?

- Today we can state with confidence that the choice made by the SCO member states at the beginning of the XXI century in deepening good-neighborly, friendly and partnership relations in the region, has become a good example for the international community to achieve real and important results in the field of joint development.

Strictly following the principles and provisions of the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of States members of the organization, set up a solid foundation for the effective functioning of the structure in order to jointly safeguard peace, security and stability, as well as the development of multilateral cooperation in the SCO's political, economic, , humanitarian and other spheres.

Every year, strengthens the role and influence of the organization, b0th at the regional and global levels. It has become a powerful factor in international relations. Increasing the number of Member States, observers, the emergence of a group of partner countries in dialogue indicates an increase in the SCO's prestige in the world.

There is a growing agenda for unification. At the annual summits of heads of state to discuss not only regional, but also global issues. The documents of the organization reflects the theme of strategic stability and global security. It makes a positive contribution to the common struggle against new challenges and threats, including terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and cross-border crime. However, in my opinion, it is particularly important - SCO promotes the development and deepening of the dialogue between cultures and civilizations, and thus makes the people in this vast region closer and dearer.

- In April in Tashkent will be held the meeting of the SCO RATS Council and the meeting of Secretaries of Security Councils of the Member States of the organization. How do you assess the current state of and prospects for cooperation in the area of peace and stability in the SCO region in the context of the current difficult situation in the world?

- The issues of regional stability and security remain a priority area of cooperation in the SCO framework. Restless Afghanistan, exacerbation calls cross-border crime, religious extremism and drug trafficking reinforce anxious wait.

In the light of all of the above it is of particular importance harmonious efficient operation of SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure. It should be noted that during the years of its existence, the RATS was able to achieve significant results in the fight against threats to security in our region. Due to the structure of preventive action could prevent hundreds of terrorist acts, which means - to save the lives of thousands of people.

On January 1, 2016 led RATS Eugene S. Sysoev. There is no doubt that his experience and professionalism will serve to further improve the work of the structure, improve the efficiency of its operations.

- What is the level of interaction in trade and economic cooperation between the SCO member states?

- The continuing turbulence in the global economy has an impact on all states without exception. This fully applies to the SCO region. However, despite the difficulties, the Member States of our Organization continue the planned work to promote cooperation in this field, in accordance with existing agreements and programs on the basis of multilateral trade and economic cooperation until 2020.

In December 2015, China Zhengzhou, a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of Government, in the course of which were discussed in detail the issues of further deepening of relations in trade-economic sphere. The meeting participants summed up the results of joint work in this direction over the past year and noted some progress. Commended for practical measures to enhance regional economic cooperation.

In general we can say that cooperation in this area continues to be one of the driving forces of the SCO development for the benefit of the peoples living in the region.

- What results have been achieved in the cultural sphere?

- Within the framework of the organization continue to develop multilateral and bilateral relations in the field of culture, health, education, science and technology, environmental protection, tourism, disaster relief, justice and the media. Progress in this area contribute to the strengthening of mutual understanding between people, mutual enrichment and rapprochement of cultures, promotion of traditions and customs of the peoples living in the SCO space.

The main achievement in this field for 15 years of the organization can be considered as something that is adjusted multilateral cultural exchanges, the peoples of our countries have become closer to each other, learn more about the history and traditions, and this is just the supporting structure of our association.

- What is the current level of cooperation of the SCO with other international organizations, particularly the UN, CIS and ASEAN?

- In the modern world the role of regional organizations is increasing, therefore the creation of partnerships between them is essential to confront the challenges and threats. In this regard, the SCO will continue to develop its international relations. It is in the interest of the structure and is based on the need to ensure stability and security in the region and in the world.

Speaking of practical steps in this direction, it should be noted that in November 2014 at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly adopted a substantial, large-scale resolution of the UN and the SCO cooperation. It is the expansion of cooperation of our association with the agencies, programs and funds, the global organization on the basis of the Joint Declaration between the SCO Secretariat and the United Nations, signed in April 2010 in Tashkent. Strengthen ties with UNDP and ESCAP, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the UN Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. A system of partnership with ASEAN, CIS and other regional institutions and structures.

- Currently, the SCO presidency of Uzbekistan, and in June of this year, the organization of the summit will be held in Tashkent. In your opinion, what is the role of Uzbekistan in the development of the organization?

- As one of the founding members of the SCO, Uzbekistan has been actively involved in the organization, making a significant contribution to its development. A good example is the establishment of the initiative of the Uzbek side of the mechanism of meetings of secretaries of security councils, the launch of the SCO RATS Executive Committee in Tashkent, as well as obtaining the first in the history of Mongolia observer status in the SCO during the first presidency of Uzbekistan.

Tashkent this summer for the third time will host the SCO summit. I am convinced that a meeting of the Council of Heads of State and its results, as before, will be a decisive step forward in the development of the organization.

Experience from previous years shows the progress of the Uzbek presidency of the SCO, certainly well-coordinated work of ministries and departments of the country in preparing and carrying out activities within its framework.

Undoubtedly, the meeting of the leaders of our countries in Tashkent will be an outstanding event in the life of Uzbekistan. Under the wise leadership of President Islam Karimov in the 25 years of independence the country was able to achieve significant results. I am convinced that the SCO summit will allow the international community is widely present the successes and achievements of the Uzbek people.

- Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. Mr. Secretary General, what, in your opinion, the future prospects of the SCO?

- 2015 became a milestone in the development of the organization, primarily due to the Heads of State adopted the historic decisions. Foremost among these was the beginning of the procedure of admission to the ranks of the SCO in India and Pakistan. Also upgraded the status of Belarus a dialogue partner to the observer at the SCO. As the partner states in the dialogue are invited to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal. Today, the SCO covers 18 states and 44% of the world population.

In addition, for the first time in the history of the organization has developed and adopted its development strategy until 2025. This document became the conceptual foundation, define new strategic orientations based on forecasts of global and regional development in the next ten years.

In other words, the new stage of development of the SCO has begun, and I am convinced that the organization of a great future.

(Source: IA «Jahon»)

The delegation of Uzbekistan to participate in the meeting of the SCO CNC

On March 15-18, 2016, the Delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov is going to participate in the next meeting of the SCO Council of National Coordinators in Beijing.

The meeting planned to discuss the issues regarding the preparation for the upcoming SCO Summit in Tashkent as well as the other events within the Chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the organization.

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

Meeting at the SCO Secretariat with the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan

On March 14, 2016, in Beijing, the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization held a signing ceremony of a Memorandum on granting the Republic of Azerbaijan the status of dialogue partner of the SCO. The decision was made by the SCO Council of Heads of State in Ufa (Russia).

The memorandum was signed by the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Rashid Alimov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov.

The document defines the main directions of cooperation between the SCO and Azerbaijan, including the fight against terrorism, extremism, separatism, countering the illicit production and trafficking of drugs, cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, energy, telecommunications, agriculture, culture, science and technology, education, health and tourism, ensuring mutual assistance in prevention of emergency situations of natural and man-made disasters and elimination of their consequences, and others.

The Memorandum is signed for an indefinite period of time and shall enter into force as soon as the SCO Secretariat receives through the diplomatic channels, the notification from the Government of Azerbaijan on the implementation of internal procedures.

The ceremony was also attended by ambassadors and the permanent representatives of the SCO member states to the SCO Secretariat.

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

2016 year - The Year of healthy mother and child

Health Ministry Launches Extensive Medical Checkups

Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Health has started to implement the recently approved State Program “Year of Healthy Mother and Child” under a campaign slogan “Nobody will be left out of care and attention!” The population across the nation is going to undergo through in-depth medical checks.

General actions like this one have already turned into a tradition. They combine medical examinations provided by a diversity of social and health programs, but it is primarily aimed at boosting maternal and child health, and improving healthcare for retirees. To perfect the health system’s performance, physicians engaged in this action are available to everyone without restriction: they provide consultation and prescriptions free of charge. To this end, 300 specialists from leading provincial and national health agencies, scientific research institutions and medical higher education institutions will welcome patients in regional hospitals.

“It’s great that we have such actions in the country, because we, busy everyday troubles, often do not pay enough attention to our personal health, and go to the doctor only when it really gets bad. And here it turns out that doctors themselves come to us, potential patients, and encourage everyone to be more curious about their health,” says the pensioner Yulduz Khakimova, resident of Afsona village in Bukhara region. “Last year, during similar actions, we were screened with the whole family, and each of us received recommendations and prescriptions from physicians, compliance with which is to significantly improve the state of health. This year, too, we will certainly respond to instructions from doctors.”

To make the most of opportunities, the medical examination process is said to be organized under a new scheme, in two stages.

In the first phase, doctors of regional medical institutions in collaboration with specialists from district medical associations will conduct testing for the population under their territories. Their task is to survey the residents with the use of modern movable diagnostic devices like x-ray mobiles, ultrasound machines and ECG. As a result, tens of thousands of people in the country are going to take prescriptions and recommendations. Among the examinees will be those who will be presented for the medical consultation with specialists of the national institutions to decide on the provision of specialized high-tech care.

The Ministry of Health predicts that this time the action will be more effective than that in the past year. This will be facilitated by the widespread use of capacities introduced in the framework of programs designed to bolster the material-technical base of healthcare institutions. About 500 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 15.03.2016, 1$= 2866.75 soums) was assigned in the past year alone for the construction, reconstruction and equipment of 141 medical facilities. Among the renovated and commissioned for operation are the regional diversified medical centers in Andijan and Bukhara, regional diversified children’s medical centers in Karshi and Samarkand, as well as medical associations in a number of districts of Uzbekistan. Optimization process of rural medical stations has been completed as well; they have been outfitted with cutting-edge diagnostic and medical equipment.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper) 

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