INFORMATION DIGEST - PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN - March 3, 2016

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ECONOMY
By the end of 2020, Uzbekistan intends to significantly streamline the fruit and vegetable storage system

LOCALIZATION
Ministry of Economy discusses results of localization program

SOCIETY
Social Partnership is growing in Uzbekistan


economy

By the end of 2020, Uzbekistan intends to significantly streamline the fruit and vegetable storage system

Aimed at ensuring a year-round storage, the storage infrastructure ranks among the key elements of building a unified and uninterrupted fruit and vegetable supply chain for foreign markets. Uzbekistan has been working on the further development of the infrastructure, equipping it with modern devices for reception, processing, sorting, grading, packaging and labeling for further exporting.

At the same time, a substantial portion of grown fruits and vegetables is used by consumers not fresh but canned, processed or dried, when products lose their consumer qualities, taste and useful properties from the medical point of view. Taking this fact into account, Uzbekistan has been implementing a program on upgrade of existing and construction of new cold storage facilities, and the work will be continued.

Emphasis will be placed on the construction of modern cold fruit and vegetable storages of with a total capacity of 325,000 tons. Currently, the total country’s storage capacity makes up 832,000 tons. The construction of the facilities will be financed with loans from Uzbek banks and equity of the companies that are engaged in exports. It is envisaged to allocate 125 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 03.03.2016, 1$=2856.64 soums) for these purposes.

The works will be carried out in stages in certain regions of the country to better cover CIS countries and the European Union with exports. It is scheduled to commission the cooling facilities of 60,000-65,000 tons of storage capacity each year. They are designed for the estimated demand and logistical capabilities of the Uzbek transport companies.

A new logistics system of fruit and vegetable exports will be built concurrently. It is envisaged to build 17 specialized centers of processing, storage and transportation of fruits and vegetables in key export-oriented regions within five years. It is planned to commission three or four objects annually. 119 billion soums will be invested in the construction of logistics centers.

As a result of diversification of agriculture and provision of the population with food products, Uzbekistan has been exporting foods, fruits and vegetables worth more than $5 billion annually. The volume of exports of agricultural commodities has more than tripled in the last three years. The country exports more than 180 kinds of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables to more than 80 countries.

Uzbekistan ranks among the world’s top ten leaders in exports of apricots, plums, grapes, nuts, cabbage and other fruits and vegetables. In 2015, Uzbekistan was awarded among 14 countries for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in food security by the Food and Agriculture Organization member states.

In Context:

Last year, Uzbekistan grew 12.5 million tons of vegetables and potatoes, 1.8 million tons of melons, 1.5 million tons of grapes, 2.73 million tons of fruits. To ensure their storage, 114 cold rooms with a total capacity of 77,800 tons were established and upgraded.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

LOCALIZATION

Ministry of Economy discusses results of localization program

The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan hosted a press conference entitled "Localization of production and expansion of inter-sectoral industrial cooperation - the most important reserves and factors of economic growth and structural transformation of the economy".

It was noted at the press conference that the production localization program is one of the important directions of involvement of internal resources and capabilities to further strengthen the country's industrial potential through deeper processing of domestic raw materials and on this basis expanding the volume and the range of products manufactured in the country with high added value.

Today in the context of ongoing global economic crisis, localization is one of the most important factors of economic growth. In Uzbekistan, production localization programs have been implemented in a systematic way for over 15 years. So, since 2000, import-substituting production has increased more than 220 times due to localization projects.

It was also stated that due to the localization of production in the past two years, imports completely stopped for 97 product groups and imports experienced 2 times decline on 306 items.

Speaking about the results of this program in the past year, it was noted that the effect of import substitution in the economy of the republic amounted to 1.56 billion dollars due to localization on 696 projects.

Localization programs are implemented on the basis of a consistent deepening of localization level. For example, if the production of liquid crystal TV sets had been carried out on the basis of large-block assemblies with localization level up to 35% before 2014, then as a result of mastering production of an integrated circuit board, hull and component parts, cables, remote controls and other components the level of localization increased to 40% in 2015.  By the end of this year due to the development of liquid crystal panel televisions on domestic production capacities the level of localization of production will rise to 50%.

In recent years, along with the saturation of the domestic market with domestic goods, there is a trend of expanding the volume and range of localized products supply to foreign markets. So, in 2015, exports of 52 new products in the amount of 25.1 million USD, including single- and dual-chamber washing machines, industrial energy-saving LED lamps, cosmetics and others have been completed.

It was particularly emphasized at the conference that in order to further enhance the localization the Ministry of Economy has also developed a list of products with stable demand both in the country and abroad which is placed on the Ministry’s website. Domestic enterprises which are willing to invest in the production are recommended to study the above list and to adjust production of recommended import-substituting products which are in demand.

In order to support enterprises which are mastering production of localized products, the government established incentives such as exemption from customs duties, the single tax, income tax and property tax.

(Source:UzReport.uz )

Society

Social Partnership is growing in Uzbekistan

A recent Tashkent conference focused on the outcomes of the activities of the National Association of NGOs (NANGOs) last year and highlighted the growing role of NGOs in shaping a strong civil society in Uzbekistan.

In recent years, Uzbekistan has made considerable headway toward the development of independent and sustainable NGOs that have won the support of the population.

Favorable conditions being created as well as benefits and opportunities being provided are leading these civil institutes to step up their participation in the management of public and state affairs while boosting the population’s public and socio-economic engagement and raising legal awareness. This, in turn, has led to a stable increase in the number of NGOs, of which there were 8,359 as of the beginning of this year.

In 2015, regional NGOs that are members of the NANGOs developed over 80 projects. Fifty-three of them, that have important socio-economic implications, have been funded to the tune of 1 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 03.03.2016, 1$=2856.64 soums) by the Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions at Uzbekistan’s parliament. This testifies to the growing role of NGOs in implementing important programmes for the socio-economic development of Uzbekistan.

One important aspect of the Association’s activities was to ensure NGOs’ participation in improving legislation. It held over 50 roundtable sessions and workshops that discussed the Law on Public Control in the Republic of Uzbekistan and expounded to the population the essence of the Laws on Social Partnership, on Environmental Control and other legislative acts. These were attended by representatives of over 1,500 NGOs.

Regional and national stages of the Fourth National Forum of Uzbekistan NGOs, attended by members of over 2,000 leading NGOs, were held. The forum resulted in proposals to the 2016 Complex Program to Further Strengthen Social Partnership between state bodies and NGOs.

Fourteen public hearing were held on the fulfillment of state programs for healthcare, environmental protection, creation of jobs, especially for women and the youth, social support of vulnerable groups and other problems of social significance. One such gathering, organized by NANGOs in partnership with other organizations, was titled “Monitoring Disabled People’s Rights to Access Transport Services: Experience and Prospects”.

The Association developed an Electronic Collection of NGO-Related Normative and Legal Acts of Uzbekistan, which plays an important role in keeping its members informed. Normative and legal documents and methodological guidelines are sent to members as email.

Many NGOs have been supported in boosting their material and technical resources; they are provided with office furniture and equipment. Among such NGOs are “Ayol va zamon” (Woman and time) Center for Promotion of Women’s Socio-Economic Activity in Surkhandarya Region, NGO Taraqqiyot (Evolution) in Bukhara Region, and Murabbiy Teacher Association in Samarkand Region among others.

A milestone was an international roundtable in Tashkent that focused on the growing role and importance of civil society institutions in democratic transformations and modernization of the country. The event came as an opportunity for the international public to learn about Uzbekistan’s experience in developing nongovernmental nonprofit organizations and their role in public and state construction.

“Conference participants concurred that it is necessary to provide effective legal, material and technical support for regional NGOs and strengthen their interaction with state bodies and authorities on the ground,” noted Abdumajit Karimov, NANGOs Chairman. “They expressed confidence that the Association’s activities in 2016 will help consolidate local NGOs’ efforts to further strengthen social partnership, ensure steady development of civil society institutes and boost the living standards of the population.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

 

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