INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN - January 22, 2016

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POLITICS
President of Uzbekistan approves Customs code in new edition

ECONOMY
Uzbekistan produces chemical products for 4.68 trln. soums in 2015
Shoemakers to Ramp up Production

INVESTMENTS
Growth in Times of Crisis

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Uzbek FM holds talks with US officials in Washington
MFA of Uzbekistan hosts meeting with delegation of Bundestag of Federal Republic of Germany

SPORT
A Silver Medal from Turkey


POLItiCs

President of Uzbekistan approves Customs code in new edition

The President of Uzbekistan on 20 January signed the Law "On approval of the Customs code of the Republic of Uzbekistan".

The law was adopted by Legislative chamber on November 17 and approved by the Senate on 3 December 2015.

The document entrusts the Cabinet of Ministers to ensure ongoing and comprehensive monitoring and analysis of practical and effective rules of the Customs code in the course of 2016 and 2017, and if necessary, make appropriate proposals aimed at further improvement of certain norms of the code.

Note that the code in detail, on the basis of norms of direct action, regulates all types of customs regimes and procedures in line with international standards of customs clearance.

The code simplifies the procedures, substantially reduces the time for decision making by officials of customs bodies on the questions related to issuance of various permits, customs clearance when declaring and clearance of goods, including before they enter the customs territory.

The code adopted the procedure of functioning of the Single automated information system of state customs control, which provides, in particular, significant reduction of the number of documents to be provided to the customs authorities.

The text of the new Customs code will be published in the sheets of the chambers of the Oliy Majlis and the collection of the legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The law comes into force upon expiration of three months from the date of its official publication.

In connection with the adoption of the Customs code, certain legislative acts have been amended, some of them abrogated.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

economy

Uzbekistan produces chemical products for 4.68 trln. soums in 2015

Chemical industry in Uzbekistan manufactured products worth 4.686 trillion soums, which is 7.5% more than compared to 2014. (currency rates of CB RU from 22.01.2016, 1$= 2826.48 soums)

The major part of the chemical products was produced by enterprises of Tashkent (30.0% of the production of the industry) and Tashkent (22.9%), Navoi (13.8%) and Ferghana (13.7%) regions, State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said.

The small businesses increased production of chemical products by 14.6% year-on-year in 2015. Share of small businesses in total volume of output of chemical industry made up 48.2%.

At present, Uzbekistan has 2734 chemical enterprises, of which 371 were created in 2015.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

Shoemakers to Ramp up Production

Domestic leather and footwear industry is intending to tangibly increase its presence in foreign markets in the next few years. Exports will be expanded through the increase of the share of finished products and expansion of the product range by means of modernization and commissioning of new facilities.

Uzbekistan intends to step up the production of shoes, sports and other leather goods. These products are highly demanded in the CIS countries as major export markets for domestic enterprises. At the same time, Uzbek manufacturers have a number of advantages that allow them competing with Chinese and Turkish companies in terms of price.

Implementation of a program on intensification of domestic processing of raw hides and increase of exports of finished products has been underway in the country. The progress is modest so far: leather makes up 65% of exported products, and finished products - 22%. The rest falls on the semi-finished products.

China with 39%, Russia with 12%, and Turkey with 11% are major importers of Uzbek raw hides today. It turns out that a part of the finished Chinese and Turkish shoes and leather products that are sold in the CIS countries are partially produced from raw materials purchased in Uzbekistan. Domestic producers might occupy this very niche.

Therefore, Uzbekistan is intending to significantly increase the domestic processing of raw materials and enter the markets with its own finished products. That will be contributed by cheaper energy resources and skilled workforce that can ensure the product prices that are comparable to the Chinese and Turkish ones.

Uzbekistan is planning to invest more than $70 million in the development of the leather and footwear industry by the end of 2020. These funds will be channeled under 61 investment projects, which envisage an annual output of almost 400 billion soums and exports at $15.5 million. (currency rates of CB RU from 22.01.2016, 1$= 2826.48 soums)

It is expected that by the end of the current year exports of finished shoes will increase by 2% and exports of raw materials will decrease by 4.5%. By the end of 2020 the share of raw materials in exports should fall from 65% (2015) to 40.8%, footwear should increase from 22% to 30%, and leather goods - from 9% to 18%.

The abovmentioned targets will be achieved through the implementation of new projects. The construction of a women's shoes factory will be launched in the first quarter of 2016 in the Namangan region. It is envisaged to develop the production of more than 30 kinds of products. The project total cost will exceed $1.2 million.

Another project will be implemented in the Fergana region. A women's bag, briefcase and suitcase factory will be commissioned there by the end of 2018. The founders of the company are going to invest nearly $2 million in its development.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

investments

Growth in Times of Crisis

Despite the tough situation on export markets and the global financial and economic crisis, Almalyk Mining and Smelting Plant has been pursuing successful implementation of its investment programs on modernization and expansion of production.

According to AMSP Director General Aleksandr Farmanov, the global crisis has affected the AMSP activity, and all global metal producers.

“Due to the falling prices on the world market as a whole, and for our products in particular, we could not make the expected profit last year. However, we have still remained profitable. We had to work hard on the cost of production. I believe, the plant has coped with it. Unfortunately, the crisis has dragged on, so we cannot count on its early completion. Nevertheless, we are ready for it and keep working towards reducing production costs and further increase in production volumes and product mix,” emphasized Aleksandr Farmanov in the AMSP press statement.

Today, AMSP continues implementation of the ‘Program of measures for structural reforms, modernization and diversification of production for 2015-2019. It provides for the implementation of investment projects both in new construction and in the modernization and reconstruction of existing facilities.

Despite the difficulties, the plant launched a new sulfuric acid shop in 2015, and completed technical re-equipment of the oxygen unit. The reconstruction of crushing and milling shops of copper concentrator is nearing its completion to allow further processing of nearly 7 million tons of ore per year.

The increase of export capacity was another important aspect of the work.

“Last year we increased exports of wire rod, that is, not just copper cathode, but value-added products. We entered the world market with copper pipes and intend to continue working in this direction. Copper wire ranks among our new export products. In 2015, we sold more than 1,000 tons beyond the country. This year we hope to increase this number by at least 2-2.5 times,” said the Director.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International cooperation

Uzbek FM holds talks with US officials in Washington

A delegation of Uzbekistan led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov held negotiations and meetings with the US officials on 19-21 January 2015.

The Uzbek delegation is paying visit to Washington to participate in the sixth round of Uzbek-US political consultations.

In particular, the Uzbek delegation led a meeting with the Senior Director for South Asia, US National Security Council Peter Laveau.

The talks were also held with acting Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon and Deputy Energy Minister Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, and Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal, the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan said.

They discussed the state of relations in various fields, with emphasis on the prospects for sustained development, as well as some international and regional issues.

Members of the Uzbek delegation held meetings and negotiations in the Congress with representatives of several ministries and departments of the United States.

* * *

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov held a meeting with the US Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom on 20 January.

The meeting of the Uzbek and US officials was held in Washington. The delegation of Uzbekistan led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov is paying visit to the US to hold political consultations with the United States.

At the meeting, it was noted that C5+1 meeting in Samarkand, which was held in November 2015, allowed to discuss wide range of issues of bilateral relations, exchange opinion on international and regional issues.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

MFA of Uzbekistan hosts meeting with delegation of Bundestag of Federal Republic of Germany

On January 21, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan hosted a meeting with the delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany headed by the deputies of the Bundestag Tobias Tseh and Albert Stegemann.

During the conversation, they discussed topical issues of bilateral relations, in which Uzbek-German inter-parliamentary cooperation takes an important place.

The parties noted mutual interest in further strengthening ties between the legislative branches of the two countries.

The guests shared their impressions of participation in "round table" on a theme "The role of Parliament in strengthening economic reforms, social protection and the development of private entrepreneurship: the experience of Germany and Uzbekistan", which took place at the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Regional representative of the Adenauer Foundation in Central Asia Thomas Kunze attended the meeting, the press service of the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan said.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

sport

A Silver Medal from Turkey

On the eve of the New Year, Turkey hosted two major international skiing tournaments. At one of these tournaments, Uzbekistan’s Kseniya Grigoryeva bagged a silver medal in the slalom.

After returning to Tashkent, she immediately left for Chimgan. A participant of two Olympic Games, she is now readying herself for new competitions and is also coaching children. During the last days of the school break, Chimgan hosted a skiing tournament for kids and juniors. Some of her students showed great results.

Our interview with Kseniya was interrupted by a crying child that had fallen over on the hill during practice. The young athlete was crying and wanted to go home to her parents, and the coach had to calm her down.

“When I was thirteen, I also wanted to go home and stop trying so rigorously,” said Kseniya Grigoryeva. Our interview continued when the young kid, motivated by her coach, left for another run down the hill. “I was tired of continuous running and rock climbing sessions in the summer, numerous workouts in the gym. I also cried some times, but my parents and my coaches always told me that practice makes perfect and results would come. I am so happy that I heeded and followed their advice.”

And she never regretted her decision. With time she got used to the high amount of training and practice. She did not require additional motivation from the coaches. She was the best student under Andrey Voronov. Her first results came from republican tournaments. Soon afterwards, she started winning in the international arena. At the tender age of 22, she became a participant of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

During the seventh Asian Winter games in 2011 in Kazakhstan, she came in fourth place during the first race down the hill. In the second event she could have won a medal. After completing her first run she was in second place and decided to increase her lead, but the risk was great and she fell during her second run. However, this was a great lesson for Kseniya. She got her license for the Olympics in Sochi (Russia) during a tournament in New Zealand.

Kseniya Grigoryeva competed against the famous violin artist Vanessa May, who represented Thailand. She wanted to beat our athlete, but Kseniya came on top. The banner-bearer of Uzbekistan was chosen as the fourth most beautiful girl at the opening ceremony of the Olympics. The first three included Irina Shayk, Maria Sharapova and Tina Weirather.

Kseniya has a lot of gold medals as well. One of her first gold medals she obtained in Iran during an international tournament. This was a great achievement, as the world’s strongest athletes visit this prestigious tournament, and the local skiers are coached by a French Alpine skiing specialist. These girls spend the entire year training in Europe.

Kseniya Grigoryeva is a profesionall skier for 16 years. The veteran of the national team of Uzbekistan is planning to participate in her third Olympics. The head coach of the national team Andrey Voronov is sure that she can do it. Currently, Kseniya is preparing for the championship of Uzbekistan and the National Cup. She believes that she has to defend her title of the strongest alpine skier in Uzbekistan against the younger athletes.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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