INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 104 May 27, 2016

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ECONOMY
Uzbekistan to produce over 1.6m tonnes of grapes

FREE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIC ZONE NAVOI
Navoi FIEZ: the history of creation, modern development and prospects

ECOLOGY
Interaction in mitigating the Aral Sea disaster

economy

Uzbekistan to produce over 1.6m tonnes of grapes

Uzbekistan is planning to produce over 1.6 million tonnes of grapes, which is 25.7% more compared to 2013, according to Uzvinosanoat-holding.

The company said that agriculture companies and farmers in Uzbekistan created 23,500 hectares of new vineyards and reconstructed 17,400 hectares of vineyards in 2013-2015.

Uzvinosanoat-holding said that the vineyard areas were expanded, in particular, within three years, about 2,500 hectares of new vineyards were created and their total area reached 6,200 hectares.

The area of vineyards rose from 127,800 hectares in 2013 to 143,000 in 2016 (+12.6%). The crop rose from average 116.1 centners in 2013 and 130.7 centners in 2016.

According to forecasts, Uzbekistan plans to produce some 1.661 million tonnes of grape in 2016, which will rise by 25.7% compared to 2013.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

free industrial economic zone NAVOI

Navoi FIEZ: the history of creation, modern development and prospects

Enjoying enviable economic assets, stupendous and varied natural resources, lots of skilled personnel and considerable production capacities, Uzbekistan’s geographical location is very important, since it links up Europe with Asia and thus benefits from its tremendous transit potentialities.

The large-scale reforms implemented across all industries of the national economy and spheres of life help to maintain the political stability and a fast rate of economic growth in the country as well as to gradually raise the living standard of its population. At the same time, the government approves a number of state programs to develop manufacturing, infrastructural facilities and indigenous production.  Their successful realization is highly conducive to turning the Republic into an attractive investment destination for foreign investors. A striking endorsement of this fact is the volume of investments from all sources of funding attracted and implemented in 2015. Estimated at US $15.8 billion, the figure is 9.5 per cent above the 2014 indicator. More than 21 per cent of that amount, or over US $3.3 billion, is accounted for by foreign capital.

It is necessary to stress here that for the moment, a big effort is underway to create an auspicious investment climate in the country. Special attention is attached in this context to the performance in Uzbekistan of free economic zones, which operate in a special tax, currency and customs regime and have a great potential for developing successful business. The Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone is one of the biggest such establishments in the Republic to date. It offers foreign investors a variety of business opportunities and great competitive advantages.

Set up in compliance with the December 2, 2008 Presidential Decree, the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone occupies an area of 564 hectares. It is situated near the town of Navoi, at the 100-175 kilometers’ distance from Bukhara and Samarkand, the big towns and industrial centers of Uzbekistan.

A special legal regime is in force on its territory, including tax, currency and customs privileges, a simplified procedure for entry, stay and departure, a simplified procedure for acquiring permission by non-residents to carry out labour activity. Furthermore, lots of privileges on taxes, customs and other obligatory payments are granted to them.

In a move to create a favorable environment for investors to do business, enterprises functioning on the territory of the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone are offered different means of transport, ramified engineering communications, effective labour safety systems and comfortable conditions for their personnel.

The Navoi FIEZ is located in immediate proximity to Navoi international airport, the E-40 motor-road and a railway of international significance, all of which make it possible to get the most out of the existing advantages of the Navoi multimodal transport logistics center. In particular, Navoi airport, based in the country’s central part, at a crossroads of the international ground and air transport corridors “North – South” and “East – West”, represents an ideal regional junction, from which to control the international goods traffic.

Under an agreement signed with Korean Air, a Korean air company, the first stage of the Navoi Airport Modernization Project has been finalized. It covered, among other things, the construction of an international intermodal logistics centre and a cargo terminal, capable of handling up to 300 tons of cargo a day. In prospect, with an increase in goods traffic volumes, the terminal’s daily capacity may be brought to 1,000 tons.

The Multimodal Logistics Center is designed to operate as a full-fledged system of distributing the goods traffic throughout the region, using different means of ground transport. The Center can also redistribute the goods traffic by air in the following directions:  north – south and west – east.

The exploitation of air corridors with the landing at Navoi international airport ensures a tangible economy of time and transportation costs.

In terms of territory, the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone is closer to the railway, which has access to the markets of Central Asian republics, the CIS member states, South-East Asia, Europe, the Near East and the Persian Gulf.

On top of this all, the region’s main railway routes run across the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone.  All of them have access to the ports of Iran and Turkey in the south and to the ports of the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea in the west and in the north. The shortest railway route from China to Europe also runs across the Navoi FIEZ. Putting into service the Guzar – Baisun – Kumkurgan section of the railroad has created a short transit route to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

So, it is safe to say that at the present time the Navoi Free Industrial Economic Zone is rapidly becoming a leading logistically sound and commercially profitable industrial and logistics center of regional and international level, with developed transport communications and unprecedented privileges available.           

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

Ecology

Interaction in mitigating the Aral Sea disaster

An exchange of notes is conducted between the governments of Uzbekistan and China in the direction of the complex expedition of Chinese experts to examine projects under the "Programme of Action on Assistance for the Aral Sea basin countries for 2011-2015".

Conducting the all-inclusive expedition will be carried out at the expense of grant aid in accordance with the Agreement between the governments of Uzbekistan and the People's Republic of China on technical-economic cooperation dated November 3, 2007.

At the end of the expedition, the Chinese experts are planning to sel ect priority projects aimed at improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea area for the subsequent preparation of feasibility studies and their gradual implementation.

The purpose of the planned projects is to mitigate environmental tension in the Aral Sea region through the establishment of forest belts from large shrubs that allows to reduce salt and dust removal, restore biodiversity, develop fish farming sector.

These initiatives are part of the Comprehensive Program of measures on mitigating the aftermaths of the Aral Sea disaster, rehabilitation and socio-economic development of the Aral Sea region in the years 2015-2018 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on August 29, 2015.

It is noteworthy that the achievement of such important agreements with China took place during the presidency of Uzbekistan in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. From August 2013 during the presidency of Uzbekistan in the Executive Committee of IFAS it was carried out extensive work on drawing attention and consolidating the efforts of the international community for the realization of joint practical actions, programs and projects.

They are aimed at reducing the negative consequences fr om drying up of the Aral Sea, environmental protection and rational use of water resources in the region, as well as improving the living conditions of the population.

One of the most important events was the International Conference “Development of cooperation in the region of the Aral Sea to mitigate consequences of the ecological catastrophe” in Urgench which was attended by representatives of IFAS founder states, international organizations and financial institutions, donor governments, environmental organizations, the diplomatic corps, as well as authoritative scientists and experts. This forum is designed to mobilize the international community for the implementation of programs and projects aimed at improving the environmental and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea region, as well as the further development of international cooperation to reduce the negative effects of the environmental disaster.

At the end of the conference the government of Uzbekistan, Executive Committee of IFAS, relevant ministries and agencies have signed a number of official documents on further cooperation and implementation of specific projects aimed at stabilization of socio-ecological and economic situation in the Aral Sea crisis area with international organizations and donors.

In particular, agreements have been reached to attract preferential long-term loans totaling $ 1.9 billion and for the provision of $ 0.2 billion in the form of grants and technical assistance funds.

An increased activity on the implementation of various projects and programs in cooperation with foreign partners in the improvement of the ecological situation in the Aral Sea area is the result of conducted actions, "round tables", seminars, as well as a number of meetings and negotiations with representatives of international and donor organizations, financial institutions.

The signing of the relevant documents with the Chinese side is another shining example of the Uzbekistan’s success in the period of its chairmanship in the IFAS in attracting the attention and efforts of the international community on the urgent need to respond to the challenges of environmental and social security-related tragedy of the Aral sea.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

 

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