INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 106

posted 18 Jun 2017, 16:03 by Webmaster Ambasciata


ECONOMY

 POLItiCs

Condolences of President of Uzbekistan

On May 30, 2017, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev sent a message to the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in connection with human victims of a destructive natural disaster in Moscow.

“Please accept my sincere condolences, and convey the words of sympathy and support to the families and friends of those died and injured,” said in the message of the head of our state.

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

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President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed his sincere condolences to the President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, in connection with the floods in the country, which resulted in numerous human casualties.

In the message, Uzbek leader conveyed the words of sympathy and support to the whole people of Sri Lanka, as well as to the families and friends of the deceased, the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

OFFICIALLY

GM Uzbekistan to sell cars for national currency

Starting from June 1, 2017, sale of the whole range of passenger cars of General Motors Uzbekistan will be carried out on the domestic market for the national currency - UZS. It is stipulated by the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan dated May 26 "On measures to improve pricing for products manufactured by "General Motors Uzbekistan".

The document entrusted "Uzavtosanoat" JSC with:

- delivery of cars and acceptance of payments under contracts concluded before June 1, 2017, strictly according to the terms and conditions stipulated in the contracts, with payment through international plastic cards;

- increase in export volumes due to further diversification of sales markets and range of exported products, strength positions in foreign markets;

- increase in production volumes through implementation of investment projects aimed at developing new competitive products;

reduction of the share of imports and the cost of production due to deepening of localization of production of component parts and assemblies, expansion of interindustry cooperation to develop and increase the production of basic raw materials and materials necessary for development of the automotive industry.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

economy

Tashkent hosted the region’s biggest conference in oil and gas sector

It resulted in signing five bilateral documents on the establishment of a joint enterprise, study of opportunities of expanding hydrocarbon extraction, upgrade of production capacities, and other prospects.

For instance, NHC Uzbekneftegaz, Enter Engineering PTE and Mechel Company signed an agreement on cooperation. It is seen as a follow up of drawing foreign investments, modernization and diversification of construction industry, reduction of power intensity of economy, introduction of progressive energy efficient and resource saving technologies in production. 

The UzLITIneftegaz Company, affiliated with NHC Uzbekneftegaz, also signed an agreement with Hyundai Engineering and Enter Engineering PTE on the establishment of an engineering center in the form of a joint venture.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, chairman of NHC Uzbekneftegaz Board of Directors Alisher Sultanov emphasized that establishment of the new structure pursued a goal of having a specialized agency that would undertake the responsibility of a subcontractor on the development of project documentation for certain investment projects.

In accordance with the Resolution of the President of Uzbekistan ‘On streamlining the procedure of organization of project works in oil and gas industry’, UzLITIneftegaz will focus on active promotion of processes on radical modernization and development of the entire technological chain in the republic, ranging from the organization of mining to enhanced processing of hydrocarbon feedstock.

The top domestic and foreign specialized design and engineering organizations, as well as the leading specialists and experts, will be involved in preparation of documents for investment projects.

Establishment of the innovative engineering center will trigger the introduction of the headmost methods and technologies of organization of design works, based on up-to-date licensed software products and foreign expertise, into design processes.

That would allow the industry entering the international level, procuring up-to-date technologies, standards, know-how, and contribute to the development and improvement of engineering and construction of technological and industrial facilities.

Negotiations with strategic partners are another important mission of the event. The Uzbek side met with Itron (Germany), ExxonMobil (US), Istana Karanglaut (Indonesia), KNOC (Korea), and many other companies. During negotiations, the parties dwell on the mechanisms of practical interaction on the further modernization and diversification of domestic manufactures, creation of capacities on the production of localized products, introduction of cutting edge and advanced technologies on processing and recovery of liquid hydrocarbons,

During the talks, the participants discussed the mechanisms of practical cooperation on further modernization and diversification of domestic production, organization of capacities for production of localized products, introduction of modern and advanced technologies for processing and utilization of liquid hydrocarbons, application of alternative methods for blue fuel processing, and wide introduction of automated natural gas accounting systems.

High effectiveness of the forum was emphasized at its closing ceremony. The map of participants has been significantly expanded this year: the exhibition brought together 178 companies from 28 countries. 400 delegates participated in the international conference ‘Oil and Gas of Uzbekistan’. Authoritative scientists, leaders of the world's leading companies mentioned the high relevance of the event, which is timed to 25th anniversary of the oil and gas industry of our country this year. There is a view that the forum has turned into a top-level business platform for demonstrating the latest achievements and products of international oil and gas companies, and into a top venue for suppliers and manufacturers, researchers and specialists.

Today, the oil and gas industry of Uzbekistan successfully implements projects on enhanced processing of hydrocarbon raw materials and development of new types of products with an eye to global trends. In this context, the exchange of experience and knowledge, establishment of new contacts, signing of cooperation documents within the framework of the traditional International Exhibition and Conference ‘Oil and Gas of Uzbekistan’ contribute to further cooperation of science and production, investment inflows, industrial and export capacity growth of the sector.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

BUSINESS CLIMATE

Startups are becoming a common practice to support youth initiatives in Uzbekistan

Today, such projects are carried out by various ministries and agencies.

The concept of "startup" is increasingly consolidated in the national business environment and widely used in the activities of state bodies. The introduction of innovative projects allows us to solve economic problems, create new jobs and boost the living standard of the population with low expenditure of material resources. Activating innovative capacity is a task that is successfully being solved in many countries by creating the necessary infrastructure and involving young people. It should be noted that Switzerland, Sweden, Great Britain, the USA, Finland, Singapore are leading in the ranking of the Global Innovation Index of 2016. This is evidenced by the "Global Competitiveness Report" of the World Economic Forum (WEF) which characterizes key indices of the competitiveness of economies of more than 138 countries based on innovative development.

Today, the startups are actively being introduced in our country and increasingly enjoying popularity among young people. This is testified by the "Support program for youth startup initiatives" launched in early March 2017 and covering all universities in Uzbekistan.

The main goal of the Agency's three-month program on science and technology and the UNDP project "Business forum of Uzbekistan (Phase 3)" is the passage under the guidance of experienced mentors from the business idea to its realization. Thus, students are becoming more aware of the practical possibilities of organizing their own business at the lowest cost, acquiring entrepreneurial skills with an emphasis on the innovation.

Worth noting is that in the program in 2016, only 13 out of 90 teams managed to reach the finals. However, most of them, under certain circumstances, failed to attract the necessary funding for the implementation of their projects. Only six finalists have found investors and are negotiating for the cooperation.

In 2017, more than 1,000 students applied for the program. The largest number came from the students and teachers of the Tashkent Institute of Information Technology (11%), the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (10.9%), Tashkent Agrarian University (10%).

The scope of the project areas was turned out to be very wide, but the most popular areas were e-commerce, education, communication and navigation technologies, transport and road infrastructure, as well as medicine and biotechnology.

Based on the results of the program, in order to receive preferential loans and support from sponsor organizations the successful start-up projects will have the opportunity to present them at the closing event, as well as at the next Republican fair of innovative ideas, projects and technologies.

In the second cycle of the program, emphasis will be placed on supporting the practical implementation of selected start-ups. Experts will assist in testing the value of proposals, hypotheses, design, software and search for sales channels, and answer the legal questions.

Another similar initiative of the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, commercial banks – the weeks of competitive selection of business projects for the graduates of professional colleges and higher educational institutions, in other words - "Startup-weeks" of innovative ideas will be conducted in early summer in all regions of the country.

It is expected that the representatives of the republican and regional government bodies, commercial banks, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and businesses will be involved in the event. They are called upon to provide financial, information and consulting assistance to the graduates of the professional colleges and universities of the country to start their business. It is noteworthy that the universities of regional centers will be the venue for such events.

Based on the results, the authors of promising projects will be selected. Representatives of commercial banks and potential investors will carry out working meetings with them to start financing. In addition, the initiators of the best projects are awarded valuable prizes and certificates from the organizers of the event. It is planned to conduct targeted monitoring of the implementation and financing of approved projects.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International cooperation

Uzbekistan, Afghanistan discuss implementation of roadmaps on development of cooperation

On 30 May 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan hosted a meeting with the Special Representative of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for development of cooperation with the CIS countries Muhammad Shakir Korgar.

According to the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed joint work within the implementation of plan (roadmap) for further development of full-scale cooperation between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan in 2017.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

The Strategy of Actions on Further Development of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is building Technology-Driven Society

Optimal introduction of cutting edge IT technologies into the economy and industrial sector ranks among the major priorities of development in modern Uzbekistan. The objective was put forward by the state leader in the Actions Strategy. One of the main benchmarks in this direction implies a multiple increase in the share of high-tech sector in the country’s GDP.

The key objectives of the Actions Strategy for the near future envisage the creation of a favorable ICT infrastructure, particularly development of mobile communications and digital television, construction of fiber-optic communication lines, support and overall assistance in software development, as well as improvement of the E-Government system.

In this context, a range of practical measures focuses on the introduction and development of advanced technologies in the operation of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies, in the process of passport, visa and exit sticker issuance, as well as in the operation of law enforcement agencies.

The increase in the number of mobile subscribers, which has reached 21.4 million this year, is a very important brick in the infrastructural construction. More than 18,300 mobile stations have been established throughout the country by April 2017 for the broadest coverage of the regions with mobile communications. During the year, the index is expected to exceed 20,000.

Close attention is currently paid to the development of opportunities for providing high-quality, high-speed communication and data transmission using the 4G/Lte technology standard. For example, in the current year, domestic operators plan to launch more than 450 basic 4G mobile stations in regional and district centers of the country.

Great importance and attention has been paid to streamlining the development of the E-Government system and conformity of the quality of public services and infrastructure with international standards and ratings. In particular, experts take into account the indicators of the use and coverage of every hundred people with internet services, mobile communications, the number of its subscribers and users of broadband and wireless internet. Despite the fact that more than 20,000 km of fiber-optic lines have been laid in the regions of the country, the average number of broadband Internet users is unfortunately 1.33 for every 100 respondents. This negatively affects the position of Uzbekistan in the respective world rankings.

Certain efforts have been already taken to remedy the situation and provide access to high-speed broadband Internet for broader population strata. The works on ensuring uninterrupted access to Internet are underway within the framework of the Actions Strategy. It is scheduled to ensure coverage of more than 277,000 km with fiber-optic communication lines by 2021. The Ministry of Development of Information Technologies and Communications actively supports initiatives on the establishment of manufactures specializing in the production of local products, and fiber-optic cables in particular. The enterprise will ensure the domestic production of 50,000 km of high-quality fiber optic cable.

Conditions have been created and proposals made for the development of digital television and expansion of the number of online editions. Works have been underway to expand the capacities of analog television under the Actions Strategy. To date, the opportunity to watch digital television has been provided for 95% of the population.

Internet connection speed is a matter of high relevance for modern users. In 2016, the overall speed of using international information networks was 26.3 Gbit/s, and in 2017 it has reached 65.7 Gbit/s, or more than doubled. Meanwhile, this is not sufficient, given the rapidly growing needs of Internet users in Uzbekistan. Specialists are currently implementing projects to achieve the speed of access to external channels up to 200 Gbit/s.

This is also entailed by the fact that the number of Internet users in our country has doubled over the past year, and at the moment the number of Internet users in Uzbekistan has reached 14.7 million.

The initiatives like ‘New Internet Initiative’, ‘BestSoft Challenge’, ‘OpenData Challenge’ are carried out for even more rapid development of national content, and expansion of youth content in the state language. The Actions Strategy has paved the way for a new version of the Single Portal for Interactive State Services, which is currently launched in a test mode.

The main innovation implies the opportunity of opening a personal account for legal entities and individuals, and a unified database of electronic government, which takes into account every datum about the user and the services he is using. The portal analyzes data by user type and generates content for him. For example, if the system registers a person above the age of 40, it will recommend that he/she promptly renew (change) the citizen’s passport.

These measures have made it possible to clearly separate the work with citizens' appeals and complaints and the automation of public services, so now users can use them without wasting time and resources.

    (As part of the social order of the Oliy Majlis Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions)

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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