INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 195 October 31, 2016

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DECEMBER 4 - THE ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Presidential Nominees Registered
Women’s Participation in Elections Discussed at a National Seminar

POLITICS
Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon

INVESTMENTS
When Outcomes Surpass Expectations

FREE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIC ZONE "NAVOI"
Free Industrial Economic Zone "Navoi" - the best free economic zone of the year in Central Asia

BUSINESS CLIMATE
Uzbekistan Ranks 87th in Doing Business 2017 Report

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Meeting with US Under Secretary of State

OLYMPICS-2020
The athletic community of Uzbekistan is working to develop programs to train athletes for the Tokyo Olympics to be held in 2020 while relying on experience garnered during the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, where our athletes demonstrated stunning results


DECEMBER 4 - THE ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN

Presidential Nominees Registered

The Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan convened for a meeting on October 28 to discuss registration of candidates for the post of the country’s President.

The Central Election Commission, having examined the documents of political parties, adopted a decision on the registration of candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Thus, the CEC registered the following presidential nominees: Sarvar Sadullaevich Otamuratov from Milly Tiklanish Democratic Party of Uzbekistan; Shavkat Miromonovich Mirziyoyev from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan; Hatamjon Abdurakhmonovich Ketmonov from the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan; Nariman Madjitovich Umarov from Adolat Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan.

In accordance with Article 28 of the Law on Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the electoral campaigning of candidates begins from the date of their registration by the Central Election Commission. In this regard, the meeting participants addressed this issue and approved a corresponding resolution.

At a meeting on the same day, the Central Election Commission discussed issues related to registering the authorized persons of candidates for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as other matters pertinent to the powers of the Commission, and took appropriate decisions.

* * *

The Republican Press Center for covering the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan played host to an online briefing for representatives of national and foreign media.

Chairman of the Central Election Commission Mirzo-Ulugbek Abdusalomov informed the journalists on the outcomes of the CEC meeting as well as on the preparations for the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

It was noted that the electoral season has been in full compliance with the electoral laws of the country and approved by the CEC program of major events on the preparation and holding of presidential elections.

In accordance with the law, the runners are provided with equal rights to use the media in the manner prescribed by the Central Election Commission.

In particular, taking into account the proposals of political parties, each candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in order for them to inform the voters of the basic provisions of their electoral programs, they are provided with free 638 minutes of airtime for each on Uzbekistan and Yoshlar television and radio channels of the National TV and Radio Company, 206 minutes each on the 12 local TV and radio channels of the National TV and Radio Company of Uzbekistan, and 286 minutes on Toshkent TV and radio channel.

Candidates are provided with print space free of charge, in particular in the newspapers Khalq Suzi, Narodnoe Slovo and Pravda Vostoka with 6 pages each, 5 pages each in the papers Ovozi Tojik and Nurly Zhol, as well as 55.5 print space stripes in 30 local newspapers in general. In regions of the country, each candidate will be provide with a total of 642 stands by means of outdoor advertising, special constructions, screens, billboards, as well as the opportunity to use electronic monitors 36 throughout the nation for free placement of campaigning videos.

Candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan independently determine the types, forms, methods and content of their election campaigning materials in the media.

The principle of creating equal conditions during the election campaign does not apply to the party press, which has the right to publish relevant material in any amount.

It was noted that the Central Election Commission has defined specific measures for the election campaign to pass in full compliance with the laws of our country.

During the occasion, the participants were also briefed on the work undertaken in preparation for the elections. Thus, 9,378 polling stations, including 44 under diplomatic and consular missions of the republic in foreign countries, have been established for the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Polling stations are provided with all necessary communications, computer and office equipment, law literature. The designated areas are set for secret voting booths and ballot boxes.

District election commissions have formed the compositions of precinct election commissions to carry out activities, which attracted more than 98 thousand people. Of these, 69% had previously been directly involved in the work of election commissions, and in this respect, have certain experience. Women make up 47.4% of the members of precinct election commissions and 26.7% of the total number of their chairpersons.

The briefing participants noted that special attention is paid to ensure openness and transparency of the election campaign, the creation of conditions for wider media access to information relating to the preparation and conduct of the elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The Central Election Commission has accredited more than 500 representatives of national and foreign media, and about 560 local journalists have been accredited by district election commissions.

(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Women’s Participation in Elections Discussed at a National Seminar

On October 24, the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan jointly with the Central Election Commission organized a nationwide workshop entitled “Participation of women in elections” at the Republican Press Center for covering the presidential elections.

Held in a videoconference format, the seminar was attended by representatives of the Women’s Committee, its regional offices and primary organizations, of the Central Election Commission, the Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society, Olima (Scholar Woman) Association of Women Scientists, Oila (Family) Scientific-Practical Center, senior specialists of Mahalla Charity Fund, officials of ministries, other government agencies and higher education institutions, along with consultants of citizens’ assemblies on religious, spiritual and ethical enlightenment, as well as journalists.

At the event, chairperson of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan Elmira Basitkhanova and other speakers stressed that the process of building a democratic state and free civil society, modernization of the country, spearheaded under the leadership of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, an electoral system has been established that meets universally recognized democratic standards, provides for basic political rights enshrined in the Constitution of the nation, in particular the right of citizens to elect and be elected, and freedom of expression.

It was emphasized that the current Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, along with more than 80 laws and other regulations secure equal rights and freedoms for all citizens, irrespective of their gender, race, ethnic background, religion, beliefs, identity and social status. In particular, Article 46 of the Basic Law stipulates equality between women and men.

Extensive works are carried out to secure the execution of activities envisaged in the approved by the Central Election Commission on 7 October 2016 Program for the Elevation of Voters’ Legal Culture in the run-up to the presidential elections. The efforts are directed also at the broad explanation of the essence and meaning of the Law on Elections of the President of Uzbekistan, of the amendments and addenda introduced into it in recent years, as well as the rights and freedoms of voters fixed in laws.

It was underscored in particular that the right of citizens to participate in governance is an important principle of a democratic state and robust civil society. The electoral process itself serves to uplift the social activity, legal consciousness and political culture of citizens.

Implementation of comprehensive reforms in the democratization and renovation of society is organically tied to the realization of citizens’ right to vote. This is the reason the awareness of the electorate, particularly women, of every stage of the electoral campaign, enhancement of their legal culture and social activity is essential. This, in turn, ensures complete compliance with the laws on elections and delivers an environment conducive for the free expression of will on the ballot day.

To date, in accordance with the action plan on the organization of outreach events on the theme “Participation of women in elections”, elaborated in the framework of the Program to Elevate the Legal Culture of Voters, outreach works are consistently in progress to improve the electoral and legal culture of women. In addition, national and regional TV and radio channels have been preparing and airing a series of programs and shows on the electoral legislation aimed at improving the socio-political activity of women in the forthcoming elections, while articles on the same topic are published regularly in the national and regional print media.

The seminar participants discussed the role of the Women’s Committee and its primary organizations as well as the commissions for women’s affairs under citizens’ assemblies in the organization of events in the run-up to the upcoming elections, of outreach activities designed to explain the essence and meaning of the Law on Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the basic tasks of district and precinct electoral commissions, the participation of women in their work. They deliberated on the role of civil society institutions in organizing and conducting the elections.

The occasion also served to consider issues related to the arrangement of roundtable discussions and meetings on the theme “Participation of women in elections” in higher education institutions, teams of organizations, enterprises and offices in regions and districts, among the primary organizations of women’s committees in vocational colleges, academic lyceums and general schools.

It was stressed that the consistent implementation of enlightenment activities aimed at boosting the socio-political activeness of women in the preparations for and conduct of the forthcoming elections is essential in their realization of the importance of their votes for the development of state and society.

The workshop participants received answers to all their questions.

(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

POLItiCs

Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received U.S. Under Secretary of State Thomas Shannon

Shavkat Mirziyoyev, warmly welcoming the guest, conveyed an earnest gratitude to US President Barak Obama and State Secretary John Kerry for their deep condolences and support to the people of Uzbekistan on the occasion of the death of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Paying a tribute to his memory during a visit to Samarkand on 28 October is a demonstration of a high respect to our First President and the whole Uzbek nation.

During conversation, the parties noted the dynamic and successful development and strengthening of Uzbek-American relations, based on the principles of mutual respect and trust, fully taking into account the interests of each other.

Regular productive exchanges on different levels allow to effectively push forward the multifaceted cooperation and reach significant results in political, trade-economic, investment, humanitarian and other spheres.

Within the framework of the annual political consultations, the parties exchange views on a wide array of issues on the bilateral agenda, regional and internationals matters, including strengthening security and stability in Central Asia. A particular attention is paid to the processes of peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and assistance to the social-economic recovery of this country.

The sides highly appreciated the level of mutually advantageous cooperation in trade, investments and high technologies. Today, leading American companies, such as General Motors, Boeing, General Electric, Honeywell, Hyatt, Hilton and others operate in Uzbekistan. The purposeful activity of the American-Uzbekistan chamber of commerce contributes to developing and enhancing a full-scale economic interaction.

As underlined during the conversation, Uzbekistan and the United States have all possibilities and a necessary potential for sustained strengthening and expansion of partnership and cooperation in all prospective areas, corresponding to the long-term interests of the two countries.

The head of US delegation highly appraised the visible results of the wide-scale social-economic and political reforms, deep transformations in Uzbekistan, aimed at consolidating civil society and democratic values.

He particularly noted that during his stay in Uzbekistan he was personally convinced in a rich historical-cultural and spiritual heritage of the Uzbek people.

The guest was impressed by open and sincere meetings and talks with the representatives of the young generation, leaders of different religious confessions and representatives of civil society, by their confidence in the future, dedication, perseverance and energy. The peace, the atmosphere of of inter-ethnic harmony and inter-faith tolerance in Uzbekistan were underscored.

The U.S. Under Secretary also visited the National Paralympic Association of Uzbekistan and cordially congratulated our athletes with high achievements at the XV Summer Paralympic Games in Rio.

Thomas Shannon expressed a sincere thanks to Shavkat Mirziyoyev for a warm reception and affirmed the interest of the US leadership in a steady and stable development of multifaceted relations with Uzbekistan.

Other bilateral and multilateral issues were also considered during the meeting.

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

investments

When Outcomes Surpass Expectations

In the first 9 months of 2016, Uzbekistan drew $2.65 billion in foreign investments, 11.2% up from last year.

More than $1.8 billion of this amount is accounted for direct foreign investment. As a result, the share of foreign investments in the total utilized investments increased from 21.1% to 22.3%. As a result, a hundred of big industrial projects totaling $3.7 billion were completed as part of the Investment Program since the beginning of the year.

22,000 projects were implemented, including 4,274 industrial projects on the introduction of new production capacities in 3,195 enterprises, launch of new activities at 162 enterprises, modernization of 264 and expansion of 653 enterprises.

According to the Ministry of Economy, the bulk of the increase of industrial output was provided by the manufacturing industry, the share of which has increased from 78.2% in the same period in 2015 to 79.7%.

The highest rates of industrial production growth were recorded in the industries that produce goods on the basis of enhanced processing of raw materials, primarily textiles, clothes and leather articles - 14.8%, food products - 13.7%, pharmaceutical products and drugs - 23.7%, chemical products, rubber and plastic products - 34.1%, construction materials - 12.9%.

The banks allocated 4.4 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 31.10.2016, 1$= 3083.96 soums) of credits to the manufacturers of consumer goods to enable them to produce and expand the range of finished consumer goods, purchase equipment and increment the working capital. As a result, enterprises developed the production of 57 new kinds of products, 141 new designs of ready sewed and knitted products, and more than 80 types of new drugs.

Localization projects played a huge role in this dynamics: they paved the way for the production of more than 50 new types of industrial products, including petrochemical equipment, fittings, vehicle speedometers, electric furnaces, electric storage water heaters, fitness equipment, children's bicycles, scooters, and much more.

The projects on modernization, technical and technological upgrade of industries, as well as the ‘Program of measures on reduction of energy intensity, introduction of energy saving technologies in economy and social sector for 2015-2019’ allowed reducing the cost of manufactured products at large enterprises by an average of 9.4 %.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

free industrial economic zone "Navoi"

Free Industrial Economic Zone "Navoi" - the best free economic zone of the year in Central Asia

The successes of Uzbekistan on improvement of the investment climate, perfection of law enforcement practice in this area, increasing the competitiveness of products, introduction of foreign advanced experience of free economic zones (FEZ) have obtained wide international recognition.

In particular, abroad, a range of measures which were implemented in recent years in the Free Industrial Economic Zone (FIEZ) "Navoi" on further stimulation of the attraction of foreign capital, supporting the activities of enterprises with foreign investments, protection of investors' rights, improvement of material-technical and organizational conditions, are highly assessed.

Thus, according to the results of the international competition for the best SEZ organized by the fDi Magazine, Free Industrial Economic Zone "Navoi" has become the winner in the following categories:

- First place in the nomination "The best free-economic zone, in Central Asia";

- Second place in the category "Best free-economic zone, in Asia";

- Second place in the category "Best free-economic zone, in Asia to attract small and medium-sized businesses".

In addition to the relevant quality certificates, Free Industrial Economic Zone "Navoi" will receive the exclusive right to use the logo of “fDi Global Free Zones of the Year 2016 Awards” in their publications or marketing materials.

fDi Magazine is published by the analytical center fDi Intelligence, and enters to the publishing group Financial Times. It is specialized in the analysis of trends and forecasts of the global market for foreign direct investment.

The magazine is published 6 times a year and has over 15,400 corporate subscribers, including large companies, commercial banks, investment funds, as well as specialized government agencies in different countries.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

BUSINESS CLIMATE

Uzbekistan Ranks 87th in Doing Business 2017 Report

According to ‘Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All’’, a World Bank Group flagship publication released October 25, 2016, Uzbekistan was rated 87th among 190 countries having retained its last year’s position. At the same time World Bank experts have raised the positions of Uzbekistan in five of the 10 report indicators. 

Our country is in the list of the top 100 countries in such areas as registration of a company (25th place), enforcing contracts (38th), getting credit (44th), protecting minority investors (70th), registration of property (75th), and getting electricity (83rd). 

Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All is the 14th in a series of annual reports measuring the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it. Doing Business presents quantitative indicators on business regulations and the protection of property rights that can be compared across 190 economies and over time.

The global ranking on the ease of conducting business activities is headed by New Zealand. The top five also includes Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong (China) and South Korea.

It is noteworthy that the reforms started on the improvement of business environment and raising the investment attractiveness and international ranking of our country keep gaining momentum.

Thus, the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan “On additional measures on ensuring the accelerated development of entrepreneurial activity, all-round protection of private property and quality improvement of business climate” adopted on October 5 this year , which fixed as a top priority and the primary task of government agencies “provision of greater freedom to small businesses and private entrepreneurship, radical reduction of interference into their activities with concentration of efforts on prevention at early stages, raising the efficiency of prevention and aversion of wrongdoings”  is an evidence of the State policy’s transition to a qualitatively new level in this domain.

The Program of comprehensive measures approved by the Decree provides for concrete moves aimed at further simplification and cost reduction in conducting business activities, improving the system of permit obtaining and licensing procedures and transparency of rendering government services, which will enable to further raise Uzbekistan’s rating in the World Bank’s Doing Business report.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International cooperation

Meeting with US Under Secretary of State

On October 28, 2016 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov met with the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who arrived in Uzbekistan on a visit.

During the meeting the sides discussed state and prospects of bilateral relations in political, trade-economic, investment, cultural-humanitarian and other spheres.

The parties also exchanged views on cooperation in the “C5+1” format, some issues of international and regional agenda.

The Ambassador of the USA Pamela Leora Spratlen attended the meeting.

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

Olympics-2020

The athletic community of Uzbekistan is working to develop programs to train athletes for the Tokyo Olympics to be held in 2020 while relying on experience garnered during the Rio Olympics and Paralympics, where our athletes demonstrated stunning results

The success of Paralympic swimmers merits special attention. Seven athletes won 12 medals: two gold, four silver and six bronze medals. What is the secret of this success? An Uzbekistan Today correspondent decided to find out the details with the head coach of the team, Lutfulla Sadulla.

Lutfulla, what is behind the success of the national team?

 “I believe, first of all it is the right strategy. We picked priority sports: power lifting, swimming, track and field, and judo. It is not accidental that stakes were on these sports: first off, a large number of awards were up for grabs; secondly, the conditions available in our country at the time were conducive to an effective training of athletes. As a result, virtually all of the athletes returned home with awards. That said, we did not rule out that athletes in other sports could perform successfully in the Paralympics too. Server Ibragimov, for example, bagged a bronze medal in shooting.”

Yet, we should recognize that your trainees’ performance was one of the most remarkable.

 “At the core of our success is “selection” of athletes. We literally trawled through the country in search of young talented swimmers. As a result, the national team welcomed promising members. But we continued to work with the available athletes. The athletes were provided with all the necessary conditions and conveniences to ensure good results at the competitions. And of course an effective training process was put in place. We actively cooperated with trainers of the Swimming Federation of our country. In other words, trainers that had worked with the Olympic teams worked with our athletes as well. That is why the majority of our athletes demonstrated impressive results in various types of sports.”

But how come the members of the Olympic team did not win a single medal?

 “The thing is, a lot more athletes participate in the Olympic Games than in the Paralympics, which of course means that there is tougher competition in the Olympics and it is a lot harder to emerge as a leader.

I should note that the Olympic swimmers secured significant progress: for the first time in the history of Uzbekistan’s swimming, athletes in three sports made it directly to the Olympics. So we have grounds to claim that we made major breakthrough in the development of water sports.”

So, almost all members of the Paralympic team won medals. Was it more calculation or chance?

 “It is both, because a lot happened unexpectedly. Fatima Amilova from Kashkadarya, for example, competed in five sports and won three medals: gold, silver and bronze. Of course, we had pinned hope on her, but we expected she would win gold in complex swimming, but she ended up winning silver. But in the 100-meter breast stroke we had expected bronze at most, but ended up winning a gold medal and setting a world record! I am just trying to say that you cannot calculate everything in sports.”

Rumor has it that the Paralympic swimmers are trained by their fathers…

 “In our team, only the silver medal winner and old timer Kirill Pankov and Fatima Amilova are trained by their fathers.”

Where did our swimmers train on the eve of the Games? Abroad?

 “Our athletes went abroad to participate in qualifying tournaments only. To train them we used the resources available in our country. I mean swimming pools in Tashkent, Andijan, Bekabad and Karshi, where members of the national Olympic team had trained.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan airways» magazine)

 

 

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