INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 205 November 14, 2016

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POLITICS
Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received Minister of foreign affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi on 12 October

INDUSTRY
Food industry: stages of development and progress

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of China

SOCIETY
To Secure a Better Future

THE TENTH INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIAL FAIR AND COOPERATION EXCHANGE
Outcomes of the Tenth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange have been summed up


POLItiCs

Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received Minister of foreign affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi on 12 October

Warmly greeting the guest, Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed sincere thanks to the leadership of the People’s Republic of China and personally to President Xi Jinping for deep condolences and support of the peoples of Uzbekistan in regards with the death of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Paying a tribute to his memory during a visit to Samarkand by the head of the Chinese foreign ministry demonstrated a high respect to our First President.

During the conversation, held in a traditionally open and good-willing atmosphere, the parties noted the steady development and strengthening of the Uzbek-Chinese relations of a comprehensive strategic partnership.

In this regard, the visits of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the PRC in 2015 and President of China Xi Jinping to Uzbekistan in 2016 have strengthened the relations of mutual understanding and trust, provided a powerful incentive to a mutually beneficial cooperation.

The parties attach exclusively important significance to the regular dialogue at the highest level. The agreement was reached to continue this practice in the future with a next meeting to take place in 2017.

Wang Yi once more highly appraised the Tashkent meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its results. A mutual interest to maintain close interaction of the two countries within the SCO frameworks as well as several other international organizations was underlined.

A productive interaction within the framework of the Uzbek-Chinese intergovernmental committee on cooperation and its seven sub-committees was highlighted.

Annual political consultations between the foreign ministries of the two countries, which has turned into effective and required mechanism for the exchange of views on a wide array of bilateral, regional and international issues, are an important part of bilateral agenda.

The state and prospects of trade-economic, investment, financial and technical cooperation were also on the focus of the negotiations.

The People’s Republic of China is one of the leading commercial and investment partners of Uzbekistan. The volume of trade turnover between our countries exceed 4 billion US dollars. Over 6,5 billion US dollars of Chinese investments and loans have been attracted to priority projects in Uzbekistan.

Chinese companies and banks have participated in implementation of important projects on industrial development and infrastructure such as the construction of 19-km railway tunnel through Qamchiq pass, Dehkanabad potash fertilizers plant, Kungrad soda plant, manufacturing of modern excavators and bulldozers on Khorezm region, on developing telecommunications and information technologies, as well investment projects at the Jizzakh free economic zone.

Currently significant investment projects on constructing a plant on manufacturing car and agritechnical tyres, conveyor belts at the Angren free economic zone and polyvinylchloride, caustic soda and methanol production complex at the Navoiazot JSC are underway. Joint development of projects in power generation, oil and gas, irrigation and melioration, infrastructure modernization and other spheres have started.

The parties highly acknowledged the Uzbek-Chinese cultural-humanitarian ties, supporting wide-ranging deepening of a mutual understanding between the two nations.

The head of the Chinese foreign ministry Wang Yi expressed a sincere gratitude to Shavkat Mirziyoyev for a warm welcome and confirmed commitment of the PRC leadership to actively broaden and deepen cooperation with Uzbekistan in all prospective areas, meeting the long-term interests of the two countries, to carry out joint efforts for stability, security, sustainable socio-economic development of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the People’s Republic of China.

Acting President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev conveyed good wishes of strong health and successes to President of the PRC Xi Jinping as well as peace and further prosperity to the peoples of the China.

(Source: UzA)

INDUSTRY

Food industry: stages of development and progress

Thanks to the profound structural changes carried out in national economy, implementation of large-scale programs the basis for development of new industries is created. Thus, the food industry was really formed in days of independence, having turned into a high-tech industry. And as result scopes of supply to the population of quality consumer goods increase year by year, food security of the republic is being ensured.

Today experience of Uzbekistan in the sphere of implementation of the food programme was highly appreciated by foreign experts and attracts great interest in the international community that is a pride subject for all of us. Not incidentally this experience is recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to developing countries as an example. Undoubtedly, it was hard to achieve so considerable success. It is enough to recall economic and social situation in the country at the time of independence gaining. In 1989-1990 interruptions in providing the population with prime necessities were observed, and its needs for meat, dairy and confectionery products were satisfied only for 30-35 percent. Such situation required the fastest creation and development of absolutely new industry in economy of Uzbekistan - the food industry. That's why the modern entities specializing in manufacturing the corresponding types of products began to be created, large projects began to be implemented. It soon yielded the results: in an industry positive changes began to happen. In 1997-1999 the volume of food production has increased almost twice.

Qualitative growth in an industry falls on the period after 2000. The accelerated development of farmer movement, entrepreneurial qualities inherent in our hardworking people formed a strong foundation for success. Therefore even world financial and economic crisis couldn't affect this industry. It should be noted that in the years of food industry forming there were different difficulties and problems. One of them consisted in shortage of raw materials. Say, production of 770-820 thousand tons of meat and 3,4 million tons of milk led to the fact that the volumeу of the food products processed by an industrial method was insufficient. In such conditions the state policy on reforming and diversification of agrarian sector promoting a growth in output of agricultural products provided expansion of a source of raw materials for the food industry.

Today an important factor of the industry development is the favorable business environment and the investment climate created in the country. And the main part of the investments involved in economy first of all is invested in construction of production facilities, equipping them with the most modern equipment, implementation of new technologies. Thus, the number of subjects in branch has reached 9 thousand while in 1991 there was only one thousand.

One more important aspect. The industry enterprises are currently upgraded with the latest production lines by Austria, Germany, Poland, South Korea, China and other countries. This ensures the production of high-quality products that are competitive in the international market. As a result, ‘Made in Uzbekistan’ branded food products are sold in more than 80 countries. In the last decade alone, exports of fruit juice have doubled, other food products increased by an average of 1.5 times, foreign exchange earnings have increased six-fold.

The positive changes produce a positive effect on the increase in the standard of living and well-being of our compatriots. For example, the consumption of meat and meat products was 31 kg, milk and dairy products - 183 kg, fruits, vegetables and melons - 107 kg per capita in 1990, while in the past quarter century these indicators have increased by 1.5 -2.5 times. Most importantly, the nutrition changes for quality products.

The establishment of the “Uzbekoziqovqatholding” company by the President Decree of February 18, 2016 was a radical turn in the development of the industry. The company is entrusted with the widespread application of internationally accepted methods and principles of corporate governance, modernization of enterprises, channeling of investments into technical and technological extension, increase of processing of fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products, increase in production of high-quality products competitive in the international market.  

Since the beginning of 2016, the head of state has adopted five resolutions and several other official documents, in line with which there have been created a system that incorporates all processes ranging from cultivation of fields and garden gifts to their quality storage and exportation. Starting with this year, the work has begun with the introduction of the state order for the purchase of fruits and vegetables, potatoes, melons and grapes.

The’Uzbekozikovkatholding” company currently incorporates 188 industrial enterprises. In the first half of the current year, they produced industrial products for 2.1 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 14.11.2016, 1$= 3120.51  soums) in comparable prices.  Year-over-year increase made 9.1 percent. Along with this production of new kinds of products for 3,1 billion soums is mastered. $28.3 million was invested in modernization, technical and technological extension of production facilities.  Special mention can be made for recently commissioned companies like “Angren Shakar”, “Mehnat Malt”, “Family Group”, “International Beverages Tashkent”, “Gold Dried Fruits”, “Sunny Fruit Production”, “Master Global Plus”.

A number of investment projects was implemented in the industry on the eve of the 25 anniversary of independence of the country. Partnered by ministries, agencies and local authorities, 1,085 projects, which envisage application of $201.5 million in 2016 are being implemented.  In particular, as envisaged by the investment program, $53 million will be attracted for 43 projects, and $148.5 million invested in 1,042 target territorial investment projects. Nearly 800 new food production facilities have been commissioned over the past period of the current year under the territorial investment programs alone.

The scale of construction of production facilities and modernization of existing enterprises has been expanding. Thus, the industry development program envisages the completion of 180 large projects totaling $596 million by 2020. The special attention is given to the projects on storage and processing of fruits and vegetables. Most of them will be implemented in the countryside.

Improvement of quality and increase in the volume of manufactured products, as well bringing them up to the level of world standards ranks among the main thrusts of development of the industry for the next five years. To this end, it is planned to establish the companies, specializing in the production of packaging materials of various types

It is worth noting that the provision of food security and uninterrupted supply of affordable and high-quality food products for everyday consumption is the result of the implementation of the well considered policy of the republic leadership, which is aimed at improvement of the living standards and welfare of citizens.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

International cooperation

Meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs of China

On November 12, 2016 the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi, who arrived in Uzbekistan on an official visit.

 During the talks the sides discussed the current state and prospects of Uzbek-Chinese relations in bilateral and multilateral formats, topical international and regional problems.

The parties confirmed their mutual desire to develop cooperation on all issues of common agenda, including cooperation in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other organizations.

Following the talks, Ministers of Uzbekistan and the PRC made speeches to the media.

The Ambassador of China Sun Lijie attended the meeting.

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

Society

To Secure a Better Future

The major outcomes and development prospects in the social sector in Uzbekistan are traditionally summed up on the eve of December 8 – the Constitution Day. Meanwhile, the country’s government has approved several normative acts that are suggestive of upcoming enormous positive transformation in the current year across many key sectors of the national economy. New projects and programs have already been launched, and citizens say they feel the dramatic changes.

Extensive construction

Over 12,000 individual and comfortable standard design houses have been commissioned in new rural settlements in the first nine months of the current year under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’ and other government schemes to uplift the living standards of population. According to the Ministry of Economy and the State Statistics Committee, 10.1 million square meters of housing, including 7.6 million square meters in rural areas, have been commissioned throughout the republic since the beginning of the year.

453 kilometers of water supply networks, 256 km of gas pipelines, 323 km of electric networks, and 283 sets of transformer substations were installed in the newly built rural residential areas.

Meanwhile, the government approved a program to boost the building of affordable upgraded-design housing in rural areas for 2017-2021. The document has stipulated the prospects for improving the architectural appearance of rural communities, for bolstering the living standards of rural population through the construction of individual standard design housing, for accelerating the introduction of engineering and transport communications and social infrastructure in rural areas.

However, a study has revealed a need for fundamentally new approaches that would provide for higher effectiveness of the construction, taking into account the real needs and purchasing power of the population, as well as the national mentality and living conditions in the countryside.

The government resolution comes up with a new approach to the individual housing construction in rural areas, taking into account the lessons learned. It envisages the implementation of an ambitious program on building affordable residential houses in villages within a five-year period. The updated standard designs behind the program fully take into consideration the abovementioned requirements and needs of dwellers, as it was worked out with their views and wishes. In particular, the program envisions the construction of additional three types of individual housing in rural areas, optimal in price parameters and amenities.

The first type envisages the construction of two and three-storey apartment buildings with three or four entrances, with outbuildings and landscaped courtyards. The second type implies single-storey, two- and three-bedroom affordable houses in densely populated areas on two-are plots of land. The third type envisages the construction of two-storey four-room houses, integrated into a single unit of a total area of 115 square meters on a four-are plot of land.

Along with that, it is planned to build 415.3 km of water networks, 291.5 km of electricity, 316.9 km of gas networks, 260.3 km of roads, including access and internal roads, as well as 134 objects of social and market infrastructure in new residential areas solely at the expense of budget funds.

Citizens of Uzbekistan will have an opportunity to choose comfort to their liking, which is also getting more affordable. The program of construction of individual standard design housing in rural areas of 2009 envisaged the initial payment of 25%, while the new program envisages only 15% of initial payment for the first and second types of property. This measure will involve more rural people in the affordable housing program. The mortgage loan is granted for 15 years, with a three year grace period and an interest rate of 7% per annum for the first 5 years. In subsequent years, the interest rate of the loan will not exceed the refinancing rate of the Central Bank, which currently stands at 9% per annum.

The development of a draft program of construction of 945 apartment buildings in urban areas in 2017-2020 is currently underway. About 50,000 of 5-, 7- and 9-storey buildings with affordable apartments will be built for low-income families in the city of Tashkent, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional centers and large cities. Given that the average family consists of four or five people, 75,000 villagers will receive new apartments and houses in 2017, and about 250,000 citizens - in the next four years.

The fact that apartments will be available at a mortgage loan with the half reduced initial fee is the obvious advantage of the housing construction program. The construction of high-rise buildings will be carried out with an eye to peculiarities of each area. For instance, it is envisaged to build seven-storey buildings in Termez, and five-storey buildings - in Gulistan.

A project on the construction of 500 houses in Sergeli district of Tashkent can be considered a kind of a follow-up to the program. Old wooden buildings and vacant lots will be replaced by new buildings.

New Institute to be Established

The family, motherhood and childhood protection system has been streamlined, and the authorities have been shoring up cooperation with civil society organizations in building strong and healthy families in the first nine months of the current year under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’. The program is funded with more than 6.8 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 14.11.2016, 1$= 3120.51  soums)and 150 million US dollars from all sources.

Since the beginning of the year, the abovementioned activities included active measures on medical examination of young couples who enter into marriage, vaccination of children against 12 preventable diseases, screening examinations of pregnant women and their provision with free multivitamins.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a Resolution ‘On further optimization of the structure of medical organizations and streamlining the remuneration system of healthcare workers of the Republic of Uzbekistan’, which aims to modernize the system of mother and child protection institutions.

In particular, it is planned to establish a research institute to streamline the healthcare system, make medical services more effective and quality, regularly monitor and analyze public health, and assess prospects of development of the healthcare sector. The Ministry of Health schedules to complete the relevant proposals and regulations in the second half of 2017. So far, it is known that the new research institute will be established at the Institute of Health and Medical Statistics of the Ministry of Health. The analysis of operation of the institute and development of specific proposals on how to improve its performance will be conducted in the process of preparations.

Large-scale works on the optimization of the branch network of the Republican Specialized Research Medical Center of Obstetrics and Gynecology are currently underway. Its branches in Nukus, Jizzakh, Namangan and Karshi are reorganized into regional perinatal centers. Thus, each region will have its own perinatal center to provide medical aid to women with pregnancy pathologies. Unification of titles of the institutions and streamlining of their operation will help to further improve their coordination and development.

It is planned to establish new family polyclinics in order to further improve medical care for families and children. According to the Ministry of Health, the project envisages the establishment of two types of clinics. For instance, it is planned to establish children's dental clinics in all regions. New family polyclinics will be additionally built in the towns with population of over 30,000 citizens.

For Comprehensive Development

Strengthening of logistical capacity of social institutions has been continued under the national program ‘The Year of Healthy Mother and Child’. 919.5 billion soums of capital investments have been disbursed from the beginning of the year for the construction and reconstruction of educational and medical institutions and provision of equipment as part of the measures on further improvement of quality of educational process and health services.

236 secondary schools for a total of 86,300 student seats, two academic lyceums for 1,100 students, 21 vocational colleges for 2,300 students, four hostels for academic lyceums and vocational colleges for 550 beds, 24 medical institutions, 15 music and art schools, 232 children's sports and other facilities have been commissioned since the beginning of the year.

201.3 billion soums of the extra-budget Fund for Development of Logistical Capacity of Higher Educational Institutions have been disbursed for the construction and reconstruction of higher education institutions. Children's Sports Development Fund has invested a total of 285.5 billion soums in the construction and reconstruction of sports facilities. The two funds have built a platform for further improvement of performance of the key institutions in the education system. Looking ahead, it would be appropriate to mention the ongoing work on the development of two programs, which are deemed to set the priorities for the sector for the next five years.

The Ministry of Public Education is currently working on a program on the development of preschool education. It promises to be much more effective than the current range of measures that are financed from the budgets of local administrations. The new program will be funded from the government budget, suggesting a successful implementation.

As commented by the Ministry of Public Education, the program envisages not just overhaul and reconstruction of existing nursery schools, but also the construction of new schools, and provision of modern appliances and toys. The program attaches importance to the increase of children attending nursery schools, as well as to support for the parents whose children do not attend nursery schools.

Another program is developed by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education. It is going to be a follow up of the ongoing program on the development of higher education system. Covering more than 20 educational institutions, the program for 2011-2016 has paved the way for scaled strengthening of logistical capacity of universities, active introduction of ICT technologies, revision of staff training in conformity with labor market needs, modernization of retraining and advanced training system for university teachers.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

the Tenth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange

Outcomes of the Tenth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange have been summed up

The measures directed at the modernization of capacities and establishment of production of new goods have been underway in the domestic industry, making a positive effect on the competitiveness of the national economy in an open market. Cooperation among enterprises of the real economy and small businesses remains as the key mechanism to achieve these objectives, as it was noted by participants of the International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange (IIFCE) that wrapped up recently in the capital Tashkent.

Today, the real sector of the Uzbek economy faces a crucial challenge of shifting to a new model of industrial production, which is based on innovative development. This is namely the main mission of the International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange, which has been held for the tenth time. It aims to bring together the foremost domestic and international companies, representatives of research institutions, design bureaus and small businesses on one platform to generate new ideas and discuss joint initiatives and projects.

The effectiveness and necessity of this platform can hardly be overestimated. There is a simple corroboration: successful businesspeople never waste time for things that scarcely produce benefits. Hence, the annual dynamics of the number of participating enterprises and companies speaks for itself.

Thirteen regional fairs this past March and June were attended by more than 5,000 industrial enterprises. They signed contracts for product supply and industrial cooperation for a total of over one trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 14.11.2016, 1$= 3120.51 soums). The participants took interest in the mining machinery and hardware, mini-tractors for gardening farms, power generators, medical equipment, high-quality oil and ceramic goods.

On the second stage, more than 3,000 domestic enterprises, companies and organizations that specialize in engineering, automotive, electrical, construction, metallurgy, chemical, oil and gas, food processing, light industries and pharmaceuticals presented more than 22,000 titles of finished products, components and materials. In excess of a thousand presented goods were produced on the basis of localization programs.

Procurement contracts worth 11.8 trillion soums and export agreements for $8.3 billion were signed at last year's forum owing to favorable opportunities for mutually advantageous contracts. In 2016, the number of procurement deals has grown by almost 1.16 times, suggestive of the increasing demand in the world for the goods manufactured in Uzbekistan.

It is noteworthy that this year the IIFCE organizers have attached significance to the information support of its exhibitors. They organized expert consultations at standardization and certification-related ministries and agencies, banks, insurance and leasing companies and organizations. This is a very important step because many companies that embark on innovative projects today face a lack of information on how to process a loan, register a product, and pass a certification procedure for exporting their goods.

In addition to its major mission, IIFCE performs another crucial assignment. It contributes to the creation of a market infrastructure for building and expansion of long-term economic relations, provides enterprises with access to the feedstock and loan resources. This is the reason behind the constant increase in the number of production localization projects ever since the launch of IIFCE in the country, and particularly in the regions. In the first nine months of 2016 alone, manufacture of over 50 new types of industrial goods has been developed under the localization program, including petrochemical equipment and spare parts for conveyor machines, valves, vehicle speedometers, electric, electric storage water heaters, fitness equipment, children's bicycles and scooters, and other finished goods.

The output of localized products in January-September exceeded 4 trillion soums with 1.5 time increase year on year (YOY). The estimated effect of import substitution reached US $1.3 billion.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper) 

 

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