INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN #39 February 23, 2017

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POLITICS
President of Uzbekistan signed the Resolution to boost Academy of Sciences

FREE INDUSTRIAL ECONOMIC ZONE
Special economic and industrial zones of Uzbekistan

INFRASTRUCTURE
Uzbekiston Temir Yullari carries 68 million tons of cargo in 2016

BUSINESS CLIMATE
A pilot micro loaning scheme for small businesses is being launched in Tashkent

TOURISM
Bukhara: Center for Training Tourism Personnel

SPORT
Will our 12-year-old Uzbek chess player Nodirbek Abdusattarov become the youngest grandmaster in chess history?


POLItiCs

President of Uzbekistan signed the Resolution to boost Academy of Sciences

Having built a stable science management and financing system, Uzbekistan has a wide scholarly network of schools, laboratories, institutes, research centres, ministries, and councils.

The government has recently fuelled research resources and opened a batch of complexes, among them the Genomics and Bioinformatics Centre, the International Solar Energy Institute, and the Cambridge-affiliated High Technology Centre.

The scientific fleet is swayed by the Academy of Sciences, a flagship centre connecting research pioneers and demanding close governmental attention.

As a proof of this close attention, Shavkat Mirziyoyev held his first meeting as President with the scientific community.

From January 1, scholars are paid tax-exempt salaries of 10 minimum wages and are eligible to free-of-charge treatment in sanatoriums.

Steps have been taken to encourage academic progress.

But modern-day resources fail to match Uzbekistan’s socio-economic development, as scientific competitiveness lags behind international rates.

As research financing stumbles and talent pool dries up, a major overhaul is in order to restore scientific prestige, implement state programmes, and provide scientists with necessary conditions.

The Action Strategy 2017-2021 has it as priority to boost scientific activity and open laboratories and research centres.

Following his dialogue with the people in regions, the President set objectives to restore the scientific potential and attract talented youth by mobilising scientific research and merging science and production.

The Presidential Resolution ‘On Measures for Further Development of the Academy of Sciences and Scientific and Research Activity Organisation, Governance and Financing’ aims to address the issues.

The Resolution reorders the Academy’s activities and provides for a number of scientific establishments to be opened or returned under the Academy’s aegis.

Apart from forming exact science, natural science and humanitarian departments, the Resolution provides for a new office to be opened in Navoi, to quarterback research and development in Navoi Region.

The heads of the Karakalpak and Navoi departments, as well as the chief of Khorezm’s Ma’mun Academy are now placed on the academy’s vice-presidential footing.

A Financial Stimulus Fund will be opened to encourage scientific breakthroughs. The fund will receive 10% of profits by the Academy’s research centres.

The State Science and Technology Commission headed by the Prime Minister will shape state policy on science and innovation.

A science and technology commission, replacing the Science and Technology Coordination Committee, will formulate state tasks in implementing scientific innovation.

These steps will stoke up scientific activity and prune ineffective research areas.

A Scientific and Technical Activity Support and Development Fund, established as a legal entity under the Resolution, will:

- create new university laboratories;

- fund patents filed by local scientists;

- supply laboratories with equipment;

- fund access to international scientific databases; and

- finance internships in international scientific centres.

The Resolution follows in the footsteps of Uzbekistan’s science policy and serves to fulfil the Action Strategy for 2017-2021. It will raise academia’s prestige, improve organisation, and attract talented youth, among others. 

(Source: NA «Uzbekistan Today»)

free industrial economic zone

Special economic and industrial zones of Uzbekistan

For the purposes of formation of favorable conditions for attracting foreign and local investments for creation of modern high-tech productions, providing for the production of competitive products with high added value, as well as for complex and effective use of production and resource potential of the country’s regions, 7 Free Economic Zones (FEZ) have been established by the Decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, such as “Navoi” (Navoi region), “Angren” (Tashkent region), “Jizzakh” (Jizzakh region), “Urgut” (Samarkand region), “Gijduvan” (Bukhara region), “Qoqand” (Ferghana region) and “Hazarasp” (Khorezm region).

The period of functioning of Free Economic Zones makes up 30 years with the possibility of subsequent extension.

The participants of the FEZ will be exempt from paying a number of taxes, customs duties and mandatory payments for imported equipment and raw materials for production needs.

Special tax regime. Enterprises in Free economic zones are exempted from land tax, property tax, profit tax, tax on improvement and development of social infrastructure, single tax payment (for small businesses), as well as obligatory deductions to non-budget funds.

The above-mentioned privileges are granted for the period of 3 - 10 years depending on the amount of investments made, including those equivalent to:

- from 300 thousand US Dollars to 3 million US Dollars – for 3 years;

- from 3 million US Dollars to 5 million US Dollars – for 5 years;

- from 5 million US Dollars to 10 million US Dollars – for 7 years;

- over 10 million US Dollars – for 10 years, while profit and uniform tax rates for the next five years are established at 50 percent below the current rates.

In respect of business entities registered in Free economic zones the acts of tax legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, worsening the situation of the taxpayer do not apply, with the exception of acts regulating the taxation of excisable goods.

Special customs regime. Enterprises registered in Free economic zones are exempted from customs payments for imported equipment as well as raw materials, materials and component products for production of products for export for the entire period of free industrial economic zone functioning.

Equipment, raw materials, materials and component products for production of products for export, imported to the territory by its participants, regardless of the country of origin are executed according to the customs regime of free customs zone. For goods imported for production needs, customs duties do not apply (except for fees for customs registration) and measures of economic policy.

Special currency regime. Business entities registered in FIEZ “Navoi” are allowed to carry out the settlements and payments in foreign currency according to the agreements and contracts concluded between them as well as to pay in freely convertible currency for supply of goods, works and services by other business entities-residents of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

(Source: “Uzbekistan profile” - Information bulletin of Embassy of Uzbekistan in Belgium)

INFRASTRUCTURE

Uzbekiston Temir Yullari carries 68 million tons of cargo in 2016

The National press center of Uzbekistan held a press-conference devoted to the results of social-economic activity of JSC Uzbekiston Temir Yullari in 2016 and the development plans for 2017. The event brought together the representatives of governing joint-stock companies, organizations and enterprises of the industry, heads of relevant departments and media representatives.

In the reporting period, Uzbekiston Temir Yullari has fulfilled all its main tasks in the railway sector. In particular, in 2016 the railway stations carried 68 million tons of cargo. The expected results were achieved also in passenger traffic, which made up 104.4%. Some 21.1 million people have arrived in their destinations.

The company paid particular attention to export of services, which in the reporting period were provided for a total amount of $369 million

Since the beginning of the year, industrial enterprises of the company produced goods at comparable prices for the sum of 422.5 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 23.02.2017, 1$= 3356.87 soums).

In order to ensure employment of the population of our country and job creation, Uzbekiston Temir Yullari for the last period created 2277 new jobs. To date, the number of railway workers across the whole company is approximately 70 thousand.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

BUSINESS CLIMATE

A pilot micro loaning scheme for small businesses is being launched in Tashkent

Graduates of secondary specialized, vocational and higher educational institutions, the Tashkent residents who returned from the army, the unemployed residents of the capital who are registered at job agencies, as well as the people engaged in family and private enterprise are a priority cohort for microcrediting under the project.

In 2017, it is planned to allocate a total of 277 billion soums of microloans through 126 branches of commercial banks in the city. President of Uzbekistan has approved the list of major activities to be subject to micro loaning. There are a total of fifteen activities. Meanwhile, other family businesses may be offered at the request of citizens' self-government bodies (currency rates of CB RU from 23.02.2017, 1$= 3356.87 soums).

The amount of micro-credit can be up to 200 times the minimum wage for the maximum of three years with a six-month grace period. There are benefits for interest payments, related to the performance of job creation. For example, the creation of one workplace provides the annual interest rate of 9%, two jobs - 8%, from three to four jobs - 7%, five or more jobs - 6%.

Last year, the total amount of bank loans to the real sector increased by 1.3 times, and has exceeded 53.4 trillion soums in the beginning of 2017. As of January 1, the volume of loans to small businesses has increased by 1.3 times and reached 15.9 trillion soums against 2015, including more than 3.3 trillion soums of microloans with an increase of 1.3 times.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Tourism

Bukhara: Center for Training Tourism Personnel

Bukhara is one of the major and renowned tourist centers in Uzbekistan with a developed hospitality industry. However, the existing training system of specialists with higher education for travel organizations in the city hardly meets modern requirements. The faculty of tourism set up at Bukhara State University is expected to tackle the situation.

The new structural department of one of the oldest institutions of higher education of the country was opened as part of the Decree of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On measures to ensure the accelerated development of the tourism industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan", signed December 2, 2016.

“We focus on training undergraduate and graduate students in the field of tourist services and hospitality industry,” said Abror Juraev, dean of the faculty. “We have enough material and technical capacity for this. Experts will be prepared in accordance with the demand of travel companies and hotel complexes in the region.”

Creation of the faculty will allow to significantly raise the training proficiency of specialists for the tourism industry in the region. In particular, in the coming days, five of our students go to the relevant universities of Italy, Spain, Romania to continue their studies and a group of teachers – to further training.

The faculty will be a successor in the field of scientific researches in tourism which were conducted at the university. For the practical application of scientific developments the department plans to work closely with the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the Development of Tourism and its regional offices. One of the innovations offered by the faculty’s scientists is an initiative to establish a free Bukhara tourism economic zone.

At the faculty there is also provided an advanced training and retraining of workers operating in the tourism sector entities.

Faculty specialists set a goal to develop not only traditional cultural and historical tourism, but also other kinds of it. In particular, the region has great potential for the advancement of environmental, sports and medical-therapeutic tourism.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

sport

Will our 12-year-old Uzbek chess player Nodirbek Abdusattarov become the youngest grandmaster in chess history?

The answer to this question will come in the next three months, during which he must take part in five major international tournaments.

In particular, his coach – the International Grandmaster, FIDE coach Dmitry Kayumov, who has brought up not one grandmaster, is convinced that his disciple Nodirbek has all the chances to break the world record of Sergey Karyakin. As argument the trainer refers to his pupil’s achievements and personal qualities: "Nodirbek became the champion at the World Cup among chess players under 8, and later at a similar competition among players under 10 he came second. The youngster became a two-time world champion among students and an international master, and has already managed to earn a grandmaster score. In 40 years of coaching, I nurtured a lot of international grandmasters, but must admit that I have not met such a talented young chess player as Nodirbek. He is very athletic, hard-working, has an excellent memory; he well remembers the game positions and crucially, he is not afraid of the opponent."

And Nodirbek himself, answering questions from Uzbekistan Today, has admitted that he is preparing for victories only and a ‘hot’ spring.

“Nodirbek, what does one need to become a leading player by 12 years of age?”

“Labor much and work hard on oneself. One needs to constantly be in search of errors and work to fix them. "No victories without losses", "learning from mistakes" - it's all about how you can become a successful chess player. No defeat should remain out of scrutiny and study, and one should always, at least after the competitions, to try to figure out one’s own errors and drawbacks. I had a lot of defeats, but it is they that I owe my victories.

“And also you need to love ardently what you're doing to succeed. I, for example, take pleasure in the game of chess. I like to play it not only in the chess school. Such an attitude towards the game has been in me ever since when my father went on to tell about this ancient sport and teach basic skills.”

“Can you name the saddest defeat in your career?”

“The finals of Uzbekistan League 2016, when I performed very badly. I did not know what was happening, but I lost many times, did not understand the positions and eventually failed.”

“Tell me about the most a remembered event, the brightest victory.”

“It is the tournament in memory of M. Chigorin in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2016: there I was able to earn my first grandmaster score. At that competition I fought with three grandmasters: in one game I came out as the winner, another was reduced to a draw, and the third one I lost.”

“You have to travel much around the world: what country, what city did you like best and remember much?”

“St. Petersburg, because in the competition in that city I first fulfilled the standard international master norms, and later earned my first grandmaster score.

“Throughout my career, I have already visited 15 countries, and it has been always interesting everywhere as each country is unique in its own way, and each trip brings in familiarization with a new one, it is associated with the opening of new frontiers.

“Still, I can perhaps highlight Hungary. She captivated me with her unusual beauty and amazing architectural monuments.”

“How do you cope with school? Do you manage to combine studies with chess, after all, because of trips to tournaments you probably have to miss classes?”

“I am a sixth-grader in the Tashkent school number 152. I can’t say the combination of studies and sport is hard for me. Teachers treat me with understanding. I always make up the material missed due to travel to tournaments. When I come across a difficult subject matter, which is rare, the teachers have always come to the rescue.”

“Do you have any other hobbies?”

“Chess and school spare almost all of my time. But I also find time to play football with friends in the backyard, do athletics, and we are lucky have a stadium close to home. Sports help to balance many hours of sitting at a chessboard.”

“And finally, what can you advise to your peers who want to achieve results in chess, but so long as they do not make for it?”

“It is essential to set a goal and persevere in achieving it. It is important that its achievement brings you pleasure. Working through the principles of "I don’t want", "it does not work", "I will do it because parents want it to be done” do not bestow great results.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

 

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