INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN #76 April 18, 2016

posted 19 Apr 2016, 11:54 by Webmaster Ambasciata
POLITICS
Cooperation, based on good neighbourhood and historical friendship, develops steadily

ARBITRATION
The Republic of Uzbekistan won in the dispute with Oxus Gold plc

INVESTMENTS
Uzbekistan is developing processing of hydrocarbon feedstock

PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (2015-2016)
11th session of Security Council Secretaries of SCO countries held in Tashkent
SCO and Armenia signed a Memorandum of Partnership Dialogue
The meeting with the special representative of Russian President for SCO affairs


POLItiCs

Cooperation, based on good neighbourhood and historical friendship, develops steadily

As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev arrived in our country on 14 April with a working visit at the invitation of President Islam Karimov.

The main events of the visit took place on 15 April at the Kuksaroy residence.

Islam Karimov and Nursultan Nazarbayev discussed the state and prospects of developing Uzbek-Kazakh relations in different areas, topical regional and international issues.

The President of our country, greeting the President of Kazakhstan, noted that this visit is a logical extension of meetings at the highest level.

– We are always glad to see You in Uzbekistan. Uzbek and Kazakh nations since ancient times were good neighbours and friends. Today the cooperation between our countries has been developing based on these principles. In conditions of the current fast-changing and all the more aggravating international circumstances, this friendship and mutual understanding has a particular significance. Your visit is a favorable condition for discussing a number of issues of mutual interest, said Islam Karimov.

The President of Kazakhstan expressed gratitude to the President of Uzbekistan for invitation and highlighted that cooperation between our states has been steadily developing in all spheres.

– As you rightly underlined, our nations since ancient times live side by side, in peace and concord. In the years of independence we have strengthened these relations even more. Cooperation of our countries, as the leading states in Central Asia, has a significant importance for the whole region. We are equally interested in further strengthening and steady development of bilateral interactions, said Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The relations between our countries has been consistently developing based on the Agreement on eternal friendship between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed in 1998 and the Agreement on strategic partnership between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, signed in 2013 in Tashkent.

The cooperation, based on the principles of mutual respect, trust and interest, has been steadily developing on interstate, intergovernmental, and inter-agency levels. The Parliaments of our countries established practical dialogue. Consultations between the Ministries of foreign affairs take place regularly.

Our countries fruitfully interact within the frameworks of such international structures, as the UN, SCO, CIS, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea. The positions of the parties on many issues of global and regional significance are similar or close.

The head of two states, exchanging views on the situation in Afghanistan, noted that the parties are equally interested in ensuring peace and stability in this country, rebuilding of its economy. It was underlined that it’s impossible to ensure peace in Afghanistan via military means, the only right solution is conducting political negotiations under the auspices of the UN and achieving consensus among conflicting parties.

The Presidents noted that water resources of transboundary rivers of Central Asia is a common heritage and good of the nations and the stability and welfare of the whole regions is mostly dependent on their rational and fair use. When considering the issues of erecting hydrotechnical constructions on transboundary rivers, it is necessary to strictly adhere to universally adopted norms of international water law, fixed in the UN conventions and other international documents.

It was underlined that the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea is an important platform for implementing projects and programs, directed towards environmental rehabilitation and solving socio-economic problems of the Aral Sea region.

During the negotiations a particular attentions was paid the issues of further developing trade-economic, investment and cultural cooperation.

Kazakhstan is one of the main partners of our country in the trade-economic sphere. Uzbekistan exports fruits and vegetables, transport means, mineral fertilizers, construction materials and other various goods and services to Kazakhstan. From Kazakhstan ferrous and non-ferrous metals, oil and fat products are imported to our country.

Dynamic growth of the volumes of mutual trade between our countries is demonstrated by last year’s indicators of over 3 bln. US dolalrs.

151 enterprises, established in partnership with our businessman operate in Kazakhstan. There are 206 enterprises in our country, established partnership with businesspeople from Kazakhstan, including 171 joint ventures.

The activity of the intergovernmental commission on cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan serves to steadily develop interactions. The 15th session of this commission took place on 10-11 March this year in Astana.

The results of prospective projects, implemented in the areas of trade, investments, transport, communications, customs, water, energy and innovations in accordance with the Strategy on economic cooperation for 2007-2016 gives additional impetus to developing our ties.

Transport communications spheres is one of the priority directions of development of the partnership, Automobile and rail roads of our countries are mutually integrated. This important communications network also carries out transit functions for the third countries.

During the negotiations it was noted that involvement of unutilized resources of Uzbek-Kazakh cooperation serves to further develop bilateral relations. The issues of further increasing trade turnover in spite of the continuing world financial-economic crisis, and maintaining its dynamics, diversification of trade-economic ties, broadening the list of exported and imported goods and services.

It was underlined that increasing the number of joint ventures, developing contacts of business circles serve the interests of both countries.

During the meeting a particular attention was paid to the issues of widening ties in a social sphere.

The negotiations, that took place in the environment of transparency and mutual cooperation determined prospects of further developing cooperation between our countries.

(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

ARBITRATION

The Republic of Uzbekistan won in the dispute with Oxus Gold plc

The Republic of Uzbekistan won a significant victory in the longstanding dispute with Oxus Gold plc (Great Britain) in the amount of 1.3 billion US dollars.

Oxus Gold plc specializes in the field of precious metals and began its activity in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 1997, through its subsidiaries «Oxus Resources Corporation Ltd.» and «Marakand Minerals Ltd.».

The company worked primarily on the projects "Amantaytau Goldfields" and "Khandiza" and in 2011 filed a claim against the Republic of Uzbekistan in the amount of 1.3 billion US dollars for alleged breach by Uzbekistan of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on mutual protection and encouragement of investments in the framework of abovementioned projects.

Following a lengthy arbitration proceeding, the ad hoc Tribunal, applying the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules and composed of Professor Pierre Tercier (Chairman), Professor Brigitte Stern, and the Honorable Marc Lalonde, issued its Award dated December 17, 2015, dismissing more than 99 percent of the US$ 1.33 billion in damages claimed by Oxus and confirmed the legitimacy of the actions of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

In particular, in its Award, the Tribunal unanimously rejected all of Oxus’s claims pertaining to the polymetallic Khandiza deposit, totaling approximately US$ 780 million in alleged damages and lost profits.

The Tribunal agreed with Uzbekistan that Oxus never obtained the right to develop Khandiza; rather, Oxus secured only a right to formal, exclusive, and good faith negotiations to develop the Khandiza Deposit jointly with the Uzbek Parties on mutually acceptable terms.

The Tribunal concluded that Oxus - not the Government of Uzbekistan – was at fault for the failure of the negotiations, as the Uzbek Government made it sufficiently clear that it did not consider the capital distribution proposed by Claimant as sufficient and/or mutually beneficial. Oxus was not entitled, and did not have a legitimate expectation to, any further extension of its exploration rights in the territory, and it contractually agreed that it would not claim for sunk costs.

Moreover, the Tribunal's Award fully rejected Oxus’s more than US$ 550 million, claim regarding alleged expropriation of the company’s investment in the Amantaytau Goldfields (“AGF”) Joint Venture between Oxus, the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Geology and Mineral Resources, and Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Kombinat, a State-owned mining company.

The Tribunal found that Claimant had failed to establish the necessary causal link between the incriminated actions of Respondent and Claimant’s alleged deprivation of its investment, and that its claims for expropriation therefore baseless. In fact, AGF suffered from internal management problems and incurred substantial operational delays for which AGF, and thereby Claimant, bore responsibility

In addition, a majority of the Tribunal also rejected Oxus’s claim that Uzbekistan was responsible for Oxus’s failure to obtain financing for AGF’s failure to begin the underground mining of sulphide ores (“Phase 2”).

The Tribunal likewise rejected as meritless multiple other claims of alleged violations of the Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland on mutual protection and encouragement of investments, including in connection with the validity of the Agreement on Special Dividends between Oxus and the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

This arbitration is a clear example of what will result when investors do not respect the legislation of Uzbekistan, including the requirements of the Foreign Investment Law, and do not conscientiously perform their own investment, tax and other obligations to the State.

(Source: International law firm «White & Case LLP» (USA)

investments

Uzbekistan is developing processing of hydrocarbon feedstock

In the near future, Uzbekistan promises to rank among important suppliers of hydrocarbon feedstock and processed high-quality products. The country carries out large-scale investment projects that are capable to significantly change the industrial map of the region.

An optimally effective performance and transition from the production and export of raw materials to deep processing, as well as construction of ultra-modern processing plants, rank among the key indicators of success of any oil and gas giant. The domestic oil and gas industry exemplifies a successful combination of mining growth, improving quality of processing, and development of new products. The principle of combining new technologies and effective solutions has enabled the next stage of development of the oil and gas industry in Uzbekistan.

It is very important that the domestic oil and gas industry has been able to maintain its positions in the domestic and foreign markets despite the challenging global trends. In 2016 alone, Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company has planned to complete the implementation of nine projects totaling $624 million.

The projects will pave the way to the establishment of 10 certified centers on installation of LPG equipment for vehicles, granulated sulfur manufactures with the annual production capacity of 80,000 tons and 8,000 tons of liquefied gas, gas treatment facilities with the capacity of 6 billion cubic meters, a 18 MW gas booster compressor station, and a power generation plant of 37.1 million kW/h for own needs.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (2015-2016)

11th session of Security Council Secretaries of SCO countries held in Tashkent

The eleventh session of Secretaries of Security Councils of member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization under the chairmanship of Uzbekistan took place on 13-14 April in Tashkent.

The event was attended by Assistant to the President - the Secretary of Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. B.Yermekbayev, a member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Guo Shengkun, the Secretary of the Defense Council of the Kyrgyz Republic T. K. Jumakadyrov, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation N. P.Patrushev, Secretary of Security Council of the Republic of Tajikistan A. A. Kakharov, Secretary of the Security Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan V. V. Makhmudov, as well as the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization R. K. Alimov and the Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the SCO E. S. Sysoev.

During the meeting, held in a friendly and constructive environment, the parties exchanged views on topical issues of ensuring security and stability in the SCO area, the prospects of further development of cooperation and improving the mechanisms of interaction in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and arms, transnational organized crime as well as international information security.

According to the mutual opinion, international terrorism and extremism in all its manifestations can be defeated only through general and consolidated efforts of all states.

The parties heard the information of the Uzbek side on the preparations for the meeting of Council of heads of member states of the SCO that are scheduled to be held on 23-24 June 2016 in Tashkent. The meeting participants noted that the upcoming Summit will be an important step in the improvement of the contractual legal framework of the SCO and the increasing international interaction in the sphere of security.

The significance of early agreement of the draft SCO Convention on the fight against extremism, the Plan of measures on implementing the Agreement among the SCO member-states on cooperation in combating crime for 2016-2020, Anti-narcotics strategy of SCO member-states for 2017-2022 and the Action Plan on its implementation, which are envisaged to be adopted during the upcoming summit in Tashkent.

The meeting participants heard and approved the report of the SCO Secretary General and the director of the Executive committee of SCO RATS on the activities of the organization in security sphere.

Following the meeting the Minutes of the eleventh session of the Secretaries of Security Councils of SCO members-states were signed and adopted information report.

(Source: UzA)

SCO and Armenia signed a Memorandum of Partnership Dialogue

On April 16, 2016, in Beijing, the SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Edward Nalbandian signed the Memorandum on granting the Republic of Armenia the SCO dialogue partner status.

The ceremony, which took place at the SCO Secretariat Headquarters, was attended by the heads of diplomatic missions of the Member States of the organization.

In accordance with the regulations on the dialogue partner status dated August 28, 2008, and other international treaties and instruments operating within the organization, the sides defined the main directions of cooperation of mutual interest in the memorandum.

The Memorandum entered into force on the date of signature.

Thus, the decision of the Council of Heads of States of the SCO Member States dated July 10, 2015 on granting the number of states the dialogue partner status has been fully implemented. Within the presidency of Uzbekistan in the SCO, memorandums have been previously signed with the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

Currently, the SCO includes six member states (Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), six observer states (Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan) and six dialogue partner states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka).

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

The meeting with the special representative of Russian President for SCO affairs

On April 15, 2016, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan held a meeting with the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Bakhtiyor Khakimov.

The sides exchanged views on the Uzbek-Russian relations within the framework of SCO, the agenda of the upcoming events during the presidency of Uzbekistan in the organization.

Fruitful outcomes of the 11th Meeting of the Secretaries of Security Councils, which concluded on April 14 have been warmly welcomed. It plays a special role in the system of the SCO’s multilateral institutions,

It was emphasized that Uzbekistan and Russia are interested in the progressive development of multifaceted cooperation within the SCO, the successful conduct and substantive content of the scheduled for June the meeting of the Council of Heads of States in Tashkent, the implementation of the agreements reached at the high level Summit in Ufa within the Russian presidency in the organization, including decisions on the beginning of procedure for admission of India and Pakistan to the SCO.

The Ambassador of Russia Vladimir Tyurdenev attended the talks.

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

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