INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 87 May 4, 2017

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POLITICS 1
Presentation of letters of credentials to the President of Uzbekistan 1

ECONOMY 3
Uzbekistan intends to bring the level of grape production up to 1.9 million tons this year 3

INVESTMENTS 4
IDB allocates Uzbekistan $300mn for construction of houses in rural areas 4

FINANCE 4
Uzbek central bank holds rates at 9% 4

PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF OIC 5
In the Light of Recent Trends 5

THE STRATEGY OF ACTIONS ON FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF UZBEKISTAN 5
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has approved a program of heat supply system development for 2018-2022

SOCIETY 6
Uzbekistan has developed a program of integrated development and modernization of drinking water supply and sanitation systems for 2017-2021 6

XII NATIONAL AWARD IN JOURNALISM “OLTIN QALAM” 7
Congratulations! 7


POLItiCs

Presentation of letters of credentials to the President of Uzbekistan

On 2 May President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received letters of credentials of the newly appointed Head of delegation of the European Union in our country Eduards Stiprais, the Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic, the French Republic, the Italian Republic, the Czech Republic, Japan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Republic of Turkey, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Uzbekistan Daniyar Sidikov, Violaine de Villemeur, Andea Bertozzi, Jaroslav Siro, Nobuaki Ito, Amani al-Itr, Ahmet Başar Şen, Hisham bin Mishal al-Suveylim.

The President of our country, warmly greeting the heads of diplomatic missions, underlined that Uzbekistan attaches a particular significance to steady development of cooperation with these states.

From the first days of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been consistently carrying out a deeply thought-out foreign policy, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said. The centuries-old history and culture, traditions and values of our people, their noble dreams, endeavours and interests are laid on its foundation.

The foreign policy of Uzbekistan is conducted in full conformity with the main legal principles of the Charter of the United Nations Organization and our Constitution, as well as international obligations, taken by our country.

In our foreign policy, we will continue to rely on the strategic tasks and priority directions, determined in the Concept of foreign pollical activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

We will always remain loyal to the course, chosen by us and based on the peace-loving policy, aimed at resolving emerging confrontations and challenges only through peaceful and political means, the Head of our state said.

Non-alliance with any military-political blocs, not allowing deployment of military bases and facilities of other states in the territory of Uzbekistan, non-participation of our soldiers in operations abroad will remain a solid political position of our state.

We will pursue a pragmatic policy in the spirit of openness and commitment to peace in relation to all our partners in the sphere of foreign policy, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev highlighted.

Uzbekistan highly regards the constructive relations with the European Union. The Partnership and Cooperation Agreement constitutes the solid legal base of this cooperation. Effective mechanisms of multifaceted relations- Council and Committee on cooperation, the Committee on interparliamentary cooperation and others function based on this document.

Holding of the next “EU-Central Asia” ministerial meeting in Uzbekistan this autumn will serve to further reinforce mutually beneficial cooperation.

Approval by the European Parliament last year of the textiles deal opens new horizons for further reinvigoration of the cooperation in the trade-economic sphere.

Our country, within the frameworks of the wide-scale investment program of the Uzbekistan-EU partnership, actively works on further developing cooperation with the European bank for reconstruction and development.

Uzbekistan attaches a specific attention to developing relations of good neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation with all countries of the world, first of all, with the neighbouring countries.

The Republic of Uzbekistan considers the elevation of interactions with the Kyrgyz Republic to a new level as an important task. The time-tested fraternal ties between our peoples are reinforced in the spirit of mutual respect and friendship relations, common cultural values.

The negotiations of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Kyrgyzstan Almazbek Atambayev in Samarkand have opened a new page in the bilateral cooperation. Our country is ready for more effective interactions with Kyrgyzstan, based on mutual respect, mutual acknowledgement of interests of the parties and in accordance with the norms of international law.

Wide-scale relations between Uzbekistan and France have been steadily developing. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, France supported the initiative of Uzbekistan on establishing the Central Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone.

An active political dialogue is conducted between our countries. Minister of foreign affairs of Uzbekistan visited Paris in March this year, followed by a visit of the French foreign minister to Tashkent in April.

The participation of French companies in developing the economy of our country as well as the growth of bilateral trade volumes need to be stressed. The representative office of the French development agency has started operations in Uzbekistan.

The cooperation in a cultural-humanitarian sphere is a main direction of our interactions. Supporting the activity of the “Alliance Française” in our country facilitates deep learning of the French language by the Uzbek youth.

The relations between Uzbekistan and Italy have been dynamically developing. The close and effective cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries deserves attention.

The cooperation in the sphere of trade, economics and industry, as well as next meeting of the Uzbekistan-Italy intergovernmental working group on export credits in Rome this year will create favourable conditions for increasing the volume of bilateral trade, Italian investments to the economy of our country.

The Turin polytechnic university in Tashkent, opened in 2009, is one of the prestigious higher educational institutions, where the youth of Uzbekistan strives to get admission and study.

Considering the demand in the economy, the quota for admission to this university is expected to increase this year.

The friendship relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic have been consolidating. The delegations, headed by President of the Senate of the Czech Republic M. Štěch, Speaker of the Chamber of deputies J. Hamáček visited our country in 2015 and in February this year respectively. The parties are interested in organizing visits on different levels, including on the highest level.

It is possible to widely utilize the unused big opportunities in the spheres of trade, investments and tourism for the development of Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic, the welfare of our peoples.

Japan is a strategic partner, which has an important place in the foreign policy of Uzbekistan. Japan is not only a developed economy, but also an influential state, playing ever more significant role in resolving global problems.

The official visit of the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in October 2015 to Uzbekistan has been a new phase in developing the multifaceted cooperation between our countries in the spirit of strategic partnership.

Uzbekistan is willing to further enhance investment and financial-technical cooperation with Japan, jointly implement projects and programs in such prospective areas as high technologies, transport infrastructure, communications, machinery.

The Uzbekistan-Japan youth innovative centre is envisaged to be opened at the Tashkent state technical university named after Islam Karimov. This centre will have an important significance in wide introduction of advanced innovative ideas and technologies into the industrial sphere.

The peoples of Uzbekistan and Egypt are linked with centuries-old ties, common cultural values. Both our nations similarly take pride in the rich scientific heritage of our great ancestor Ahmad Fargoni, creator of the unique equipment to measure the level of water in the Nile river- nilometer.

The monument to our great ancestor, installed in Cairo, is a symbol of high esteem of the people of Egypt to the Uzbek people.

Uzbekistan is interested in increasing to a new phase of the traditionally friendly relations with the Arab Republic of Egypt, which has a huge authority not only in the region, but also in the whole Arab and Muslim world.

Turkey is one of the first states, which acknowledged the independence of Uzbekistan. The negotiations of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, that took place in Samarkand, has seen the start of elevating the relations between our countries to a new level.

Uzbekistan has adopted a Plan of practical activities or a Roadmap, covering all spheres of implementing bilateral agreements. In increasing the volumes of mutual trade turnover and implementing prospective investment projects, the activities of the Inter-governmental commission on trade-economic cooperation has a large role.

The agreements, reached during the recent visit of governmental delegation of Uzbekistan to Turkey, in the spheres of trade and investments, tourism, transport communications, logistics and other spheres serve as a solid base for further developing mutually beneficial cooperation.

These issues have been discussed within the framework of the recent visit of the Turkish foreign minister to Uzbekistan.

The cooperation with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has an important significance for Uzbekistan.

Taking into account the increase in recent years of the number of our compatriots, wishing to make Hajj, in 2017 the number of pilgrims from our countries to make Hajj has been increased.

Uzbekistan attaches an important significance to the relations with Saudi Arabia within the framework of international organizations, including Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Currently Uzbekistan presides in the Council of foreign ministers of this organization.

Uzbekistan supports further bolstering mutually beneficial and long-term relations with Saudi Arabia in trade-economic, investment and financial spheres.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, sincerely congratulating the Ambassadors with the commencement of their missions in our country, wished them successes in their responsible activity.

(Source: UzA)

economy

Uzbekistan intends to bring the level of grape production up to 1.9 million tons this year

The area of vineyards has increased by more than 7,000 hectares in all categories of farms over the recent years throughout the country, and production itself by 136,000 tons. This allowed domestic farmers to scale up the production to 1.7 million tons of grapes in 2016.

Large processing enterprises under the Uzvinosanoat Holding have been making certain progress in this direction through the expansion of their own vineyards with valuable industrial varieties. To date, their share falls to more than 4,000 hectares of industrial varieties of vineyards, ensuring a good reserve for strengthening their feedstock base. The company is working on expansion of the vineyards by another 1,400 hectares this year.

The production of bigger volumes of grapes requires strengthening of the logistical capacity of enterprises, and modernization of their facilities. In this context, there are plans afoot to implement 70 projects totaling over 650 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 04.05.2017, 1$= 3734.91 soums) in the industry in the next two years.

The projects would increase the volume and improve the quality of products, and introduce international standards. 162 investment projects totaling more than 235 billion soums have been implemented in the production and processing of grapes over the past seven years.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

investments

IDB allocates Uzbekistan $300mn for construction of houses in rural areas

Residential buildings erected in our country during the years of independence according to standard projects within the framework of the State Program serve to radically change the appearance of our villages on the basis of modern architecture, improve the living standards of the rural population.

In 2009-2016, specific targeted works were completed to build residential, social and communal facilities in rural areas, 69 557 cozy houses with a total area of 9 953 thousand square meters were built in 1308 residential areas. Living conditions of more than 83.5 thousand rural families improved.

The resolution "On Program for Construction of Affordable Houses on updated standard projects in rural areas for 2017-2021" signed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev became a logical continuation of large-scale reforms in this direction and the beginning of a new stage in rural construction.

Within the framework of implementation of this Program, cooperation with several international financial institutions is currently under way in our country. In particular, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Republic of Uzbekistan have been cooperating to implement the Program for construction of houses in rural areas on the basis of standard projects since 2014.

In 2015-2016 within the framework of the first stage of the Program "Construction Development of Residential Houses in Rural Areas" with the participation of IDB financial resources for a total of $ 100 million in 22 rural settlements of Tashkent, Samarkand and Fergana regions of Uzbekistan were built and commissioned in operation 1415 houses, 33.80 km of inbound and inland roads, 40.62 km of drinking water systems. More than 200 contractors were involved in the project implementation and about 38,000 jobs were created. This provided an opportunity for more than 6,000 people living in rural areas to use houses and related infrastructure facilities, whose conditions do not inferior to city’s conditions.

As a logical continuation of cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank, the implementation of the II stage of the Program begins. Financial Agreements were signed on April 28, 2017 in order to raise funds in the amount of 300 million US dollars.

The funds of the Islamic Development Bank are allocated to the Republic of Uzbekistan for 15 years, including a 2-year grace period. According to these financial agreements for the next 3 years, the construction of more than 6,400 houses is planned according to updated standard projects, 110.52 km of inbound and inland roads, as well as 197.80 km of drinking water systems in 6 regions of Uzbekistan. This, in turn, will provide an opportunity for 30,000 people living in rural areas to live in modern residential buildings with all amenities and related infrastructure facilities.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

FINANCE

Uzbek central bank holds rates at 9%

Uzbekistan’s Central Bank decided to keep the bank rate at 9%.

The decision was based on banks’ objectives to support economic growth in view of the current and estimated inflation rate.

(Source: UzReport.uz)

presidency of Uzbekistan in the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC

In the Light of Recent Trends

2016-2017 is the period of presidency of Uzbekistan in the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The motto of the chairmanship, "Toward Peace and Constructivism through Education and Enlightenment", was announced during the 43rd session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on October 18 last year national Tashkent. At the same time, important initiatives were voiced by Uzbekistan to establish an international research center under the Imam Bukhari Memorial Complex in Samarkand. This would serve to comprehensively study the rich spiritual heritage of the great ancestors of our people who made an invaluable contribution to the development of not only Islamic culture, but also the world civilization. It was also proposed to create a special academic department of the Islamic Education, Science and Culture Organization (ISESCO) in Tashkent.

These initiatives of Uzbekistan have been discussed at a roundtable held at the Leiden University of the Netherlands. Its organizers were the diplomatic mission of Uzbekistan in Benelux states together with the Dutch university - the oldest in the country. Dutch scholars in the field of Central Asian Studies, Islamic Studies, Oriental Studies and in other scientific and academic areas, as well as experts were acquainted with the priorities of the chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.

In light of the latest trends in the world, including the urgency of the issues of comprehensive promotion of enlightened Islam, the Dutch scientists noted the special importance of Uzbekistan's initiatives for the establishment of research center in Samarkand and the special ISESCO chair at the Tashkent Islamic University.

A presentation on "Islam in Uzbekistan: history and modern times" was organized at the event. It told about the evolution of the sacred religion in Central Asia, the huge role of outstanding thinkers and statesmen of our land in the development of Islam. Among them, the special place is attributed to the personality of the most revered theologian in the Muslim world, Muhammad al-Bukhari, whose collection Sahih al-Bukhari is considered the most authentic of all the collections of hadith and the most authoritative after the Koran. The unique legacy of other great scientists, such as Termizi, Maturidi, Ali Kushchi, Bahauddin Naqshband was also discussed.

Professor of Leiden University Gabriela Van Den Berg made a report at the roundtable discussion. She noted the importance of cooperation with Uzbek colleagues, "In 2015, in the framework of the research project “Peculiarities of modern Asia and traditions of the peoples” our university launched a program, Central Asian Initiative,” the expert said. “It aims to create a platform for a comprehensive study of the region through the consolidation of knowledge and the promotion of cooperation between the academic communities of our countries. Particular attention is paid to the rich cultural and historical heritage of the peoples of Central Asia, national identity, as well as the geopolitical significance."

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

The Strategy of Actions on Further Development of Uzbekistan

President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev has approved a program of heat supply system development for 2018-2022

The development and adoption of the document was stipulated by the Action Strategy.

As noted in the document, the centralized heating system in the republic was built in 1950-1970 according to the scheme of open water withdrawal and dependent connection of heating systems of buildings to the heating networks. Low-cost in terms of installation, but expensive in operation, such systems are featured by short service life of the internal heating system and pipelines of heating networks, high operating costs in terms of heat production, transportation and consumption, excess water consumption and thermal energy, accordingly.

Due to largely deteriorated boiler equipment and networks, the existing heat supply system does not ensure the optimal loading of heat sources, which adversely affects both the operation of the heat supply organizations, and provision of heat and hot water supply services to consumers.

Certain measures should change this situation in the republic. The head of state has approved specifications for the upgrade and reconstruction of central and local boiler houses, heating networks, construction of energy efficient boiler houses, application of solar plants, installation of individual in-apartment heat supply systems, as well as comprehensive measures on the development of the heat supply system for 2018-2022.

The effective and timely implementation of the program was entrusted to Ministry of Housing and Utility Services, Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional municipalities and Tashkent municipality.

The program will be funded by 1.7 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 04.05.2017, 1$= 3734.91 soums) of the government budget, funds of private homeowners 'associations, the Housing and Utility Services Development Fund, loans of commercial banks and other sources.

The program also provides for the development of town-planning standards and rules to estimate the energy efficiency of local boiler houses, individual inter-apartment heat supply systems, and design facilities with solar collectors.

As of January 1, 2018, it is also envisaged to organize a domestic manufacture of energy-efficient local boiler houses and individual in-apartment heat supply systems under the ‘Program on localization of production of finished products, components and materials’ on the basis of industrial cooperation.

An important factor is expected to ensure the effective implementation of abovementioned initiatives - the head of state released the components and materials, which are imported within the framework of the program, from customs payments by January 1, 2023.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Society

Uzbekistan has developed a program of integrated development and modernization of drinking water supply and sanitation systems for 2017-2021

As noted in the Presidential Resolution, the country still faces certain unaddressed problems with the provision of high-quality drinking water and sewage services to individual settlements, primarily in Karakalpakstan, Bukhara, Jizzakh, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Syrdarya and Khorezm regions.

“The constant increase in the number of families and communities, construction of hundreds of new housing estates, settlements, expansion of cities requires taking effective measures to fundamentally improve the water supply and sewerage system. The measures should address the modernization of water intake and sewage treatment facilities, water pipelines, pumping stations, distribution centers, and sewage networks through up-to-date energy-saving and resource-saving technologies,” the document says.

The new program is called to change the situation through the construction and reconstruction of 10,200 km of water pipelines and water supply networks, 1,677 water wells, 1,744 water towers and tanks, and installation of 1,440 items of pumping equipment.

Other objectives imply the construction and reconstruction of the interregional drinking water supply system, which will be carried out at 20 water supply facilities. 302 km of water pipelines and water supply networks will be laid.

The document assigns a special part to Karakalpakstan, as a zone of ecological tragedy due to the drying out of the Aral Sea. The government intends to implement 36 investment projects there through the loans of international financial institutions.

Another interesting initiative comes to the establishment of a specific Pure Water Foundation, whose funds will be channeled to further development and modernization of the entire water supply and sewerage system, and provision of the population with quality drinking water, especially in rural areas.

The Foundation will be financed from state and local budgets, loans of international financial institutions, and donor grants.

A total of 4.8 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 04.05.2017, 1$= 3734.91 soums) will be allocated to finance the program in 2017-2021. The bulk of the funds - 2.6 trillion soums and $730.7 million - will be borrowed from international financial institutions, and 2.2 trillion soums will be allocated from the state budget.

By implementing the program, the government intends to drastically improve water supply and sanitation systems in cities, districts and communities, increase the coverage of the population by centralized water supply across the country up to 84%, and in some regions - up to 90%.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

XII National Award in Journalism “Oltin Qalam”

Congratulations!

The jury of the Organising Committee on international contest XII National Award in Journalism “Oltin Qalam” (“Golden Pen”) has determined the winners and prizewinners.

In the framework of incentive awards in the nomination “For the best materials of foreign journalists about Uzbekistan” Seamus Kearney, Producer & Presenter of “Postcards” of the television channel “Euronews” is announced as the winner,

And also the fruitful work of the following journalists has been highly appreciated:

Caroline Charlotte Pink – British independent journalist;

Lee Kyung-sek – Publisher-Chairman of “The Korea Post” of the Republic of Korea;

Sha Dati – correspondent of “Xinhua” news agency of China in Uzbekistan.

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

 

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