INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 25 February 3, 2017

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economy.. 1

The volumes of agricultural, forestry and fishery production increased by 6.6% in Uzbekistan last year 1

BUSINESS CLIMATE.. 1

System of crediting: important factor of business development 1

INNOVATIONS. 3

Specialized innovative technoparks will be built in Yashnobod and Olmazor districts of Tashkent in the near future. 3

Tourism… 4

The Bukharian cuisine Taste Test 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

economy

The volumes of agricultural, forestry and fishery production increased by 6.6% in Uzbekistan last year

“The share of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in the structure of gross value added in the republic has reached 17.6%. In January-December 2016, Uzbekistan produced 8.26 million tons of cereals, which is 87,200 tons or 1.1% more YOY,” reported the State Statistics Committee.

Potato production amounted to 2.95 million tons (up 9.7%), vegetables – 11.2 million tons (11.3%), melons – more than 2 million tons (10.4%), fruits and berries – 3 million tons (10.8%), 1.7 million tons of grapes (9.9%).

Consistent measures on further strengthening the capacity of the livestock industry, as well as a system-based state support have contributed to the growth of livestock, and saturation of the domestic consumer market of with livestock products.

In 2016, all categories of farms of the republic produced 2.1 million tons of meat (6.8% growth), 9.7 million tons of milk (7.5%), and 6.1 billion eggs (10.6% growth).

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

BUSINESS CLIMATE

System of crediting: important factor of business development

Dynamic development of small business and private entrepreneurship were and continue to be one of the most important conditions of stable growth of economy of Uzbekistan.

The country leaders understanding importance of this sector for ensuring sustainable social and economic stability of the republic, since the first days of independence  pay much attention to creating favorable conditions for its development, realization of the complex measures covering different spheres of activity from consulting services in a wide range of issues, simplification of registration procedures, reduction of the regulating norms to providing necessary financial resources and assistance in promotion to foreign markets.

As practice shows, the significant role in creation of the favorable business environment for development of small business and private entrepreneurship is played by extent which access for subjects of business to financial resources is provided to. It is important also for those who just begin own business and often needs the starting capital, and for those who expect the credits of commercial banks when implementing the business plans.  At that availability of financial resources to businessmen defines not just an opportunity to receive proceeds of credit, but also special terms at their allocation.

It should be mentioned at this point that for years of independence in the republic the comprehensive system of the privileges and preferences aimed at providing availability of financial resources to subjects of small business and private entrepreneurship, their sustainable development and increase in competitiveness both on internal and in foreign market was created.

In this regard the complex of the regulatory documents aimed to comprehensive support and stimulation of development of the financial sector segment focused on rendering services to small business had been adopted. An integrated approach promoted achievement of positive results in increase in availability and expansion of coverage with financial services of subjects of small business and private entrepreneurship.

Having formed in the republic two-level system banks actively grant the loans to subjects of small business and private entrepreneurship. At an initial stage creation of necessary regulatory base was an important task. One of the first legal act on regulation of this sector became that developed in 1998 Order of crediting small and medium business by off-budget funds by means of opening of credit lines in commercial banks of the republic. Considering the needs of small business for different volumes of crediting, the Order of microcrediting subjects of small and medium business, Dehkan and farmers, individual entrepreneurs through commercial banks at the expense of all sources of financing in national and foreign currency was approved in 1999.

In the conditions of increasing demand from small business for the credit resources necessary for its strengthening and increase in competitiveness of the made production, funds of preferential crediting were created in 2000 in all commercial banks to provide available credit resources. Resources of funds are provided at preferential interest rates of no more than 50 percent of the established base rate of the Central bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Through above funds financing of high-tech and innovative projects in the sphere of the small business and private entrepreneurship, industrial microfirms, small enterprises, dehkans, farms, located in remote areas, regions and cities with excessive labour resources is carried out.  For further build up of means of the above funds earnings of commercial banks received from extending the loans at the expense of resources of the special crediting fund, are exempted from corporate profits tax provided that the released funds are used for the increase of the resource base of the mentioned fund from April 1, 2011 until 1 January 2016. In 2006 as a result of increasing demand of subjects of economy for microfinance services the complex of the standard and legal documents aimed at comprehensive support and promotion of development of microfinancing sector in the republic has been adopted. In particular, the laws “About Microfinancing”, “About Microcredit Institutions” have been adopted. Also in 2006 specialized Microcreditbank which now is one of the leading financial credit institutions of the country and is guided by support and stimulation of small business enterprises and private enterprises has been created. Besides, since 2008 interest rates were decreased for the preferential microcredits provided by Microcreditbank for the organization of business activity  from 5% to 3% per annum, for the microcredits for expansion of activity and replenishment of current assets from 100% to 50 % of a refinancing rate, for preferential microleasing — from 7%  percent to 5% per annum.

The flexible and forward-looking policy of the country leaders considering changes of a world environment in the period of instability in the world market had been focused on expansion of access of small business enterprises to credit resources due to increase in the maximum credit period to replenish current assets, doubling of sums directed by commercial banks to expansion of resource base of preferential crediting fund. In the next years, when solving the priority tasks set by the leaders of the republic, in particular, to develop small business and private entrepreneurship, commercial banks have increased volumes of the credits to subjects of this sector of economy, first of all long-term, investment credits, as well as for start-up capital formation. To cover with financial services the various categories of subjects of small business, involvement of larger number of the population in business activity, creation of conditions for realization of the business ideas of a wide strata of the population, commercial banks of the country pay special attention to financial support of businesswomen, graduates from professional colleges, as well as development of family business and workmanship. The special attention should be given to banks activity for accumulation of additional resources in a segment of small business financing. Work on involvement of the international financial institutions in cooperation in the sphere of support of small business development is actively carried out, joint projects with Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic development bank, the German development bank and others are implemented. As a result of the purposeful complex measures the volume  credits allocated by  commercial banks to small business and private entrepreneurship   during 2000-2015 has increased 118 times, and the microcredits  204 times respectively. System and large-scale work on improvement of the mechanism of crediting  subjects of economy was also highly appreciated on an international scale. So, according to the report of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation “Doing Business-2016”, on the System of Crediting indicator only in 2015 Uzbekistan improved its position by 63 points having moved from the 105th place to the 42nd place. With a further deepening of economic transformations, solution of tasks of maintenance of high rates of economic growth the importance of further sustainable development of small business and private entrepreneurship, upsurge in its contribution to social and economic development of the country increases in the long run. In this process commercial banks of the country continue to play essential role. During 2015-2019 it is planned to expand 2,5 times volumes of the credits allocated by commercial banks to subjects of small business and private entrepreneurship, including the long-term investment credits, in particular, for modernization, technical and technological updating of production, organization of modern hi-tech, innovative productions. At the same time it should be noted the measures undertaken by the country leaders for improvement of system of crediting. For example, in the adopted Decree of the President “On additional measures to ensure the accelerated development of entrepreneurial activity, comprehensive protection of private property and substantial improvement of business climate” introduction of the modern principles and mechanisms of regulation of bank activity, as well as eradication and prevention of administrative interference of public authorities in activity of commercial banks, first of all in credit policy is provided. As experts believe, development during the period of the system in parallel with development of small business, its modification and transformation according to its changing requirements are distinctive feature of system of financing small business and private entrepreneurship in the republic. The flexible approach to formation of system of small business financing aimed at the consideration of different aspects of borrowers activity at different stages of development provides efficiency of the developed mechanism of financial support of small business and promotes achievement of sustainable results and increase in its role in social and economic development of the country.

(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)

INNOVATIONS

Specialized innovative technoparks will be built in Yashnobod and Olmazor districts of Tashkent in the near future

A draft regulation on their establishment was developed by the Ministry of Economy of Uzbekistan at the initiative of Shavkat Mirziyoyev during the election campaign and meetings with voters in the capital last November.

The technopark in Yashnobod district is created for research and establishment of small innovative enterprises in the field of materials science, electronic devices and controllers, food and dietary supplements, medicines. The technopark in Olmazor district will be responsible for the development of metal processing technologies, energy saving, alternative energy sources and electronic instrumentation, robotics, mechanical engineering and electronics.

Its key objectives include the conduct of innovative research, establishment of pilot industrial and small innovative enterprises for the production of high-tech, competitive, domestically and internationally marketable products. They will also deal with transfer of advanced foreign technologies and their introduction in domestic producers, involving domestic and foreign investors capable of establishing high-tech and innovative manufactures.

Among other things, the technoparks are entrusted with building close cooperation between higher education institutions, academia and industry to make research and innovative projects more effective, and involve researchers, highly qualified professionals, practitioners and students in this process.

At the same time, members of technoparks will be exempt from land tax, income tax, legal entity property tax, tax for improvement and development of social infrastructure, single tax payment for microfirms and small enterprises, as well as mandatory contributions to specialized government funds.

It is also planned to provide them with benefits in paying customs duties for equipment, raw materials, reagents and components if they are imported for own production and construction needs. A privilege on allocation of soft loans for a period of at least seven years and a grace period of two years at an interest rate not exceeding the refinancing rate of the Central Bank is another incentive for technopark members.

A status of a technopark member will be provided for up to 10 years.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Tourism

The Bukharian cuisine Taste Test

The traditional cuisine of any nation has its own peculiarities and includes dishes you will find nowhere else. Even one and the same food can be absolutely different in different regions. For that reason expressions like the Bavarian cuisine, the cuisine of Lyons or the cuisine of Valencia sound quite naturally to us. Every region of Uzbekistan also features its specialities. The Bukharian cuisine is rather a combination of several traditional cuisines. It has absorbed a number of culinary traditions from other cultures, and now the region boasts a number of unique dishes, some of which can only been found in areas quite remote from the region under discussion. Here we selected the most original dishes in order to demonstrate the richness and diversity of the cuisine of Bukhara.

OSH-I-SOFI

When we talk about the Uzbek food, the first thing that comes into our minds is pilaf. It is presented by thousands of versions and can adorn any table. The people of Bukhara familiarized themselves with pilaf quite long ago. Traditional Bukharian pilaf osh-i-sofi, which translates as ‘clean pilaf,’ is cooked only in Bukhara in a special copper cauldron, deg-i-mis. In Bukhara the pilaf cooking technology differs from the traditional method, according to which all the ingredients are put into the cauldron one after another. In osh-i-sofi all the components are cooked in separate containers to a semi-prepared condition and then put in layers into the copper cauldron, where they are finished and then treated by boiling oil. The main spices used are zeera and saffron. The saffron solution is added in the very end, endowing the dish with a special flavour.

Abu Ali ibn Sino (Avicenna) regarded pilaf as a health-giving dish, which he noted in his work The Canon of Medicine. He believed that of all the multiple types of pilaf the Bukharian pilaf was particularly dietetic. In his works the scientist provided a number of recommendations, in which he advised that this pilaf should be taken to treat various diseases. It was quite reasonable, as the pilaf’s nutritive value is very high, while the classical recipe includes no animal fats.

KHALISA

Ask a Bukharian about khalisa to hear how wonderful this dish is. Khalisa consists of ground wheat and mutton, all boiled to a homogeneous mass. The only components added while cooking are onions and salt. The food is quite simple, its main secret lying in the cooking duration: the dish is cooked for at least five hours. The meat fibres are boiled to a porridge-like state, mixing with wheat. The meal is ready, when it becomes thick as good sour cream.

BALAZA

The dish has several names, but there is only one recipe. Sometimes it is called balazashurpa, other people call it bamazanakhyod. The second name reveals somewhat the dish’s mystery: ‘bamaza’ translates as ‘tasty’ or ‘savoury,’ while ‘nakhyod’ is the local name for chickpeas. Bukharians use this secret ingredient to cook this type of food, which resembles slightly the shurpa soup. The principal difference between the shurpa soup and balazashurpa is that the former consists of carrots and potatoes cut into large pieces and added to meat broth with sheep’s bones, while the latter’s ingredients are mutton (always with bones), sliced onions and chickpeas with the addition of spices – salt and zeera. In the end we obtain thick, nourishing, aromatic and incredibly delicious soup.

KAYMAK

Kaymak is a local type of cream. However, kaymak in Bukhara differs from kaymak in all other Central Asian regions. It is made of milk that is boiled on a slow fire. During this process the cream gradually accumulates on the surface, and when it becomes elastic, the fire is turned off. The milk cooled, the cream is skimmed and put into a large bowl – kosa. The best kaymak, which resembles friable curds in structure and butter in taste, is never sold at Bukhara’s bazaars, although you can come across some good cream there. You can find the best cream in stalls, in a special place, which the locals call ‘uglovoy’ (‘a market at the corner’) among themselves. On any day of the week, in any weather, since a very early hour you can see there a few women trading in bowls with kaymak, these bowls (kosa) serving as a unit of volume.

CHAKKA

Tashkenters eat suzma, and Bukharians like chakka. Although quite similar in appearance, these appetizers differ somewhat in taste and cooking technology. In both cases milk is boiled on a slow fire, but the Tashkent suzma is made with salt, while chakka is prepared with the addition of a fermenting agent, for which purpose a tablespoonful of yoghurt may also be used. The milk with the fermenting agent added to it is covered tight with a lid and left in a cool place for a night. As the chakka maker opens the lid on the next morning, he can see a snow-white resilient mass resembling galantine.

ATALA

This very healthy and nourishing flour stew is a very ancient dish, which is often undeservedly neglected. Traditionally, it was the food of women, who had just given birth to a child, so that they could recover and regain strength. It is also recommended to those suffering from cold and those with a weakened immune system. Atala is made of flour and the fat of sheep’s tail, which are stewed in a cauldron with onions, eggs and salt.

THE CONTINUITY OF TRADITION

There is a tradition still maintained in Bukhara: an apprentice (shogird) learns a trade from his master (usto) for several years, until the latter blesses the former and allows him to create for himself. Since that moment the apprentice becomes responsible for his teacher’s reputation. In Bukhara, honesty and cleanliness in the coo-king business have always been the determining parameters, when people are deciding which cook to choose for the coming wedding party or some other holiday.

When you are in Bukhara, try and find out where you can eat those tasty dishes. And be sure to taste them all.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Airways” magazine)

 

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