President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will attend the Arab Islamic American summit on 21 May 2017 in Riyadh at the invitation of King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Within the framework of the visit of the Head of our state, several bilateral meetings are expected to be held.
On 18 May President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev received a delegation of the National People’s Congress of China, headed by Vice Chairman, Secretary-General of the Standing Committee Wang Chen.
The Head of our state, greeting the guests, particularly underlined the role of an inter-parliamentary cooperation in developing and strengthening relations of a comprehensive strategic partnership between Uzbekistan and China.
The issues of practical implementation of the agreements in political, trade-economic, investment and cultural-humanitarian spheres, reached during the recent high-level visit to the People’s Republic of China, were considered at the meeting.
A specific attention was attached to developing an inter-regional cooperation, in particular, intensification of trade, investment and cultural links, as well as touristic exchanges between the ancient cities of Samarkand and Xi’an, Bukhara and Luoyang, which have established sister-city ties.
Vice Chairman, Secretary-General of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Wang Chen highly appraised the deep structural reforms within the framework of the Actions Strategy on five priority areas of development of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021, being carried out in our country.
He expressed a sincere gratitude to President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev for a warm welcome and reaffirmed the interest and willingness of the Chinese side for a full-scale interaction of the parliaments of the two countries to promote concrete programs and projects, aimed at enhancing and consolidating the strategic partnership of Uzbekistan and China.
The monetary policy of the Central Bank in the first quarter of this year was aimed at the implementation of the forecast of macroeconomic indicators for 2017, decrees and resolutions of the President of Uzbekistan, as well as the implementation of large-scale measures to increase the level of capitalization, liquidity and stability of banks.
This was announced at the enlarged meeting of the Board of the Central Bank on timely and complete implementation of the priority tasks of economic program for 2017 and instructions to the banking system.
The total capital of the banking system as of 1 April exceeded 9.9 trillion soums(currency rates of CB RU from 19.05.2017, 1$= 3790.00 soums), which is 23.3% higher compared to the corresponding period last year.
The capital adequacy of the banking system three-fold exceeds the international standard, while its liquidity is twice higher than required minimum standards. Banks’ assets as on 1 April amounted to 90,1 trillion soums, 29.2% up year-on-year.
Total volume of loans channeled to real sector of economy increased 29,9% and amounted to more than 57.3 trillion soums.
The volume of investment loans of banks compared to April 1, 2016 increased 1.2 times and as of April 1, 2017, reached 3.2 trillion soums.
Lending organizations have contributed to creating a favorable business environment in the country. The volume of loans for entrepreneurial activities in the reporting period amounted to 4.6 trillion soums, having increased 1.3 times compared to the same period of 2016. Of them microloans amounted to 1 trillion soums, 1.3 times more compared to the same period last year.
Women entrepreneurs received over 514.1 billion soums of bank loans, which is 25.5% more compared to April 1, 2016.
The meeting also criticized the activities of individual commercial banks, which do not fully utilize the available domestic opportunities to expand the types of services and build customer trust.
The meeting identified specific challenges ahead:
Under the 20 April Presidential Resolution, the marketization of gas supply of Uzbekistan will be furthered, and from June 1 the government will launch pilot projects to allow private operators to distribute natural gas in trust.
Operators wishing to continue will be bidding for the opportunity.
The selection will be made by a special commission.
The government has scheduled to carry out works on 13 sites throughout the country this year, 19 sites in 2018, 16 in 2019, 21 in 2020 and 5 in 2021. The total cost of work exceeds 23.4 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 19.05.2017, 1$= 3790.00 soums). The bulk of the funds – 9.9 billion soums, will be allocated by local budgets, another 8.3 billion – by commercial banks, and 5.1 billion soums – by initiators of projects.
Samarkand (4.7 billion soums), Tashkent (3.3 billion soums) and Ferghana region (3 billion soums) are the top leaders in construction works.
The government entrusted municipalities and other specialized agencies to allocate areas for new bus stations and terminal stops in most convenient places for passengers, that is, in optimal proximity to railway stations, airports and markets.
Private investors are now allowed to not just be involved in the construction, but also organize passenger related services that comply with security conditions, for example, open various shops and catering points at the bus stations.
Acceleration of work with appeals and complaints of passengers is another interesting moment. The government assigned the Uzbek Agency of Road and River Transport to ensure prompt response to citizens’ appeals that come through the Internet, hotlines, virtual reception of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and take effective measures.
By the end of May, it is also envisaged to develop standard contracts on the provision of passenger transport services that would ensure the observance of passengers’ rights and liability of road carriers for each specific case of failure or improper fulfillment of the terms of the tender contract.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
This year, the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) celebrates its 10th anniversary. Petko Draganov, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and head of this structure, has expounded on the activities of the Center.
Mr. Draganov, this year you celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center. What have been the main achievements of UNRCCA in this period?
To begin with, there have been no major interstate conflicts in Central Asia during this time. This, of course, is the merit of the states themselves, but there is also a part of our efforts. First and foremost, the Center provided a platform for governments to dialogue on the most complex regional issues: trans-boundary water use, countering security threats, strengthening stability, and developing regional cooperation. The Center provided good services to prevent and promptly respond to emerging problems that threaten the internal stability of both individual countries and the entire region.
As part of monitoring the situation, we have accumulated considerable analytical potential. We provide information support to the UN governing bodies with the aim of adopting and implementing timely and effective decisions. Twice a year I address the Security Council with reports on the work done and analysis of the regional situation. The proposals that we are coordinating with the countries are brought to the attention of the Security Council members and receive international response. To enhance the global visibility of Central Asian problems, the Center initiated several visits of the UN Secretary General to all five Central Asian states. This is the evidence of the great attention paid by the leadership of the United Nations to the region and the willingness to assist in addressing the existing issues.
We are sometimes told: “Your work is just talking, give us concrete results: roads, equipment, infrastructure, financial support, etc.” Such reproaches are often heard by diplomats. I can recall the famous phrase: “As long as diplomats speak, guns go silent.” The issues of social and economic development are the responsibility of the states themselves. The main goal of the Center is to build confidence between countries, which will create a favorable climate for all-round cooperation, including in the trade and economic sphere. Of course, the results of such work will not be immediately visible, but we note positive trends. We particularly welcome and support in practice the efforts of countries aimed at facilitating customs and other administrative barriers to trade.
And what can you say about the initiatives proposed by your Center in the field of management of trans-boundary water resources?
In 2010, a Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) was signed at the UNRCCA headquarters in Ashgabat on the development of a mechanism for monitoring and preventing threats to the environment in the Aral Sea basin. Based on this document, the Center interacts with the Executive Committee of IFAS in terms of information exchange, enhancing the capacity of its staff, assistance in mobilizing international support for implementing the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP), and a number of other issues. Currently, the UNRCCA is in contact with the Turkmen chairmanship of IFAS EC on the development of a regional water strategy. The Center also cooperates with UNESCO in the study of the problem of melting of high mountain glaciers and its impact on national and trans-boundary water systems, as well as the creation of an appropriate system for the exchange of information and knowledge.
In cooperation with the Scientific Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (SIC ICWC), the Center is developing an early warning mechanism on potential problem situations on trans-boundary rivers. We are currently preparing and distributing quarterly early warning bulletins on the basis of an agreed set of indicators.
For several years now we have been working with the Central Asian states to create a legal mechanism for an integrated solution of the region’s water and energy issues. Following several years of negotiations in March 2017, the Center sent an updated proposal to governments on the development of agreements on the use of water resources in the Amudarya and Syrdarya river basins. The proposed projects are aimed at helping countries create a clear legal mechanism for managing trans-boundary water resources on the basis of taking into account the interests of all parties, the equivalence of different types of water use, rationality and justice. Projects also offer the creation of a multi-stage dispute resolution mechanism. I have already held the first round of talks in the capitals of the Central Asian states and have received confirmation of the willingness of most of them to negotiate on this issue.
What is necessary for more successful preventive diplomacy in Central Asia?
The key objective of the UNRCCA mandate – to assist nations in ensuring regional peace and stability – is of particular importance for national security and is entirely in the sovereign competence of states. Therefore, the effectiveness of the work is determined by the political will of governments to conduct a dialogue and seek solutions to problems. The Center is making efforts to mobilize political will to respond to the challenges and threats to regional security. At the same time, do not forget that “East is a matter delicate”. The countries of the region follow their own paths, and each has its own specifics, different from that of others, and their national interests. The Center has to take into account these subtle points.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
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