On June 7, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a meeting on the issues of industrial development and accelerating the development of foreign direct investment in the regions.
During the visits of the Head of the state to Karakalpakstan and regions, a number of enterprises were put into operation, projects on organization of many industries were presented. In addition, a working group led by the Deputy Prime Minister is developing additional projects for regions that are lagging behind in industrial development. Particular attention is paid to the location of production facilities in areas with necessary infrastructure.
At the meeting, activities carried out in this area were analyzed on the example of Andijan region.
It was emphasized that the industry in this region is in need of diversification and is tied to two industries – the automotive industry and textile production. They account for almost 60 percent of workers employed in industry, as well as 83 percent of products produced in the region. The level of industrial development of Boz, Bulakbashi, Izbaskan, Kurgantepa, Markhamat, Pakhtaabad, Jalakuduk, Balikchi and Ulugnor districts is low.
In this densely populated region, where every inch of land is worth its weight in gold, empty 90 hectares of land and 163 thousand square meters of premises that have access to necessary infrastructure have been identified on 98 public facilities.
236 new projects to be implemented by 2022 have been developed in Andijan region in accordance with instructions given by the President on the effective use of such buildings and areas, organizing enterprises and workplaces on their basis, diversifying industry in districts.
These projects, along with those planned earlier, envisage the creation over the next three years of almost 41 thousand permanent jobs and development of foreign direct investment in the amount of 1 billion 87 million dollars. Their implementation will allow to diversify the regional industry and increase production 4 times in building materials industry, 2.1 times in the electrical, leather and footwear and chemical industries, 3 times in the food industry. The industrial potential of districts will significantly increase, disproportions between them will be reduced.
At the meeting, instructions were given on development and ensuring the implementation of sectoral schedules for all projects, placing industrial projects at vacant state facilities in priority order, providing for the provision of projects with electricity, financial and other necessary resources.
The Head of the state noted that an investment fund will be created for development of industry and entrepreneurship in Fergana valley, which will not provide loans, but will participate in projects as a business partner. Special attention will be paid to projects capable of creating decent jobs and producing export-oriented products. According to preliminary calculations, these efforts will serve to create 10,000 new jobs in Andijan, Fergana and Namangan regions.
The expediency of development of a system for providing collateral-free microcredits to small business projects was also noted.
Main attention at the meeting was paid to issues of accounting state and non-state objects – empty or unused effectively, organizing enterprises on their basis and creating jobs.
Despite the provision of broad powers for using unused buildings and structures, khokimiyats and local tax authorities were not able to achieve significant results in this direction. Presence of buildings and land area of 22 thousand hectares, which have all the necessary infrastructure, but are empty, was indicated. Moreover, these are ready places for development of industry and creation of jobs.
Proposals of the Cabinet of Ministers for implementation of important tasks facing ministries and khokimiyats in this area were heard at the meeting.
The status of activities carried out to attract foreign direct investment, meeting deadlines for the implementation of funds and projects was discussed in terms of industries and regions.
It was emphasized that during the five months of the current year, 1.6 billion dollars was spent on regional projects, and almost 1 billion dollars of foreign direct investment in industry projects. However, these figures are less than planned, and in some regions, managing investment does not reach even 35 percent of the annual forecast.
In particular, due to unsatisfactory state of work on attracting and developing foreign direct investment in Andijan region, deputy ministers for investments and foreign trade were appointed responsible for individual industries in the region. With involvement of industry associations, they will develop proposals for foreign investors to implement investment projects in the territories of vacant facilities. In the future, these projects will be presented to investors with participation of ambassadors.
Responsible persons were instructed to introduce this new order in other regions, visit places and accelerate implementation of projects with participation of foreign investors.
Implementation of agreements reached by the leadership of the khokimiyats during their foreign trips were also discussed at the meeting. Managing investments in most of the agreements has already begun, but some agreements are still on paper.
The Accounting Chamber and relevant ministries were given directives to analyze these agreements and accelerate the absorption of investments in promising projects.
It was noted that both local khokimiyats and sectoral ministries are equally responsible for development of industry and investment projects, and their placement.
Heads of industries and regions provided information on the issues discussed at the meeting.