March 19, 2014
Press-service of MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan
About 5.76 trln. soums directed to housing construction in 2013
Out of the total volume of investments utilized in the non-production sphere in Uzbekistan in 2013, some 5.767 trillion soums or 63.1% of their volume were used in housing construction, the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said.
In January-December 2013, 82,100 buildings or 84,100 apartments with the total space of 10.611 million m2 (+4.4 year-on-year), including 8.038 million m2 (+4.3%) of the rural area, were built and put into operation.
For new construction and capital reconstruction of hospitals, outpatient departments and rural ambulances there were used 291.5 billion soums of investments, which made up 37.3% of investments in the public health sector.
About 232.8 billion soums of investments were used for construction and reconstruction of higher education establishments, lyceums and vocational colleges, which made up 2.5 percent of investments in the non-production sphere and 31.4 percent of investments in the education sector.
Some 154.2 billion soums of investments were used for construction and reconstruction of general education schools, which made up 1.7 percent of investments in the non-production sphere and 20.8 percent of investments in the education sector.
About 344 billion soums were used for construction of water-supply networks, of which 171.9 billion soums – means of republican budget (50 percent of their total volume), 145.4 billion soums – foreign investments and credits (42.3 percent), 16.7 billion soums – means of population (4.8 percent), 3.2 billion soums – means of enterprises and organizations (0.9 percent), 6.8 billion soums – other sources of financing (2 percent); 15.6 billion soums were used for construction of gas networks, of which 12.3 billion soums (78.9 percent) – means of population, 3 billion soums (19.2 percent) – means of enterprises and organizations, 0.3 billion soums (1.9 percent) – other sources of financing.
In January-December 2013 construction works were fulfilled to the amount of 15.081 trillion soums, which grew by 16.6 percent compared to January-December 2012.
Out of the total volume of construction works 79.5percent falls on new construction, reconstruction, expansion and technical re-equipment of enterprises, 19 percent – on capital and current repair, and 1.5 percent – on other contract works.
Competitiveness of the domestic science, issues concerning the introduction of new efficient technologies, training a younger generation of researchers, and other science related subjects are currently discussed extensively at the regional fairs of innovative ideas, technologies and projects, and also as part of preparation for the republican fair, which is traditionally held in the capital Tashkent.
There is enough to show
In contrast to those in previous years, this year’s regional fairs are held in all provinces. The Ministry of Economy and the Coordinating Committee for Science and Technology Development are to hold similar forums in Karakalpakstan, Bukhoro, Navoi and Khorazm regions. Researchers present projects that might be useful in the regions. There, they enquire into the needs of the region firsthand. The expositions present various solutions for enhancing fertility and the development of livestock industry. There are all Kinds of mini-technologies for small businesses and private entrepreneurship. This year’s fair is remarkable with a wide selection of renewable energy technologies. A nation-wide construction has entailed an extensive range of solutions for builders and manufacturers of construction materials.
Seventh Republican Fair of Innovative Ideas, Technologies and Projects is to take place in the Uzexpocenter. This year’s arrangements involve design bureaus and research centers under big industrial associations along with research institutions of the Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, Ministry of Public Education. The exhibition includes 494 products, 269 of which will be presented for the first time. The projects of high importance will be presented iteratively. The majority of exhibited products – 171 and 127 respectively – are targeted at industrialists and farmers. A significant part of the exposition represents medicine, pharmacology, information and communication technology, science and education.
The number of contracts and agreements being concluded at exhibitions has increased over the recent years. This year is expected to be no exception. For instance, 326 contracts valued at 11.8 billion soums (Currency rates of CB from 19.03.2014 1$=2250.36 soums) were signed in 2012, while last year their number was 413, and the total value exceeded 17 billion soums. Under the last year’s agreements 20 series of new products to 648.2 billion soums were manufactured. 24 projects on extension of production facilities are underway. Fuel, chemical, pharmaceutical, food, textile and light industries are most active to cooperate with science.
Scientific publications are another criterion to judge on the competitiveness of science. 3,912 articles and theses were published last year under the government funded projects, including 1,014 articles in foreign journals and research collections of participants of international conferences.
Support from the state
Most of presented innovations were developed under science and technology grants.
Domestic scientists are fruitfully involved in the implementation of eight international research projects valued at 3.6 million US dollars, over 853,000 euros, 150,000 Swiss francs, as estimated by the Coordinating Committee for Science and Technology Development. For example, the funding of five projects under the memorandum ‘Uzbekistan-Korea 2012’, amounted to 4,520,000 UZS and 300 million KRW.
Meanwhile, state and enterprise customers remain the major source of funding for scientific research. Introduced in 2006, the system meets the models of developed countries. Most of the grants are currently implemented by institutions of the Academy of Sciences, Ministry of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Health, Agriculture and Water Resources.
In recent years Uzbekistan has embarked on a reduction of fundamental projects and increase of applied and innovation projects. This allows to focus on bringing scientific ideas to practice.
The winners of innovative projects to be funded in 2014-2015 have been recently announced. They are 350 relevant research projects, which will be funded jointly by government and the companies claiming for the innovations. Innovation Grants is a unique and effective tool to empower the researches to introduce their products.
Currently, domestic researchers carry out 392 fundamental and 892 applied projects.
As of 2008, Uzbekistan has introduced a new kind of grants for researchers under 35 to attract young people to science and support them. Unlike last years, the list of projects to be implemented in 2014-2015 includes 109 names. As reported by research administration, the number of youth grants will grow, and the competition will be annual.
The stake on young scientists is not accidental. With their outlook, ambitions, views, computer and communication skills they contribute to the development of up-to-date technologies which are significantly ahead of time and most relevant for the country’s development.
Tocreate theappropriateconditions the state in cooperation with foreign partners is implementing projects development of advanced research centers. One of them – the High Technology Center in Tashkent – broadly applies the experience of the University of Cambridge. It provides conditions both for staff training and research in physics, chemistry, biology, geophysics, biophysics, and biochemistry. It is noteworthy that the center was implementing different kinds of educational programs and arranged meetings for the local youth and world’s forefront researchers yet in the process of building its logistical capacity. Establishment of International Institute for Solar Energy, which deals with the introduction of solar energy in the economy, is another major project. 15 high-tech research laboratories under 14 largest universities are expected to be highly effective. The project covers almost all modern areas of science.
The future belongs to the young
Much is being done to ensure that research papers were grounded on the data obtained from specific nigh-tech studies. Experts anticipate the increase in the number of promising young innovators to present their inventions for the Innovation Fair while getting prepared to defend their doctoral dissertation.
The year 2013 marked the country’s transition to a single-stage system of training of research and pedagogical staff. Today it is represented by the Institute of Senior Fellows and the doctor’s degree system. Those who tried to compare a PhD thesis with a doctoral dissertation were deeply mistaken. Having passed certification, 1,135 people out of 1,787 intern researcher applicants have become senior fellows and continued preparations for doctoral dissertations.
The requirements for a PhD thesis have become much higher. Many of the intern researcher applicants have won youth research grants this year to be funded in 2014-2015. It is expected that such a support will motivate the future doctors of science to keep researching and contribute to the solution of science-intensive tasks. Subjects of dissertations and research grants match in most cases, which suggests a high level of degree works and their conformity with the real needs of the society.
The single-stage staff training system implies that all topics of future doctoral dissertations must undergo an expert review at the Coordinating Committee for Science and Technology Development to meet the requirements of state research and engineering programs, which inherently summarize the state’s needs in research. The bank of the reviewed topics includes more than 2.5 thousand items, and is available at the committee’s official website.
The state uses a system of training highly qualified staff to guide young people in its needs. For instance, in 2014, the admission quota to the Institute of Senior Fellows increased from last year’s 522 to 650 people, and twice in engineering. Country needs the specialists to implement the strategy of modernization of production and the introduction of up-to-date technologies.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)
Tourist industry of Uzbekistan: the results achieved in 2013
The year 2013 was fruitful and successful for the country’s tourist industry. Conducive to the further promotion to the international arena of Uzbekistan’s tourist potential last year was a series of events, including the Programs of Tourism Development in Khorezm, Surkhandarya, Tashkent and Kashkadarya provinces, approved by the Uzbek leaders; the 1st International Uzbek Tourist Fair (IUTF) and the Festival of Uzbek Pilou as a new direction of gastronomic tourism; the 19th Tashkent International Tourist Fair, Tourism on the Silk Road; the Tourist Forum, Uzbekistan Travel Workshop in the town of Khiva; a number of traditional Mega-Info-Tours for representatives of foreign tourist companies and the mass media and others.
Many components, such as lavish tourist potentialities, ancient towns-museums under the open sky, unique monuments of ancient architecture and splendid natural landscapes turn the Republic into one of the largest tourist states onthe globe. That is why much attention is devoted in Uzbekistan to the development of tourism and expansion of corresponding infrastructure as one of the priority directions of the nation’s socio-economic development.
Historical monuments are restored countrywide, hotels are constructed and transport servicing of foreign guests is improved.
The approval in 2013 of the Programs of Tourism Development in Khorezm, Surkhandarya, Tashkent and Kashkadarya provinces constitutes a new stage in the development of national tourism. More than US $260 million is stipulated to implement in these regions.
Additionally, these Programs provide for the implementation of projects to develop the industry’s infrastructure, such as repairs of roads that lead to the most popular sights, the improvement of engineering facilities in the tourist centers all over the Republic, the construction of hotels, restaurants, parks, bowling clubs and other entertainment centers for tourists. Remarkably, the Programs in question envisage a comprehensive package of privileges for project initiators.
For the time being, a certain portion of work has been done under these Programs. A number of new hotels, restaurants and other tourist centers have been built and several existing ones have been reconstructed across Uzbekistan.Besides, the creation of many new sights is in the making, and a variety of cultural programs are introduced for tourists. The centers of tourism in the Republic’s historical towns are provided with Wi-Fi communication. In addition to the existing popular tourist routes, many new ones are created in the country. The frequency of air and rail services, together with a flexible price formation system, has boosted a number of visitors arriving in Uzbekistan from abroad. Commencement of the operation on the Tashkent-Samarkand route of the Afrosiab high-speed train (made by the Spanish firm, Talgo) and the Afsona train, which deals with individual requests from tourist agencies, has facilitated the frequency of visits.
When it comes to the development of national tourism, special emphasis is laid on international cooperation and the study of advanced international experience. Beginning from 2013, the Republic’s tourist potential at various international exhibitions and fairs is represented by the single National Stand, called “Uzbekistan”. And the results of participation in the following large-scale touristevents confirm the correctness of a given strategy: Fitur (Madrid, Spain), Emitt (Istanbul, Turkey), Balttour (Riga, Latvia), ITB (Berlin, Germany), MITT (Moscow, Russia), TopResa (Paris, France), JATA ( Tokyo, Japan) , TTG (Rimini, Italy), WTM (London, the UK) and others.The number of cooperation agreements concluded by Uzbekistan in the course of these events is impressive.
The 19th Tashkent International Tourist Fair, Tourism on the Silk Road, held in October of the last year, was a great success. Representatives of more than 40 countries took part in the event. At the present time, a great deal of spade-work is underway for the jubilee 20th Tashkent International Tourist Fair-2014, a grandiose event in the tourist industry of Uzbekistan.
In November 2013, an Uzbek delegation arrived in London (the UK) to participate in the Ministerial Summit staged by the UN World Travel Organization (UNWTO).
The UNWTO highly assessed the leading role played by the Republic of Uzbekistan in solidifying international collaboration in the development of tourist infrastructure on the Great Silk Road. A regional office of this prestigious international organization was opened in the country as far back as 1994. Nowadays, the UNWTO office in Uzbekistan is successfullyfor the benefit of international tourism development in the Silk Road nations. As well as that, this organization is involved in implementing a number of projects. It also maintains active cooperation with national tourist organizations in UNWTO member states. The demonstration on the Euronews Channel of an advertising clip that promotes Uzbekistan’s tourist potential, and a series of special documentary films about the country’s ancient towns of Samarkand, Shakhrisabz, Bukhara and Khiva, has helped to acquaint millions of its spectators with the rich historical and cultural heritage of Uzbek people. The channel’s audience will continue watching video accounts about the most fascinating sights and the spiritual-cultural wealth of Uzbekistan, to be broadcast on the Euronews Channel in 2014.
During the visit of an Uzbek delegation to Japan in December 2013, a “round-table” discussion convened in the Uzbek Embassy in Japan was attended by 70 representatives from Japanese tourist agencies and the mass media. The participators deliberated on a range of issues surrounding the promotion of Uzbekistan as one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the Central Asian region and the organization of a broad advertising campaign in Japan intended to highlight the Republic’s huge potentialities in the field of tourism.
Another direction, whose development is strongly stimulated these days, is the conduct by competent overseas experts in the field of tourism of master-classes for their Uzbek colleagues. Several such events, including the training session, “The World of Restaurant and Hotel: Up-and-coming trends in the world culinary art” conducted by Hans Dirk Halbfel, a world famous cooking specialist, were organized by the National Company, Uzbektourism’s Republican Scientific-Educational Center. They helped domestic specialists in the hospitality industry to enrich their experience and adopt advanced foreign methods.
Today, the industry of hospitality occupies a top position in the global exportation of goods and services. The annual international tourist flow already numbers one million people, with the figure rising year after year. What is also remarkable is that the number of overseas guests visiting Uzbekistan has been showing a steady upward trend. According to statistics, as many as 1,977,600 foreigners arrived in the Republic in 2013. Last year, the total volume of tourist services grew by over 16 per cent on the 2012 level. The export of services saw a 9 per cent rise on the same period. At the beginning of 2014, the number of tourist agencies in the country exceeded 900, including more than 400 hotels and 500 tourist companies.
(Source: “Business partner.uz” newspaper)