March 25, 2014
Press-service of MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan
The Position of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Situation in Ukraine and the Crimean issue
The attitude of Uzbekistan to the events in Ukraine laid out in the Statement of the Information Agency «Jahon» of March 4, 2014 remains unchanging.
The Republic of Uzbekistan, proceeding from the fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter and norms of international law, firmly and invariably adheres to the position on «settling the international disputes by peaceful means, refraining in international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state».
These principle targeted tasks have been reflected in the Constitutional Law «On the Concept of the Foreign Policy Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan» which defines the main priorities of our policy at the modern stage.
Uzbekistan has adhered to these principles with regard to the same international problems and intends to stick to them also in the future.
Along with this, in our opinion, taking into account in the long run the hard-to-predict perspectives of the events now unfolding in Ukraine and the Crimea, and based on the century-long closeness of the Ukrainian and Russian people, historically formed commonness of spiritual and cultural values, and their economic ties the only reasonable way out is to hold the direct bilateral negotiations to seek the mutually acceptable compromise settlement of problems.
Having said that, the more time is missed, the more contradictions arise and the situation is exacerbated.
(Source: Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
In Uzbekistan the volume of paid services rendered to population reaches 18.278 trillion soums
The volume of paid services rendered to population of Uzbekistan in January- December 2013 was 18.278 trillion soums or rose by 13.7% compared to January-December 2012.
The State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said that main part of paid services was rendered to population by the official sector, the volume of services rendered by this sector was 11.087 trillion soums (60.7% of total volume) or has increased by 9.8%. (Currency rates of CB from 25.03.2014 1$=2257.30 soums).
The volume of paid services rendered to population by individual entrepreneurs has increased by 20.5% and amounted to 7.191 trillion soums, the share of this sector in the total volume of paid services – 39.3%.
The share of the non-state sector in the total volume of paid services rendered to population was 83.2%.
The share of personal services in the total volume of paid services was 9.2% or 1.691 trillion soums. Their real volume has increased by 19.6%.
The share of services rendered by individual entrepreneurs in the personal services sector was 87.7%. The volume of services rendered by this sector has increased by 20.2% and amounted to 1.482 trillion soums.
International cooperation: uzbekistan-japan
The Rising Sun of Bilateral Relations
Japan is a birthplace of gadgets and high technology, and it is one of the world’s largest car makers. The country that is first to meet the sunrise, has built a unique model of economic development.
Lacking significant mineral resources, as well as enough area for the agricultural sector, the Japanese economy has consistently ranked among world leaders in terms of GDP for the past two decades. And today, many can learn from this island nation, which has achieved success by working out its own system of development. Therein lies the similarity between our countries: Uzbekistan also builds its future on an economic model of its own, where, like the Japanese, the emphasis is placed on innovative and high-quality finished products oriented for export.
Uzbekistan has an immeasurably greater resource potential in comparison with Japan. But the key, as the example of the Japanese economic miracle shows, is not about a theoretical potential but its practical application. Many countries in the world today “hooked” on their resources- gas and oil needle, continuing to spend revenues to increase in raw material extraction. Uzbekistan went the other way. The country refused from total foreign sales of its natural resources, and opted for the creation of modern facilities, specializing in processing them. In this connection, Bukhara Refinery and Shurtan Gas and Chemical Complex were built, the Kandym GPP and Ustyurt GCC are being constructed. And this is only a small part in a huge number of established and emerging contemporary industrial facilities, some of which are built using Japanese technology.
One of the most notable areas of cooperation is power. Japanese companies are the worldwide leaders in development of innovative technologies in energy generation. This is primarily due to the fact that the country of the rising sun was forced to import natural gas, oil and other resources for its power plants, which provide over 60% of total energy consumption. This in turn forces to apply the most effective and innovative products for energy, the cost of which depends directly on the competitiveness of Japanese goods in foreign markets. Therefore, there is not only a wealth of experience to optimize processes in electric power industry, but also tens of thousands of professionals working to improve existing technologies.
A “textbook” example of cooperation -starting the gas turbine cogeneration at the Tashkent heat and power plant, implemented by joint efforts of the State Stock Company Uzbekenergo, Tohoku Bectric Power Co., Inc and the Japanese Organization for Development of New Energy and Industrial Technology (NEDO). The project was implemented at the own expense of Uzbekenergo, as well as technical assistance grant funds provided by NEDO. Its distinguishing feature is the new industry for the country’s energy cogeneration technology co-production of electricity and heat. It is environmentally friendly and safe, and also meets the highest international standards. Main and auxiliary equipment, which includes a gas turbine, diesel generator and gearbox produced by Hitachi – one of the world’s largest diversified corporations. Supplier of gas compressor is KOBELCO – a leading Japanese manufacturer of compressor equipment. As noted NEDO representatives at the launch of the turbine, this project has become one of the largest in the history of this organization, which exists for more than 30 years.
Japanese companies have contributed greatly to modernization of NavoiTPP. In 2012, here a combined-cycle plant with 478 MW capacity was completed. Under the project Mitsubishi, well-known Japanese company, provided basic equipment – gas and steam turbine with generators. Thanks to the success of the project it was decided to build a second combined-cycle plant. It will be funded also through a loan from the Japanese side worth 34.8 billion yen. The importance of this project is difficult to overestimate. In Navoi region the FIEZ Navoi continues its development, which became the first investment beacon and a unique experience in use of a new mechanism for attracting foreign investments. Today there are dozens of modern facilities, which ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity.
Enterprises of Uzbekistan no less successfully introduce a system for the introduction and development of modern methods of production control “Kaizen”. Its main goal is to improving the competitiveness of manufacturers of Uzbekistan in domestic and foreign markets by improving product quality, productivity and efficiency of the organization of production, reduce production costs with minimal investment. The program included seminars, which were attended by representatives of more than 100 domestic enterprises, and also conducted a pilot implementation of the principles of lean production on 13 of them. This year, the work will continue.
Symbolically, the beginning of 2014 marked a new stage in the relations between the two countries in the field of information and communication technologies. The State Committee of Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies in Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan signed a memorandum on cooperation in ICT. The document envisions a partnership in development of joint projects, expansion of business contacts between companies and organizations of the two countries, sharing of views and experiences, organization of joint seminars and business conferences, and much more. To note, the countries have considerable experience in telecommunications. For example, Japanese Sumitomo Corporation owns shares in the East Telecom Company, which is the first telecom operator in Uzbekistan, using technology to provide services “next-generation networks – NGN» (Next Generation Network).
Much the same serious contribution the Japanese side has made to the development of national television. The country continues a gradual transition to digital television, annually put into operation new digital television transmitters, five of which are installed last year in Jizzakh, Tashkent, Farghona and Khorazm regions. One supplier of technological equipment is the Japanese NEC, the world-renowned manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Companies such as Sony, Canon, Yamaha and others involved in equipping a media centre and broadcast systems of the National TV and Radio Company.
Contacts in agriculture are actively promoted. The Japanese side has a huge experience in growing the maximum yield at minimum areas using modern agricultural technology. The country regularly conducts seminars and projects are being implemented with participation of Japanese breeders and farmers who teach Uzbek colleagues to grow export-oriented products. Uzbekistan has already started trial shipments its products agribusiness to Japan. At the end of 2013 there was a first supply of Uzbek wines produced in Parkent District. For Japanese consumers’ judgement three types of dry red wines are presented. These are Samarqand Sayqali, produced from grapes pinot noir, Khiva – from cabernet sauvignon and Qadimiy Bukhoro – from aleatico.
Car manufacture industry has become an original conductor of the relations between the two countries has become the. The Japanese company Itochu Corporation decided to become a shareholder of the Samarqand Automobile Plant and helps to organize a wide range of assembly machinery. The first trucks under the brand name lsuzu left the assembly line in early 2007. Today here there are manufactured trucks and buses of various modifications, as well as a variety of options of specialized equipment. Just last year, the company produced 3.5 thousand buses and trucks.
One of the promising areas of cooperation is electrical industry, where the Japanese side is considered one of the world leaders. Uzbekistan is also making great strides in the development of this industry. Production of a wide range of household appliances, as well as modern gadgets mastered for a short time in the country. Today a number of promising projects are jointly worked out, one of which is the creation of a joint venture for production of air conditioners under the Mitsubishi brand.
Experts believe that in the future the two countries have many joint projects. The most important thing in their partnership is similarity of approaches tobuilding a model of economic development based on the technology industry, innovation and export orientation.
(Source: newspaper “Uzbekistan Today”)
A Critical Step toward Bolstering the Civil Society, Democratic Renewal and Liberalization of the Legislation
The Legislative Chamber, in accordance with its Rules of Procedure, has initiated discussion of draft amendments and addenda to certain articles of the Constitution (articles32, 78, 93, 98,103 and 117), offered by President Islam Karimov.
Yesterday the bill was considered at the plenary session of the Legislative Chamber in the first reading. The report of the Committee on Legislation and Legal Affairs, responsible for preparing the bill for consideration, noted that the changes made to the Constitution are aimed at significant deepening of the ongoing constitutional reforms for further expansion of the rights and powers of the parliament, increasing the responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers, general executive bodies, public and parliamentary oversight over the activities of public authorities. In addition, the changes, providing for the transfer of some powers of the President to the Prime Minister, clarification of the procedure of presentation and approval of Prime Minister to the both houses of parliament are aimed at further enhancing the independence and accountability of the executive power. Thus, a new provision in the Constitution stating that the candidate for the Prime Minister presents to Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan a program of action of the Cabinet for immediate and long-term. This will be of great importance for the further strengthening of the parliamentary and inter-party competition, which is the most important component of a democratic society.
During the debates, representatives of factions of political parties and the Ecology Movement commented on the bill.
It was also noted that the most important innovation of the draft law concerns the implementation of the Concept of intensifying the democratic reforms and developing civil society in the country in the field of democratization of state power and administration: a more balanced distribution of powers between the President, the legislative and the executive. It is provided for higher responsibility of the Cabinet of Ministers for the implementation of socio-economic policy, the measures for the protection of economic, social and other rights and legitimate interests of citizens, coordination and direction of the work of public and economic management, control over their activities.
Members of the faction of the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan stressed that the amendments introduced in the Constitution significantly increase the responsibility of the government, executive authorities on the ground for the implementation of the socio-economic development of the country. In particular, the changes increase significantly the parliamentary oversight in the process of review and approval of candidates for the Prime Minister.
The clarification to the Constitution binds the governor of the region, district and the city to deliver reports to the relevant councils of people’s representatives on important and topical issues of socio-economic development of the region, district, city. On this basis the councils take appropriate decisions. This provision will strengthen the parliamentary oversight in the field.
This dramatically strengthens the role of political parties in mapping out the specific priorities of sociopolitical and economic development, their participation in the most important tasks of reforming and modernizing the country. All this will contribute to improving the implementation of socio-economic development of the regions, to ensuring the interests of socially vulnerable groups, to rational solution of social problems in the field, with a maximum use of parliamentary oversight.
According to members of Democratic Party Milliy Tiklanish, the consistent and gradual implementation of essential democratic reforms for the formation of national statehood, strengthening the importance and role of parliament in the state and the political system, implemented on the basis of the Uzbek Model of reforms, lays a solid foundation for the occurrence of Uzbekistan among developed democratic countries.
Strengthening of parliamentary oversight is essential in making Oliy Majlis a conductor of democratic reforms, while constitutional recognition of the norm establishing the government’s responsibility for the national programs for the development of science, culture, education, health and other sectors of the economy and the social sphere, allows for more effective protection of the interests of the party’s electorate.
Members of the Social Democratic Party Adolat emphasized the constitutional amendment, which establishes that the President may suspend or revoke the acts of government bodies and governors only in the case of non-compliance of the norms of law, will ensure rule of the Constitution and the law. Thereby, this provision simultaneously increases the responsibility of these bodies and officials for their decisions, especially those affecting the vital interests of the population.
As the faction members say, the provisions of the bill fixing democratic mechanisms of the Central Election Commission and its basic, which are independence, legality, collegiality, openness and fairness, will also provide guarantees of citizens’ rights to elect and be elected to representative bodies.
Representatives of the parliamentary group of the Ecology Movement stressed the great importance of the proposed changes and additions to the Constitution and current legislation for increasing the role and importance of civic institutions in addressing pressing challenges of sustainable development, achieving Uzbekistan national Millennium Development Goals, environmental protection, environmental resource management and public health. The bill also creates a strong legal basis for the development, implementation and further improvement of effective mechanisms for environmental control.
In general, parliamentarians noted the importance of the initiatives put forward by the head of state to further the political and constitutional development of Uzbekistan, strengthen the role of the legislature in the state and the political system. The law will become an important factor for further implementation of the fundamental principle of our country, which says: ‘from a strong state to a strong civil society’. The institute of public scrutiny enshrined in the Constitution is of paramount importance in ensuring the direct participation of citizens in the affairs of society and the state, creating favorable conditions for the development of small business and entrepreneurship, farming, protecting private property and property rights, increasing the role and importance of representative parliamentary bodies, strengthening their capacities in addressing socio-economic development challenges.
Following the discussion, MPs unanimously endorsed the draft bill and approved the first reading.
(Source: newspaper “Uzbekistan Today”)