INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 107

May 28, 2015

uzbek_digestSTATE VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN ISLAM KARIMOV TO THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA.. 2

The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov Arrives in the Republic of Korea. 2

economy.. 2

Uzbekistan’s ‘road map’ for small business. 2

International cooperation.. 4

Meeting with Secretary General of OIC.. 4

Society.. 4

Countering Drug Abuse: National and Foreign Experience. 4

Umid Nihollari-2015. 7

A Festival of Youth and Sports. 7

 

 


STATE VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN ISLAM KARIMOV TO THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA

The President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov Arrives in the Republic of Korea

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov arrived May 27 in the Republic of Korea on a state visit at the invitation of President Park Keun-hye.

In accordance with South Korean protocol, state flags of the two nations were raised at the Seoul Airport and the guard of honor was lined up for the occasion. Following an official ceremony of meeting, the Uzbek delegation left for the designated residence.

The streets of Seoul are decorated with state flags of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Korea, slogans and banners welcoming and greeting the high ranking guest.

The current visit is taking place as part of what has become as traditional the regular Uzbek-South Korean meetings at the highest level, which allow for discussion of the entire complex of issues in interstate ties, for identification of priority dimensions of bilateral cooperation and for exchange of views on pressing regional and international affairs.

Major events of the state visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, including official negotiations with the President and other leaders of the Republic of Korea, meetings with heads of leading corporations, are scheduled for 28 and 29 May.

As it was reported earlier, during the visit the two sides are intending to adopt a joint declaration of the heads of two states and sign a remarkable package of documents designed to steadily consolidate the relations in the spirit of the 2014 Joint Declaration on the Further Development and Enhancement of Strategic Partnership.

(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

economy

Uzbekistan’s ‘road map’ for small business

Small businesses have been invariable bedrock in the world’s majority of successful economic models. Germany, the USA, South Korea, Britain and Japan exemplify a huge number of states that have been pursuing their development strategies on the basis of ‘small economy’. Uzbekistan ranks among them, secured by the recently approved ‘road map’ for the development of small business and private entrepreneurship.

The reason of the trend is fairly simple. Large enterprises prove clumsy, and risking to face serious problems with profitability in the context of global financial turbulence. Unlike small businesses, it appears hard for big manufacturers to re-orient their production lines for new products given declining demand and sales and changing preferences of customers.

That’s not to mention the fact that every crisis is forcing large companies to cut staff, and increase profitability through enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. Small businesses do not face such a problem – they just have to bring in all opportunities to be successful.

Uzbekistan has long focused on this sector, providing the most favorable conditions. Meanwhile, the rapidly changing conditions required the accelerated rates of development of ‘small economy’, enhance the role and place of private property, eliminate certain barriers and constraints to private businesses, reduce the government involvement in the economy, and consistently increase the share of ‘private owners’ in the gross domestic product.

Approved by the state’s leader last week, a Program of Measures on Ensuring Secure Protection of Private Property, Small Business and Private Entrepreneurship and Elimination of Barriers in their Rapid Development was designed to address most of the current problems.

The program is primarily aimed at enhancing responsibility, up to criminal one, of government officials, law enforcement and regulatory authorities for impending and illegal interference in entrepreneurial activity, violation of private owners’ rights, as well as securing guarantees of protection of private property, and continuation of the liberalization process of the administrative and criminal law that regulates entrepreneurial activity.

The program settles specific measures to further simplify all kinds of registration, licensing and permitting procedures, as well as procedures related to foreign economic activities, create appropriate conditions and opportunities for accelerated development of small businesses and private enterprises, and expand their access to funds and loans.

As of July 1, 2015 Uzbekistan is introducing a new procedure of inspections for micro firms, small businesses and farms to be carried out not more than once in every four years, and no more than once every three years for other economic entities, exclusively at the decision of the Republican Council for Coordination of Regulatory Authorities in Uzbekistan.

The terms of the scheduled inspections that are not attributable to financial and economic activities should not exceed 10 calendar days. Scheduled inspections of financial and economic activity of business entities cover only the period following the last scheduled inspection.

The inspections of economic entities by law enforcement bodies in criminal cases are carried out with the obligatory presence of lawyers. In case if an entity has committed the crime of tax evasion or other mandatory payments, it might be exempted from liability without criminal proceedings, provided that it fully reimburses the damage caused, pays fines and other financial penalties within 30 days after the crime was detected.

It is worth to mention the strengthened legal safeguards for businesses. Uzbekistan schedules to introduce the round-the-clock complaint reception system for small businesses and private enterprises by July 1, 2015. It will operate on the basis of the Single Call Center of Uzbektelecom and helpline of the General Prosecutor’s Office. The system will address the cases of groundless interference of government, law enforcement and regulatory authorities in the activities of businessmen, impediment in business and violation of owners’ rights. It is entrusted with taking enforcement actions against the persons who violate the guarantees of freedom of entrepreneurship.

Economic courts have received the right to suspend execution of a decision of a supervisory authority, if it is appealed by a business entity, for the period of consideration of the relevant claim. It is also important that the property of the business entities that violated tax or customs legislation may be seized, and additionally charged customs duties may be impounded exclusively at the decision of the court, if there is an objection by the business entity.

The document has settled the issue of benefits for individual entrepreneurs. Today, a significant part of the service sector in Uzbekistan is represented by this segment, and its active growth has been constrained primarily by the lack of opportunities for expansion. Since July 1, individual entrepreneurs will get the right to employ from one to three employees, depending on the type of business, paying insurance premiums to the Pension Fund for each worker in the amount of 50% of the minimum wage and the fixed tax of 30% of the established rate for the individual entrepreneurs-employers. Besides, they are exempt from fixed tax for employed workers – graduates of vocational colleges within twelve months upon graduation.

Another important initiative is scheduled for the next year, which, according to experts, might significantly simplify the life of aspiring entrepreneurs. A centralized system of ‘single window’ centers will operate across the country as of January 1, 2016. Integrated centers of public services for businesses will be established under business entity registration inspection agencies at district and urban municipalities. By July 1, 2015, related ministries should carry out a complete inventory of the public services provided by a ‘single window’ service for various departments, further integrate them into the service system of new centers, and design standard forms of constituent documents and the documents to be submitted for public services, including licensing and permit procedures.

Other state and economic authorities will be banned to receive any documents for public services provided by ‘single window’ centers directly from the business entities. The centers will be funded by fees for state registration of business entities to accrue to their accounts. However, the funds should be channeled exclusively at strengthening their logistical capacity and staff incentives.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

International cooperation

Meeting with Secretary General of OIC

On May 28, 2015 in Kuwait City, the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulaziz Kamilov held a meeting with the Secretary General of the OIC Iyad Ameen Madani, in the framework of participation in the regular Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the member countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

The sides discussed the current condition and prospects of developing cooperation between Uzbekistan and the OIC, as well as practical issues related to the upcoming chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the Council of Foreign Ministers and holding the regular session of CFM in 2016.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.

(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Society

Countering Drug Abuse: National and Foreign Experience

Tashkent has hosted an international conference titled “Countering the Proliferation of Drugs and Preventive Measures: National and International Experience.”

At the event organized by the National Information-Analytical Center on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, the participants discussed the implementation of measures to prevent drug abuse, promote healthy lifestyles, involve civil society institutions and strengthen social partnership and international cooperation in this area.

As noted at the event, the problem of drug abuse and illicit trafficking poses a serious worldwide threat, and becomes transnational against the backdrop of ongoing globalization.

Uzbekistan is also affected by the problem, taking into account its geographical and strategic position at the crossroads between South Asia and Europe, making the territory of the country favorable for using it as the “transit corridor” for drug trafficking.

Uzbekistan has formed an effective system to counteract the drug addiction, which includes organizational, legal and special operational activities, international cooperation, and medical and social activities, such as an extensive preventive work and the promotion of healthy lifestyles. In other words, Uzbekistan combats the expansion of drug abuse in all areas.

The State Commission on Drug Control was set up in 1994. It is an inter-departmental body responsible for developing and ensuring the implementation of state policy on drug control. The National Information-Analytical Centre on Drug Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan was formed as the standing back-office of the commission. Regional Commissions on Drug Control are responsible for coordination of the efforts to combat the drug menace at the local level.

The law “On Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances” adopted in 1999, developed a legal mechanism for drug control in the country. The State Commission on Drug Control has developed long-term programs to counter drug abuse and illicit trafficking; the latest program is designed for 2011-2015.

Working on drug prevention and drug-related crime is crucial here. Uzbekistan has an effective system of drug dependency treatment. Some of the regions feature the new buildings of drug rehabilitation clinics with new rehabilitation units. The clinics are equipped with a laboratory, diagnostic and medical facilities. Uzbekistan works on training competent personnel for drug treatment services. The addiction clinics now have the positions of psychotherapists, medical psychologists and social workers in line with new programs of medical and social rehabilitation that use the modern methods of drug prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of patients.

The integrated and comprehensive system of combating drug abuse features not only law enforcement agencies and medical institutions, but also social agencies, youth associations and self-government bodies.

The effective interaction between different agencies and organizations is based on the national legislation, which, along with the Law “On Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances” also features laws «On Crime Prevention”, “On the prevention of child neglect and juvenile delinquency”, “On limiting distribution and consumption of alcohol and tobacco products” and some other acts. The solid legal foundation helps to design and implement a number of measures in the areas of awareness raising, treatment and rehabilitation and law enforcement to prevent drug addiction and drug-related crime.

The adoption of the Law «On social partnership» in 2014 outline mechanisms of interaction between the state bodies and public organizations. It became an important factor to enhance the participation of civil society in raising the legal awareness and legal culture, spiritual and moral education of youth, including in the area of prevention of drug abuse.

The “Kamolot” Public Youth Movement works specifically to promote healthy lifestyles and the negative attitudes towards drug use among young people. The projects and events carried out by “Kamolot” targeted at this area create great engagement among the young people.

Self-government bodies are also playing an important role in drug prevention. Currently Uzbekistan has about 9,800 registered self-government bodies. They feature the public Commission for the spiritual and educational issues, commissions for women and minors, commissions for sport and others. Their work is effective thanks to the interaction with health and law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, and members of local councils. Self-government bodies also promote drug prevention by providing employment, developing private entrepreneurship and family businesses.

The system to promote children’s sports is also important here. In recent years, more than 1,200 children’s sports facilities have been built in Uzbekistan, 84% of them in rural areas.

Media is also working to raise the awareness about the consequences of drug use and to promote healthy lifestyles, with many media campaigns organized with the help of state bodies and public organizations

Another important area is enhancing relations with foreign states and international organizations. Uzbekistan has signed more than 30 agreements and memoranda of understanding in this field on a bilateral and on a multilateral basis.

In the framework of international cooperation, the border-customs posts of our country are equipped with modern stationary and mobile scanning units, and other equipment to prevent smuggling of goods carried, including drugs, while the national experts are constantly improving their skills in training events organized in the country and in foreign countries.

As a result of this complex work, a stabilization of the drug situation was achieved in the republic. For example, over the past decade, more than 193 thousand cases were revealed. More than 66.8 tons of narcotics and other drugs were seized from illegal turnover.

Recently, a reduction was marked in the number of drug addicts who are on drug treatment at medical institutions, there is no significant inflow of new cases of drug addiction among young people, while the number of new cases of HIV infection among drug users has greatly reduced.

The number of drug addicts, that are on probation in the rehabs for the period of 2001-2014, has decreased from 18,087 to 14,692 and the incidence of drug abuse has decreased from 25.3 to 3.8 per 100,000 of population. The proportion of injection drug users among the registered HIV cases has decreased from 73% to 7.2%.

In the framework of the conference, the national experience on combating drug trafficking, involvement of civil society institutions to conduct purposeful work to promote a healthy lifestyle, formation of negative attitude of the population of the republic to drug use were reviewed. The German experience in the development of drug rehab systems for the population, the introduction and use of modern technologies for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, a coordinated educational treatment and rehabilitation and other law enforcement activities, as well as enhanced international cooperation were also on the agenda of the conference.

In order to develop bilateral cooperation in combating drug trafficking, the development and implementation of joint measures to prevent drug addiction, a cooperation agreement was signed between the NIACDC and the representatives of the Konrad Adenauer foundation. It will establish cooperation in holding conferences, seminars, and ‘round tables’ in the field of combating drug trafficking, as well as in the study and dissemination of international and national experience on the issues of fighting drug trafficking and demand reduction.

“I am very glad to have had the opportunity to participate at such a serious conference, which hosted very important issues,” said international expert, member of the German Bundestag Christian Fornek. “Uzbekistan is a buffer zone to prevent the flow of drugs from Afghanistan, it is in the center of the struggle against this evil, and does much to counteract their prolifiration. At the forum I heard some interesting reports showing that your country pays great attention to the fight against drug addiction. I, in particular, was very interested in the activities of citizens’ assemblies of your country aimed at the prevention of drug use among young people, it’s just a unique experience.”

“In combating drugs, the activity of the media is very important,” said Professor Peter Shivi (Germany). “During my first visit to Uzbekistan in 2010, I was able to virtually explore the activities of your non-state TV channels. At this forum, I’ve learnt a lot about the work of the mass media of the republic to promote healthy lifestyles, the dangers of drug use that is extremely important and relevant.”

“In the struggle against this evil, the European countries have great achievements, but have also made a lot of mistakes,” said regional head of the K. Adenauer Foundation in Central Asia Mr. Thomas Kunze. “It is important that Uzbekistan does not repeat them. Your country has a positive experience in this area, which is interesting for Germany and other European countries. In this respect, the conference has fulfilled its task.”

Social youth movement “’Kamolot’ systematically carries out preventive and outreach activities such as ‘Drug addiction ruins lives’, ‘We stand for a healthy lifestyle’, ‘The negative effects of alcohol and smoking’ and others designed to improve the legal and medical state of culture of the younger generation, to instill the advantages of a healthy lifestyle,” said Zohirshoh Juraev, chief specialist of the Department of Health and Environment of the Central Board of the Kamolot Youth Movement. “Last year, our activists organized special educational mini-sessions that covered students in all regions. Since the beginning of 2015, as part of a month to combat drug abuse, these sessions were attended by 20 thousand people, both boys and girls. As part of an educational tour at the Kamolot camp in the Bostanlyk district of Tashkent region, 100 trainers were trained and briefed, who then will carry out educational talks throughout the year in the communities and at educational institutions.”

“Our organization brings together people living with HIV. We help them to adapt to the diagnosis, initiate treatment, maintain quality of life, and arrange counseling,” says chairperson of the NGO ‘Ishonch va Hayot’, Victoria Ashirova. “In addition, we are working on HIV prevention and drug abuse, healthy lifestyle among the younger generation. We attract young consultants and socially active youth to help other people overcome drug addiction, so that they can tell you on a personal example of young men and women about the dangers of drugs. There’s also a fruitful cooperation in these areas with the Ministry of Health and other medical institutions.”

“For me, it was a great honor to take part in the conference, where you can exchange experiences in the field of combating drug trafficking,” says speaker of the Saxon parliament Matthias Roessler. “This is a global problem, which affects mostly young people. I deeply admire the way Uzbekistan opposed this threat. A whole system has been lined up. Our countries have a similar approach to this issue. In Germany, law enforcement specialists, schools, health and social workers and NGOs are also involved in this fight.”

“The main combination that yields positive results in the fight against the drug threat is a combination of law enforcement and prevention and an integrated approach. Preventive measures can be successfully implemented within educational institutions, public organizations, and family institutions,” said head of the regional Office on Drugs and Crime of the United Nations in Central Asia Allium Mittal. “Uzbekistan in this sense has done a great job. Here there is the practice of discussions with the population in the communities. For many years, our office cooperates in this field with law enforcement agencies of the republic, ministries, NIACDC and community organizations.”

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Umid Nihollari-2015

A Festival of Youth and Sports

The final stage of the Umid Nihollari-2015 Sports Games among schoolchildren is underway in our country.

Organized at the initiative of President Islam Karimov as part of the National Program for Specialist Training, the Umid Nihollari Sports Games, as well as the Barkamol Avlod and the Universiade serve as an important factor in the extensive engagement of the young generation in sports, in the popularization of healthy lifestyle, embodiment of love and devotion to the Motherland in the youths, of the sense of national pride, and the formation of a generation worth our great ancestors.

The final stage of the first level of this system – the Umid Nihollari Sports Games – is held this year in the regions as a genuine holiday of youth and sports. The principal end sought by it is to raise the mass participation in the sport competitions, secure extensive engagement of youths in them and fix the principles of healthy lifestyle.

* * *

In Bukhara Region, the event took place in the festively adorned and lively amphitheater of the Bukhara Cultural Center.

For the past period, 110 children’s sports complexes, a gymnastics palace and gyms have been erected in Bukhara Region. Thirteen years ago, 19 percent of children under 16 used to go in for sports in the province, whereas now this indicator equals 55.8 percent.

In team competitions, the first place went to the representatives of the city of Bukhara. Young athletes of Vabkent and Shafirkan districts came second and third, respectively.

The hokim of the region M.Esonov gave the present of the President of our country – a Damas automobile – over to the team of Bukhara.

The festival of sports ended with a grand show by renowned athletes as well as a gala concert with celebrities.

* * *

The final stage of the Umid Nihollari-2015 took place in the Surkhandarya Region in a well organized manner and in festive spirit.

More than 364,860 children attend the 856 general education schools of the province, including around 177 thousand girls. Nearly a hundred thousand schoolchildren took part in the qualifying stages of the Umid Nihollari.

124 sports facilities outfitted with cutting edge equipment were built in the Surkhandarya Region in 2003-2014. Attending them, 83,325 children are busy with sports.

The first prize of the regional round of the sports competitions went to the athletes of Termez. The second place went to the representatives of Kumkurgan District, while Jarkurgan schoolchildren came third in the contest.

The region’s hokim T.Mamaraimov passed the gift of the President – a Damas car – over to the team of the city of Termez.

The youth and sport festival ended with a gala concert by celebrity musicians.

* * *

The Tashkent city final round of the Umid Nihollari-2015 took place at the Uzbekiston Sports Complex of the capital.

During the exciting and long-expected ceremony of awarding the winners and prize holders of the sports games, the team of Chilanzar District was second to no one. They got awarded with the gift of the President of our country – a Damas car. Representatives of the Yunusabad District came second, and the young athletes of the Uchtepa District proved third best in the contest.

(Source: UzA)

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