August 7, 2014
The national program to boost the material and technical capacities and further improvethe activity of children’s music and art schools in 2009-2014 has changed the lives of 298 out-of-school institutions.5
Meeting at the Oqsaroy
At the Oqsaroy on August 6, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
Welcoming the guest, the head of our state noted that the meeting constituted a logical extension of the dynamically advancing dialogue with Japan with regard to consolidation of relations of strategic partnership between our two nations, and that it provided a good opportunity to assess the current state and exchange views on the priority aspects in the enhancement of mutually advantageous cooperation, first and foremost in the economic realm.
It is noteworthy that the official visit by the President of Uzbekistan to Japan in February 2011 afforded a potent impetus to the development of bilateral trade and economic, investment and financial ties. Moreover, it stimulated the political interaction and filled the strategic cooperation with new practical content.
Japan has traditionally been one of Uzbekistan’s key economic partners. In 2013, the trade turnover between the two countries exceeded 215 million US dollars. The aggregate volume of financial-technical assistance provided by Japan to Uzbekistan has surpassed 2 billion dollars.
Japanese companies have been energetic in the implementation of major investment projects in Uzbekistan, including the construction of a compressor station at the Kokdumalak Field and the Bukhara Oil Refinery, the modernization of Ferghana Oil Refinery and airports in Samarkand, Bukhara and Urgench. Joint projects are currently in progress to enhance the Navoi and renovate the Talimarjan heat power plants.
The talks helped the two parties discuss the prospects of expansion of cooperation in the energy sector, hydrocarbon, mining, chemical and electrical engineering industries, as well as the telecommunications sphere.
It was stressed with satisfaction that the Japanese delegation includes officials of leading corporations like Itochu, Mitsubishi, Marubeni, JOGMEC, NEC, and that a joint business forum is scheduled as part of the visit.
Toshimitsu Motegi extended his sincere gratefulness to the head of our state for a warm welcome and confirmed the willingness of the Japanese government to further consolidate the multifaceted and mutually advantageous economic bonds with Uzbekistan.
(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Investment potential and priority directions of attracting foreign investments to Ferghana province.
At the current stage of economic development, the Republic of Uzbekistan is devoting much attention to ensuring that each region nationwide grows in a balanced manner, with its natural, mineral, industrial and investment potentialities being taken into consideration.
Ferghana province leads the Republic in several sectors, including fuel-and-energy, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, processing of cotton fiber, fruit and vegetables, production of finished textile output, garments and footwear, cultivation of cereals, fruit and vegetables, melons and gourds and other kinds of farm produce.
In particular, each year farmers of Ferghana province grow over 280,000 tons of raw cotton, 750,000 tons of crops, 638,000 tons of vegetables, 345,000 tons of fruit, 60,000 tons of melons and gourds, 90,000 tons of grapes and 234,000 tons of potatoes. Besides, they produce more than 250,000 tons of raw silk, 121,000 tons of meat, 750,000 tons of milk and 239 million eggs.
In 2013, the region’s GDP has increased by 9.4 per cent, or 7.7 per cent per capita. Agriculture and manufacturing account, respectively, for 19.3 per cent and 17.8 per cent of GDP.
Over the years of independence, a multilayered economy has been created in Ferghana province. With the development of private property being prioritized, small business and private entrepreneurship supply high quality goods and services to the local market. By creating new jobs, they contribute to an increase in the population’s incomes and overall wellbeing. Last year, small entrepreneurship has generated 611 per cent of regional GDP,
Ferghana province is ranked third among the Republic’s other regions in the level of industrial production, after the capital city and Tashkent province. Some 4,200 industrial enterprises operate in the region, 44 of which are big ones. Presented below are several enterprises functioning in Ferghana province: АО Farg’onaazot (carbonate, potassium nitrate and other fertilizers), АО Qo’qonsuperfosfat (mineral fertilizers), АО Avtooina (glass for automobiles), АО Farghona Eg-moy (vegetable oil), АО Fafghonadonmakhsulot (flour), FE Kuvasoycement (cement), PO Ferghana Oil Refinery (oil products) etc.
Boasting a high industrial potential and production, transport and communications infrastructural facilities, Ferghana province proves one of the most attractive investment destinations in Uzbekistan.
Between 2009 and 2013, the accumulated inflow of overseas capital poured into Ferghana province came to US $527.9 million, including US $339.9 million worth of foreign direct investments.
Testifying to the effectiveness of efforts to attract foreign capital to Ferghana province is an ever growing number of enterprises set up with a share of foreign investments. In 2013, as many as 116 joint venture enterprises have been created in the region, with the participation of investors from the US, China, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Great Britain, Switzerland, Germany, France, Russia and other countries. These enterprises operate in sectors such as the food and light industries, electrical engineering, chemical and petrochemical industries, production of building materials, mechanical engineering, metal working, services etc.
The following joint venture enterprises carry out the most successful economic activity:
-The Uzbek-Singaporean JV Indorama Kokand Textile, with the annual production capacity of 12,000 tons of cotton yarn. US $80 million worth of foreign direct investments has been already implemented under a given project. This year, the enterprise plans, on its foreign founder’s initiative, to swell its production capacity by attracting FDI to the tune of US $40 million;
-The Kokand foreign enterprise (FE) Daewoo Textile Ferghana, capable of turning out 36,000 tons of cotton a year. The amount of foreign direct investments implemented there reached US $68 million. Now is the moment to stress that the realization of these projects has made it possible, to increase the volume of cotton yarn processed in Ferghana province to 85 per cent;
-The Uzbek-Korean JV Uzsungwoo, specializing in the production of bodies for Cobalt automobiles. US $23 million worth of foreign direct investments has been implemented there so far;
-The Uzbek-British-Swiss JV Euroasia Tapo-Disc, whose annual production capacity comes to 1 million car discs. The amount of implemented FDI reaches US $6 million.
On the average, the enterprises with foreign investments account for more than 23 per cent of the region’s overall output and 40 per cent of its exports. They employ 11,000 workers.
Much attention is given by the Uzbek government to the development of transport communications. The Republic’s transport policy is based on a step-by-step reconstruction and creation of a far-flung united system of national transport infrastructure.
Let it be pointed out in this connection that a project to build an Angren – Pap electrified railway line due to come on stream in the middle of 2016, opens up ample opportunity for boosting foreign economic activity in Ferghana province. The new railway line will enable Uzbekistan to finalize the formation of a united system of railroads and thereby create the auspicious conditions for the further complex socio-economic development of provinces located in the Ferghana Valley.
The Angren – Pap electrified railway section is projected to be 125-km long. Noteworthy is the fact that works have started from both sides simultaneously. By Uzbekistan Temir Yullary’s estimates, the project’s cost will come to some US $2 billion. A new railway tunnel will be built through the Kamchik Pass. For this purpose, in September 2013, the State Joint-Stock Railway Company Uzbekiston Temir Yullary signed a US $455 million contract with the China Railway Tunnel Group. Under a given contract, the Chinese side will construct a 19 km-long tunnel intended directly for the movement of trains.
As a whole, this strategically significant section of railroad will reliably link the central part of Uzbekistan with provinces of the Ferghana Valley, thus creating a new international China -Central Asia – Europe transit railway corridor.
Regional programs for attracting foreign investments prove one of the most effective territorial instruments used to lure overseas capital.
Such documents, which actually represent mid-term programs of action, are worked out on an annual basis. Realization of concrete measures to develop the Republic’s regions with the help of foreign direct investments is the focus of attention in these documents.
At the same time, the following main criteria are used to determine whether or not investment projects are promising enough: introduction of modern technologies, the level of deep processing of local raw stuff and materials, organization of production of export-oriented output with high value added and creation of new jobs in the region.
As one illustrative example, FDI attracted to Ferghana province in 2013, within the framework of a corresponding regional program, totaled US$36.3 million, or 121.2 per cent on the year before. 16 new enterprises were founded with the participation of foreign capital and over 1,300 new jobs were created.
The projects implemented in the region helped to organize and modernize production of a wide range of goods, including cotton yarn, finished knitted garments, carpets, men’s and women’s footwear, plastics, sunflower-seed oil, processed fruit and vegetables, building materials (facing and dry mixtures), motor oil etc.
Ferghana province’s regional program for attracting foreign investments for 2014 comprises 25 projects, which are expected to lure foreign direct investments to the tune of US $40.2 million, or 110.3 per cent compared with 2013, and to create some 2,000 new jobs.
At the same time, measures taken in the Republic to promote the investment potentialities of its regions have an essential role to play in attracting investments from abroad.
In particular, last year an international business forum was convened in the town of Ferghana on the initiative of the Uzbek leaders. Its aim was to show off that Ferghana province commands tremendous possibilities and potentialities to operate successfully on a wide front. The business forum was followed by two similar events: in the town of Kokand in November 2013 and in the town of Kuvasay in March 2014.
The events gathered an impressive list of over 250 participators, who represented foreign companies from Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Poland, Hungary, the US, Singapore, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Russia etc.
Those taking part in the international business forum held in the town of Ferghana were acquainted with the investment potential of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the favourable investment environment created countrywide. Besides, they visited a number of local industrial enterprises outfitted with modern equipment, including the Uzbek-Korean JV Uzsangwoo (bodies for automobiles), OOO Farghona – Turon – Textile (cotton yarn), ОАО Kwartz (glassware) and others.
The business forums under discussion were a success. The scope of deals concluded there can be sized up by the following figures: 95 contracts on the exportation of locally-made goods as well as on the joint implementation of investment projects worth over US $110 million, in the textile and food industries, pharmaceutics, electrical engineering, production of building materials and other sectors.
11 new enterprises have been already set up with the participation of foreign capital in Ferghana province under the agreements signed during the business forums. These include: the Uzbek-Russian JV Erkin Mega Invest (sunflower-seed оil), the Arab FE Furkat Khairatlari (processed fruit and vegetables), the Uzbek-Canadian JV Maple (ceramic teapots), the Azerbaijani FE Mediterranean Oil Petroleum (motor oil), the Turkish FЕ FemTeks (hosiery), the Canadian-Iranian FE Navbahor Carpet (silk carpets) and others.
While highlighting the major aspects of development of foreign economic activity in Ferghana province and priority directions for attracting foreign investments to the region, special note should be made of the industries that are most promising from the standpoint of overseas investors:
1. The textile industry. At the present time, over 85 per cent of cotton fiber is processed in Ferghana province. There are plans to bring this indicator to 100 per cent in the current year. Processing makes it possible to double the output’s value added at the first conversion, with a given figure rising tenfold in finished goods.
2. Processing of fruit and vegetables. Each year, about 1.1 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables are grown in Ferghana province. Less than 15 per cent of this produce is processed in the region. It is planned to process up to 30 per cent of locally cultivated fruit and vegetables on the spot, which is considered to be an optimal ratio of fresh produce to processed one in the market.
3. The electrical engineering industry. The main categories of electro-technical produce manufactured in the Republic of Uzbekistan include: cables and conductors, electronics, power transformers, low-voltage equipment, electrical devices, refrigerators, lifts, lighting appliances etc.
4. Production of building materials. The abundance and diversity of local raw materials have allowed Ferghana province to create a strong base on which to produce abroad range of building materials. Today, the sector’s output includes more than 100 types of building materials, including cement, ceramic tile, dry mixtures, decorative and heat-insulating materials, and suchlike.
5. Pharmaceutics. The industry’s most promising directions are the production of insulin, vitamins, vaccines, disposable syringes and medicines in the form of capsules and pills.
6. The car industry. With the development of automobile construction, the production of spare parts and units for cars is getting more and more localized.
7. The oil and gas industry. Special attention these days is paid to the attraction of foreign direct investments needed to finance the implementation of projects to turn out produce with high value added, such as polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride, polyurethane and the like.
8. The chemical industry. Organization of production of potash fertilizers and vinyl chloride, as well as the achievement of an increase in production volumes of nitric and phosphoric fertilizers, methanol, carbamide, ammonium nitrate, sodium chlorate; melanine and other chemicals.
9. The tourist industry. The territory of Ferghana, province is strewn with over 100 architectural and historical monuments. Foreign investors’ potential interest may lie in the implementation of new projects to construct modern hotel complexes, to create joint tourist agencies, to train personnel for the sector and to accelerate the exchange of tourists between different countries.
In addition to the factors listed above, a growing scope of economic activity carried out by small business and private entrepreneurship in Ferghana province directs to the prospect of attracting foreign investments to the organization of new mini-production facilities and the expansion of existing enterprises, mainly with a view to manufacturing consumer goods. All these steps, in turn, will enable the region to exploit idle production capacities, while satiating the home market with high quality consumer goods.
Summing up what has been said in the article, it should be observed that Ferghana province, with its developed industrial and investment potentialities and transport-communications infrastructure, is now one of the most attractive regions in Uzbekistan for the organization of modern joint venture enterprises specializing in the production of export-oriented and import-substituting goods.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
The national program to boost the material and technical capacities and further improvethe activity of children’s music and art schools in 2009-2014 has changed the lives of 298 out-of-school institutions.
This large-scale project of the National Program on Staff Training will be summarized this year. Experts of the Ministry of Public Education highlight that the program is practically over, but the nation-wide efforts to bolster schools’ activities are to be continued.
“All the construction works planned in accordance with the Program will be completed by the end of the year. 136 new buildings have emerged and another 142 have been renovated within five years. As a result all music and art schools meet necessary requirements and conditions complying respective standards documentation,” comments Qosim Atamirzaev, head of Children’s Music and Art Schools Division of the Ministry of Public Education. “But the provision of the newly constructed buildings with necessary musical instruments and other devices will be completed in 2015. At the same time we must constantly enhance functioning of these schools. The first steps in this area were taken under the national program the Year of the Healthy Child. The funds for the trips of children to international contests as well as for the encouragement of teachers’ work have increased. The new children art groups have been organized.”
Every school has its own story. For instance, students of Zarafshon music and art school No. 7 repeatedly take high places at different local and international contests. Anastasiya Yakunina placed second at international contest in France in 2012 and third in 2012 in Italy. Linara Zaripova is well know for being the winner of the Republican Contest of Academic and Pop Singing. And this is not the full list of achievements. Moreover, members of the group are sure about high prizes coming soon. And this is for good reasons.
All this time the school has been renting facilities of Zarafshon branch of Navoi State Mining Institute. Obviously there were no conditions for practice in music and musical instruments themselves needed to be renewed. Crucial point came in 2013. The school obtained a new building of standard type fully equipped with new music instruments and educational facilities in accordance with the program on bolstering the material and technical facilities and further improving the activity of children music and art schools.
“Our dreams have come true,” says Zulfiya Karimova, a piano teacher. “Now we have an excellent building and all the rooms have perfect acoustics. Acoustic insulation system allows to conduct lessons in neighboring rooms without disturbance. New instruments and concert hall with two pianos and professional stage equipments are wonderful.”
The changes have already affected the work of the school positively, as Behzod Kuvandikov, Deputy Principal of the school No. 7 of Zarafshon, has highlighted.
“The school has become more attractive and is well recognized now. Children enter it very willingly. For the first months of new building function the number of the students reached 247 children. We have departments of piano, accordion, bayan, Uzbek national instruments, academic and folk singing, fine arts and choreographic arts. We hope that as the number of students grows the number of winners of different contests will also grow due to the increase of the number of contestants. Especially considering that we get more funds now for arranging trips abroad and training children.”
Rave reviews on the work done by the national program on strengthening material and technical facilities and further improvement of the activities of the children music and art schools in 2009-2014 can now be heard in the other 298 similar schools. But the most important thing is that the capital investments in fostering a comprehensively advanced generation have allowed for making our children happier.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Firuza Abdurahimova: “Music in Tune with Soul”
Youthfully smiling and real – this was an impression of a woman during our meeting, who had previously been seen at a conductor’s stand. Each performance of the Uzbek State Chamber Orchestra of National Instruments ‘Sogdiana’, artistic director and conductor of which is the Honored Artist of Uzbekistan, Professor of the Conservatory Firuza Abdurahimova, becomes a kind of discovery for many listeners, whom talented musicians introduce into the world of beautiful folk melodies and join them to the world classics and modern works.
“Firuza Ravshanovna, the repertoire of ‘Sogdiana’ contains works written by Uzbek composers specially for national folk instruments and transcriptions of European composers’ works…”
“As a child I lived in the multicultural Samarqand, and we soaked this variety from childhood. Creating a team, we decided that we would perform music of different nations in order to both listeners and conservatory students learn to comprehend and respect it. Especially true it is now, when the processes the intercommunication have become active.
First, we performed abroad in 1995 at the 30th International Festival in Logrono (Spain), and the orchestra was awarded the title of laureate. The band also plans to perform joint concerts with American, Scottish, English and Korean artists. Last year, they performed with the German band, playing an old baroque music. It was a great school, back then I again realized that music is aimed at spiritual feelings. But the main direction is, basically, performance of the works of contemporary composers Uzbekistan. We perform traditional music very often. Over the past 23 years, the ‘Sogdiana’ orchestra gave more than 600 concerts in Uzbekistan and many other countries.”
“Did you have your followers?”
“In 2002, when the new building of conservatory with lovely spacious rooms opened, the idea of the festival of polyphonic choirs and orchestras of folk instruments realized. This year, the seventh national festival of polyphonic choirs and orchestras of national instruments ‘Navruz Sadolari’ was held. I am very happy that annually it attracts more number of young groups from regions of the country. During this time, in Andijon and its region alone, 23 bands and orchestras of folk instruments were created! The festival dedicated to the Year of the Healthy Child, gathered more than 1,000 participants from 55 music bands, including young musicians. You should have seen how kids from preschool institutions played… In recent years, more and more opportunities open for acquiring a musical education, in all districts and cities children’s music schools, which are equipped with new instruments are open, musical bands are formed.”
“Entrance exams have started. What do you aspire to teach your students?”
“I never considered myself only a conductor, but rather a teacher. This young generation has a more rational attitude to life. Therefore, it is especially important for me to teach them to serve art, devoting to art … And always stay people.”
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)