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August 21, 2014


August 21, 2014


Mutual confidence and shared interest – key factors in strategic partnership. 2

finance.. 4

Uzbek banks emit 12.4m banking cards. 4

investments. 4

Proactive Approach. 4


From Chopiniana to Lazgi6
































Mutual confidence and shared interest – key factors in strategic partnership

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov arrived 19 August in Beijing with a state visit on the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.

The Uzbek-Chinese relations have been noticeably enlarging as of late to rise to a higher level of strategic partnership. This kind of cooperation that serves the national interests of our two countries, the economic advancement of Uzbekistan and China and the rise in standings of both states on the world stage, has been in dynamic progress. This is built on the friendship and mutual respect between Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping, on the Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation, the Joint Declaration on the Further Development and Enhancement of Bilateral Relations of Strategic Partnership.

This has been well manifest in the regular meetings between the heads of our two states, the constructive nature of their talks dedicated to setting in motion the new opportunities in uplifting the bilateral ties to a higher level, to furthering the realization of the potential of Uzbekistan and China in all spheres. Notably, during President Islam Karimov’s June 2012 visit to the PRC, documents were inked to implement more than thirty investment projects totaling 5.3 billion US dollars. Within the frameworks of the visit by President Xi Jinping to Uzbekistan in September 2013, another 31 documents were signed to execute projects for 15 billion dollars.

The two leaders met in May 2014 in Shanghai during the 4th Summit of the Conference for Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia.

As to the current visit, its major events were scheduled for August 19.

The official ceremony of welcoming the President of Uzbekistan took place in the Palace of China National People’s Congress.

Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping held talks in a contracted format. The two sides discussed a wide range of issues relating to the further development of relations between Uzbekistan and China, and they exchanged views on regional and international affairs of shared interest.

The President of our country stressed that Uzbekistan attaches tremendous significance to every meeting with the leadership of China, and that the present negotiations constitute a logical extension of dialogue at the highest level.

In his turn, Xi Jinping said China considers Uzbekistan a reliable partner, and that the bilateral cooperation has been progressing on the basis of principles of long-term prospects and reciprocal interest.

The two parties vowed to reinforce the mutual political trust, continue with reciprocal support and coordination of actions in the international arena and cooperation in the sphere of security.

Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping deliberated also on issues pertaining to bilateral interaction within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the evolution of that institution.

The heads of our two states, given the importance of trade-economic and investment ties in bilateral relations, noted the necessity of further intensification of direct contacts between business circles of our two nations, the growth of indicators in commerce and investments, energy, non-raw materials sectors, high technologies and transport infrastructure.

The leaders of our two countries continued negotiations with the participation of official delegations of Uzbekistan and China.

The bonds between the Uzbek and Chinese peoples are inseparably linked with the history of the Great Silk Road; our national values and traditions exerted an immense effect on the evolution of world civilization, while commercial ties facilitated the extensive dissemination of unique discoveries of those epochs around the entire world. Such essential elements of everyday life as tea, cotton, silk and paper are just a small part of that list.

During the talks in extended format, the two sides discussed issues related to the further advancement of our centuries-old economic and cultural cooperation in the spirit of modern times.

It is noteworthy that China is one of Uzbekistan’s major trade-economic and investment partners. In particular, the volume of trade turnover between our two nations has increased almost six times within the last six years, to reach 5.2 billion dollars in 2013. Currently, 482 enterprises established with Chinese partners operate in Uzbekistan. More than seventy of them are founded exclusively with investments of China. 74 companies and corporations from the PRC have representative offices in our country.

China highly appraises Uzbekistan’s steady growth rates and supports its efforts directed at creating and bolstering new high-technology sectors of the economy, the modernization and technological re-equipment of industrial enterprises.

In accordance with agreements at the highest level, an Uzbek-Chinese industrial park of high technologies was founded in 2013 in the form of Special Industrial Zone Jizzakh. Production of mobile phones, construction materials and other goods was launched in the zone. This year, in excess of 15 projects are envisaged for implementation at the Jizzakh SIZ with the involvement of direct investments from Chinese companies for a total of over 50 million dollars.

The scales of cooperation are brightly manifest also in the fuel and energy complex. A number of Chinese corporations have been active in prospecting and development of hydrocarbon deposits in our country. The China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) has been taking part not merely in the implementation of a project in geological prospecting and commercial development of promising hydrocarbon fields, but also in deep reprocessing of natural gas at the Mubarek Gas Chemical Complex. Both countries also underscore the strategically vital significance of the construction and commissioning of the Central Asia – China gas pipeline envisioned to secure uninterrupted supply of natural gas to the PRC.

The layout of the shortest railway line between Uzbekistan and China is also one of strategic aspects of our economic cooperation. That is anticipated to ensure China’s access to Central Asia and further to South Asia. Uzbekistan supports the construction of railroad China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan. The scheme envisages the construction of a 124-kilometer length electrified railway line Angren-Pap. In 2013, Uzbekiston Temir Yullari state railway stock company and China Railway Tunnel Group penned a 455-million-dollar agreement to build the railway Angren-Pap, passing through the Kamchik Pass. The deal spearheaded corresponding works with the engagement of Chinese partners. The project envisions the construction of a 19-kilometer-long railway tunnel. The construction of a more than 60-kilometer sector of this line has already been completed.

Dynamic has been the interaction in the financial sector, as well. The total volume of all loans from such financial institutions as China Development Bank and the Eximbank of China exceeds 4.5 billion dollars. They are directed at boosting healthcare, education, energy sector, transportation and telecommunications.

The cooperation between our two nations in the field of culture, science and technologies has also been enlarging consistently. In 2003, the monument to the great Uzbek artist Kamoliddin Behzod was opened within the frameworks of the 6th China Changchun International Sculpture Symposium.

In consolidating the cultural-humanitarian relations, important are the friendship societies “Uzbekistan-China” and “The People’s Republic of China – Central Asian Countries”.

A center for Uzbekistan studies and education exchanges was launched on May 15, 2013, at Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s Public Diplomacy Institute at Shanghai University.

Beijing and Xi’an hosted Uzbekistan Culture Week in 2011, while China Culture Week took place in 2012 in Tashkent and Samarkand. In 2013, artistic exhibition “Works of Celebrated Artists of Uzbekistan” was organized in several major cities of the PRC.

Culture and art figures of Uzbekistan and China are regular participants of all the principal cultural events held in both countries. Notably, Chinese musicians have been regular and active in the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival held every two years in Samarkand.

In the education sphere, student and intern exchanges have been enhancing along the governmental and interagency lines, in particular within studies of Uzbek and Chinese. More than 350 students attend the Confucius Institute in Tashkent every year. Uzbek language department was opened in June 2010 at the School of Russian and Central Asian Languages of China’s Central University for Nationalities. Starting from the 2012/2013 academic year, Uzbek language teaching has been underway at Beijing Foreign Studies University.

In accordance with bilateral agreement and within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the government of China assigned scholarships for 120 students and interns from Uzbekistan for the 2013/2014 academic year. Under the aegis of Confucius Institute, some seventy Uzbek students are enrolled at Lanzhou University.

The cooperation agreement signed last year to open Confucius Institute in Samarkand serves for the further development of our interaction in the sphere of education.

The two sides place a special emphasis on the cooperation in tourism. Efforts dedicated to bolster the tour appeal of Uzbekistan for travel lovers from China have been in progress since 2010. Our country’s potential in tourism was presented extensively at the international professional tourism fairs – China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market-2013 (April, Beijing) and WTF-2013 (May, Shanghai).

One should also stress the importance of establishing sister ties between the cities of Tashkent and Shanghai, Samarkand and X’ian, Navoi and Zhuzhou, as well as the Tashkent Region and Hunan Province, Samarkand Region and Shaanxi Province.

On the upshot of negotiations, Islam Karimov and Xi Jinping signed a joint declaration between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the People’s Republic of China. Also, a number of other documents were inked aiming to further intensify the technological-economic cooperation between our two nations, to cement partnership in spheres like energy, high technologies, banking and finance. The two sides adopted a program for the development of strategic partnership relations for 2014-2018.

At the meeting with mass media, the two leaders noted that the talks were held in an atmosphere of mutual respect, confidence and interest, and that the positions and views of the two parties on issues discussed were similar and close. It was particularly stressed that the agreements reached would serve for the further advancement of Uzbek-Chinese relations and growth in the wellbeing of the two peoples.

As it was pointed out, the current visit will become another important stride in the history of Sino-Uzbek ties. The two sides expressed willingness to keep with negotiations at the highest level, to build up cooperation in economy, energy, finance, investments, high technologies, humanitarian bonds, trade.

The state visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the People’s Republic of China continues.

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


Uzbek banks emit 12.4m banking cards

Currently number of banking cards, issued by commercial banks into circulation, makes up 12.4 million units, according to the press service of the Central Bank of Uzbekistan.

The regulator said that over 149,000 trade and service objects in Uzbekistan installed POS-terminals so far.

In the first half of 2014, the volume of transactions with help of banking cards rose by 40% compared to the same period. The regulator did not disclose the sum of transactions.

The Central Bank said that some 57,500 clients use Internet banking services and over 363,000 people – Mobile Banking services.



Proactive Approach

Seriously affected by the current geopolitical situation, the global investment landscape is changing rapidly. Asset management companies, hedge funds as well as individual financiers and bankers working in Russia are taking their money out of that country as they are looking for additional ways to make profits. According to Emerging Portfolio Fund Research, a company analyzing the global financial flows for financial institutions, they have taken out around $500 million for the past two months. However, as major economies have been experiencing outflows of money, the interest in investing in so-called emerging markets has been growing. Only for the last week of July, the developing markets attracted $5.3 billion of foreign investments – a maximum week investment in the previous period of 18 months. So now a big investment game is unfolding in Asia, and Uzbekistan has certain trump cards in it.


The investment market activities have always been akin to a game where every country attracting investment tries to multiply their strengths and hide their weaknesses. However, investment flows – the grand prizes of the game – turn out to be extremely useful, for they are not only financiers’ business, but also the business of companies operating in real economy sectors. Foreign investment allows for quick modernization of individual manufacturers and industries to produce highly competitive and export-oriented goods through the use of advanced technologies.

The world’s economies are going to suffer from an anticipated new crisis wave. This tide is growing, being fed by political instability, trouble and violence areas around the world. Argentina has been feared it is in default, and Ukraine seems to follow it. In contrast to such facts, Uzbekistan’s economic model once again proves its effectiveness: it has been guaranteeing the country’s steadfast economic development for around ten years already, with a minimum 7% GDP and industrial production growth.

In the first half of 2014, the total value of the investment projects implemented in Uzbekistan increased by 10.8%, exceeding 15 trillion soums ($6.7 billion). The value of the completed projects funded through the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan, by loans from commercial banks and other borrowings, and by direct foreign investment increased by 1.6 times, 1.4 times, and 28.8%, respectively. According to the information on the economic development of the CIS countries in the first half of 2014 issued by the Interstate Statistical Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Uzbekistan was ranked first in industrial production growth (8.1%), second in GDP growth (8.1%) and retail sales growth (13.7%), and third for fixed investment growth (10.8%) and growth in transportation of goods (4.6%) compared with the same period last year. (Currency rates of CB from 21.08.2014   1$= 2344.38 soums).

Experts say that many countries still have time to adapt to the new global economic environment with its unstable markets and unpredictable behavior of investors and consumers. In order to succeed in doing so, a country, in contrast, should pursue consistent economic policies business communities can predict. This is what Uzbekistan is doing, adopting annual investment programs incorporating the most important projects to implement, as well as long-term strategic development programs.

One of them was approved by the government of the country in the middle of the last month. It is a package of measures to attract grants from donor countries as well as international and foreign governmental and non-governmental organizations in 2014 – 2016. There are 88 projects worth over $383 million under the program. They are to be carried out in the areas of critical importance to the nation: healthcare, education, agriculture, export production, alternative energy, information technologies and tourism.

There is an interesting initiative in the area of healthcare under the program, for instance. The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan and South Korea’s government are currently working on the issue of carrying out a project of an automated emergency medical services system. Koreans may allocate up to $3 million to implement the project. It will result in setting up a universal control center of emergency medical services in Uzbekistan, with all the necessary technical infrastructure built for it: substations installed and ambulances equipped with GPS and telecommunication facilities with special software.


It is important to understand that the policy of attracting foreign investment and foreign companies has certain time limitation. Besides, it must be consistent and include a proactive approach to stay ahead of competitors: the domestic business environment should be continuously improved to attract an increasing number of investors over the course of time. The other day, Uzbekistan’s government approved a new procedure of processing projects involving foreign investment. Now, it is the use of modern information technologies that is going to significantly contribute to the improvement of the country’s foreign investment and loans attraction policy. As of October 1, 2014, investment proposals and project passports are to be processed through the Unified Electronic Database of Investment Proposals of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan.

An economy’s orientation toward foreign investors should not be just a slogan shouted out regularly; it should be a practice. Currently, Uzbekistan uses all the known instruments for attracting foreign investment. First, it is a worldwide campaign to promote the economic potential of the country and the benefits foreign investors can enjoy in it through a series of presentations at the key international forums and fairs where foreign businesspeople and officials are provided with all the necessary information. The promoting activities should be intensified, though, when it comes to the use of the Internet. Unfortunately, Uzbekistan is not using all the opportunities the World Wide Web provides. Many businesspeople who visited the country say that they could hardly find the information on Uzbekistan’s investment climate, areas of possible cooperation, taxation legislation, etc. on the Internet. This situation is going to be improved by the uniform requirements the government’s websites are to meet. These requirements in the form of official regulations were adopted at the end of last year. Uzbekistan’s foreign investment attraction websites must provide as much useful information as possible. Besides, they have to have high search engine rankings so that every foreign businessperson can easily find them.

Another instrument used is the favorable environment for foreign investors being created in the country. Uzbekistan has taken unprecedented steps in doing so, providing foreign investors with a unique opportunity to pay a ‘zero’ price for its state-owned assets. The procedure is simple. If state-owned assets being put up for auction are not bid anything for six months, the price of these assets decreases by 10% every next month to reach not less than 50% of the original price. If the assets are not bid anything for within three months after the price started decreasing, they are sold at the ‘zero’ price. However, an investor purchasing such assets for this price will have to fulfill certain investment obligations and a commitment to create new jobs and keep them effective for one year as of the date of assuming the investment obligations. By now, 121 sites have already been sold for the ‘zero’ price with 164.1 billion soums’ worth of investment obligations and the responsibility to create 4,256 new jobs.

Uzbekistan also actively uses an instrument of public-private partnership. Experts point out that today every major investment project needs financial, human, intellectual and technological resources and it is effective interaction between the state and investors that can guarantee them. In Uzbekistan, such partnership is realized in its unique economic zones: the free industrial economic zone ‘Navoi’, and the free industrial zones ‘Jizzah’ and ‘Angren’. The government has invested huge amounts of money to build all the necessary engineering, transportation and utility facilities and infrastructures in the zones so that the investors working in them did not bear additional costs: about $100 million on ‘Navoi’, over $60 million on ‘Angren’, and around $50 on ‘Jizzah’.

Since the beginning of the year, over 64 projects worth $680 million in total have been implemented under the national investment program 2014 in Uzbekistan. Moreover, under the regional industrial development programs, 2,696 projects have been implemented in the regions, including 1,651manufacturing facilities launched. A large number of these projects have been carried out with the help of foreign companies. The cooperation with them has resulted in building modern manufacturing sites featuring advanced equipment and machinery, as well as creating thousands of new jobs. Besides, the country’s export statistics have improved significantly: since the beginning of the year the exports have increased by 8%, with Uzbekistan-based joint ventures contributing to this growth significantly. The exports of polyethylene, soda ash, ammonium nitrate, molybdenum, copper-based alloys, and cotton yarn have increased in particular. Apart from that, Uzbekistan’s manufacturers have started exporting over 100 new products worth the total of $96.2 million.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


From Chopiniana to Lazgi

Each region of Uzbekistan has its own, unique type of the diverse and multifaceted Uzbek dance. So, the Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya dance schools are characterised by bright ethnic colours, while the Fergana school is more lyrical. The school of Andijan expresses the reckless boldness of former shepherds and horse riders, the Karakalpak school embodies the courage of the Aral fishermen, the school in Bukhara demonstrates the heavenly charm of beautiful moon-faced women, while the Khoresm school shows a fiery temperament, a kind of Uzbek Spain…

Today the art of choreography is well represented in Uzbekistan through the performances of both world classical ballet and Uzbek national classical music: from Les Sylphides and to Lazgi.

The two diverse aspects of the Uzbek choreography, classical ballet and traditional dance are integrated on a single foundation of classical dance laid by the luminaries of the globally recognised Vaganova’s pedagogic system and the unique school of professionals – the Tashkent School of Choreography now bearing the name of the Higher School of National Dance and Choreography. Today the names of its graduates, the soloists of classical ballet and ensembles of Uzbek dance are widely known in Uzbekistan and abroad.

Students step over the threshold of the school for the first time at the age of 10-11, and then over the years turn, as in the famous fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, from clumsy and awkward children into brilliant masters. Children from various regions of the country including Fergana, Andijan, Karakalpakstan and Urgench, study at the school.

We have visited the renowned choreographic institution to see with our own eyes how this educational establishment works.

The institution lives an eventful life. Rehearsals, lessons, master classes, performances, concerts…

The day of the future stars of ballet and choreography begins with a morning warm-up in a ballet classroom. Before dawn the students in a large room with a high ceiling start to work out the principal movements, the ABC of the ballet, which afterwards will form the base of breath-taking pirouettes, pas and fouette. In such classrooms traditional desks and chairs are substituted by the barres and large mirrors, blackboards by a piano and the teacher by a demanding accompanist. The three-storey building contains more than 20 classrooms of this type. A wide spectrum of disciplines is taught at these training grounds: classical dance, 18th-century historical dance, classical duet, folk stage dance, Uzbek national and modern variety dance. These classrooms are also used in teaching acting, the history of ballet, theatre and music and even the basic piano and rubab playing technique. In addition, the students receive two types of practical training: ‘in classroom’, when they perform fragments of ballets and ‘on stage’, when they participate in real plays and performances. Certainly, as in ordinary educational institutions, they study general subjects, however, the day once again ends with a warm-up in the ballet classroom…


No wonder that the fundamental comprehensive education results in a large number of highly professional dancers who every year join the ranks of Uzbek theatres – the Alisher Navoi State Academic Theatre, the Mukimi Theatre of Operetta and Musical Comedy and the Abror Khidoyatov Theatre of Young Spectators, and ensembles of modern and national dance, which include such well-known collectives as ‘Uzbekiston’, ‘Ofarin’, ‘Sabo’, ‘Bahor’ and ‘Uzbegim Zebolari’.


The graduates, including soloists and whole ensembles of folk Uzbek dance are widely recognised in Uzbekistan as well as abroad.

The keys to the success of the Higher School of National Dance and Choreography are classical teaching methods developed by the renowned masters who founded the institution and the teaching staff truly devoted to their profession and infinitely loving the art of dance.

The base for today’s teaching was laid by Zinaida Nikolayevna Afanasyeva, Honoured Artist of Uzbekistan and a follower of Agrippina Yakovlevna Vaganova’s, the founder of the world classical dance teaching system, and by Mukarrama Turgunbayeva, the founder of the teaching system for the Uzbek national dance called ‘doyra dars’.

Nowadays the third generation of teachers continues the succession of mentors and includes Kunduz Madrakhimova and Valentina Proskurina, both People’s Artists of Uzbekistan, Professor Inna Gormina and Korkmas Sagatov, Honoured Artist of Karakalpakstan, as well as Gulchekhra Azimova, Nasiba Madrakhimova, Erkin Kahharov, Ashot Gerogyan and Shukhrat Tokhtasimov, the Rector of the Higher School of National Dance and Choreography, a graduate of the Tashkent school and the Moscow State Institute of Theatrical Art.

The names of dancers that honoured the Uzbek school of choreography include Vladimir Muravlev, Danila Korsuntsev and Olga Kalmykova, Honoured Artists of Russian Federation, Vitaly Vasilyev, Bernara Kariyeva, Ibragim Yusupov, Kadyr Muminov and others.

A gala concert concludes every academic year, which is also a long-established tradition. Every time the programme of the graduation concert consists of diverse performances of classical ballet and national dance. There Bellini’s ‘Little Symphony’ and Dmitry Shostakovich’s Waltz Joke are followed by ‘Katta uyin’ choreographed by M. Turgunbayeva, Kitri variations from Minkus’s ‘Don Quixote’ – by the national Uzbek dance ‘Seven Beauties’ from the gold repertoire of the legendary ensemble ‘Bahor’, and the ‘The Brilliant Tarantella’ to the music by Valery Gavrilin for the ballet ‘Anyuta’ and Pas de troi from Minkus’s ballet ‘Pagita’ – by ‘Hey Dust’ to the music by Ismailov and verses by Alisher Navoi, and pas de deux from ‘Le Corsaire’ ballet is followed by an Azerbaijani national dance.

Very fond of what they do, the teachers and students of the Higher School of National Dance and Choreography continue to open new horizons in their profession and, therefore, make the art of ballet and dance in Uzbekistan progress in the context of international art and culture.

(Source: «Uzbekistan airways» magazine)

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