September 4, 2014
Over the years of independence many industries in Uzbekistan have won the domestic market and are actively playing in the international arena. Light industry has always stood apart. It is a concentration of the biggest share of cutting edge equipment in the domestic real economy sector, and the largest landmark for foreign investors in terms of the number of start-ups.
Current global economic conditions have played havoc with the world’s textile leaders like the United States, Great Britain, Italy, Turkey, South Korea and other countries, forcing them to move their capacities to the dynamically growing Asian countries. That was conditioned by several factors, including low production costs, as well as proximity of raw materials. It is currently a common case that the world-famous fashion houses run their manufactures in Asian countries or from fabrics that have also been produced in this region. In such circumstances, with the right approach, Uzbekistan might take a leading position in the global textile market, changing the title of one of the leading cotton suppliers to that of the producer of finished goods.
What has caused the boost of domestic light industry? First of all, it was facilitated by the policy of maximal cotton processing inside the country with a decrease in its share in the export flows through finished textile products. The strategy had far-reaching plans: with normal export of cotton, the country earned considerable foreign exchange, but remained without light industry and had to spend significant funds for the purchase of textile goods. Cotton processing within the country has entailed thousands of new jobs, new cotton ginning and processing plants, textile factories, allowed for exporting goods with high added value. As a result, the volume of domestic processing of cotton fiber grew by more than six times from 7 percent in 1991 to 44 percent in the first half of 2014. These results were achieved primarily through the appropriate engagement of existing capacities.
In the early 1990s, the country did not have the technologies and equipment it needed for cotton processing and production of finished textile articles in line with international standards. There was only one solution – the acceleration of the development of the industry required foreign investors willing to invest funds and bring in their experience and technologies. The policy has paid off. The total amount of foreign investment in the sector in the years of independence exceeded $1.8 billion under over 150 large-scale investment projects. UK, Germany, India, Singapore, Turkey, Switzerland and South Korea are the key partners of Uzbekistan. Their share today accounts for over 88 percent of all foreign investments. Owing to this, the share of light industry in GDP reached 2.7 percent, in the volume of industrial production – 26.2 percent, and exceeded 44 percent in the volume of non-food consumer goods.
Coordinating the measures on the development of the industry, enterprises of O’zbekyengilsanoat SJSC employ more than 80 thousand people today. 35 industrial enterprises valued at $330.4 million have been commissioned in the last two years alone. They provided more than eleven thousand workplaces. 22 new industrial enterprises valued $73 million and employing 1,900 people have been put into operation in Uzbekistan on the threshold of Independence Day.
The rapid export growth is another important indicator of successful development of the industry. Contributed by the introduction of high-performance cutting-edge technologies in the sector, exports have increased by 130 times. According to expert estimates, the country is expected to export goods worth $1 billion to 50 countries by the end of 2014. For comparison, the rate was only $7 million in 1991.
Various exhibition events have made a big contribution to the modernization of light industry, especially small enterprises, the share of which in total industrial output has reached 38 percent. At exposition sites representatives of business, government and science could informally discuss the current issues and their solutions, examine the demand and supply. Exhibitions have turned out to be a very effective mechanism to attract the leading manufacturers of core equipment to the country. The best models of hardware have become accessible for local businesses.
One of such big events will traditionally take place in Tashkent on September 10-12. The ninth largest professional international exhibition of equipment and technologies for light industry in Central Asia and the CIS ‘Central Asian International Textile Machinery Exhibition – CAITME’ and the eleventh Central Asian International Exhibition ‘Textile Expo Uzbekistan’ will be combined on a single platform. According to industry experts, the two exhibitions have become a unique platform to showcase the latest achievements in the field of textile engineering and technology, a meeting place for purchasers and sellers. The exhibitions create favorable conditions for the successful entry of foreign companies into one of the fastest growing markets, recognized as the center of development of the regional textile and fashion industry.
Meanwhile, they are an important indicator of the attractiveness of the domestic market for foreign companies and investors, the number of which is growing year by year. More than 200 companies from 22 countries presented their goods in the pavilions of Uzexpocenter last year. The organizers expect more exhibitors to come this time around.
Subject sections of the joint exposition will represent hardware and technologies for all stages of textile production, tools and accessories for textile machines, software and control and analytical equipment, technologies for textile waste processing and prevention of pollution, chemicals and dyes, raw materials and supplies, finished textile articles, and much more.
Strategic plans for the next few years are another very important aspect in the evolution of light industry. It is projected that the light industry output in Uzbekistan will triple to reach 6.9 trillion soums by 2020. In particular, the production of cotton yarn will increase by 2.5 times, finished fabrics – 2.8 times, silk fabrics – 2.7, nonwovens – 1.5, knitted fabric – 2.7 times. In addition, the enterprises plan to increase the manufacture of finished goods with higher added value. For example, the manufacture of garments increased by 3.2 times, jerseys – 2.1, raw silk – 2.1 times. The volume of production of fabrics in 2011 was 85,630 million square meters, while in 2020 it is expected to exceed 459,200 million square meters (a 5.4 times increase). (Currency rates of CB from 04.09.2014 1$= 2351.84 soums)
By the end of 2014, light industry enterprises plan to manufacture industrial goods worth 2.5 trillion soums with the growth rate of 23 percent YOY. The main objective for the future is to work out a program on the establishment of manufacture of artificial and synthetic fiber and thread, including viscose, acetate, polyester, polyamide and polyacrylonitrile in the country jointly with the chemical industry.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Intensive exploration of Central Asia coincided with the invention and rapid progress of photography. The region was an ideal ground for the development of the new photographic art. Beautiful nature, a large number of architectural and historical monuments and unique local people encouraged the pioneers of photography to capture and present their own vision of this integral, exotic and harmonious world.
The first pictures of Turkestan were made by Europeans who were travelling in the area and exploring it; later they were followed by local entrepreneurs who had gained some mastership in photography. The Russian diplomatic mission to the Khanate of Khiva headed by N. Ignatyev had a special photographer, Anton Murenko assigned to it. He made a series of photographs in 1858, which are regardedas the first known pictures of Uzbekistan. The first professional studio, that of Stanislav Nikolyai, was founded in Tashkent in 1873, more than 140 years ago, while in 1885 the first big album of photographs named ‘A travers l’Asie Centrale’ was published in Paris, presenting pictures of Central Asia taken by the famous European photographer Henri Moser in the course of his several travels in the region. This beautiful large-sized album contained about two hundred photographs of the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva and various towns and cities of the Turkestan kray (region). Henri Moser also demonstrated his pictures at some important exhibitions in Paris, Brussels, Stuttgart and other European cities in the late 19th century. At the same period the public came to know about Uzbekistan photographs made by the French professional Paul Nodar and Russian photographers Nikolai Veselovsky and Samuil Dudin.
However, for the oriental mentality retaining special attitude towards depiction of animated objects the photographic portrait at first was an unheard-of and tabooed business.
In 1889, the Uzbek poet Furkat who in the course of his staying in Tashkent took interest in various European novelties visited famous Tashkent photographer Dmitry Nazarov who also taught drawing at a school in Tashkent. In his studio situated in present-day Amir Temur Avenue Furkat familiarised himself with camera and its operation, watched the whole process of photography and saw how the master was making photographic portraits. The poet described all this in detail in Uzbek in the Turkeston vilayat gazetasi newspaper. The publication immediately drew the Muslim people’s attention to photography. The orthodox Muslims realised that photography was not painting and therefore did not fall under the Sharia’s prohibition on depiction of living beings.
After that a series of professional photo shops with Muslims working in them appeared in Turkestan. The first was ‘Ilhomjan Inogamjanov’s Muslim photography’ which opened on 24 April 1902 in the photographer’s own house, in mahalla Hauzbag in Tashkent (near the contemporary building of the Khidoyatov Theatre). As the popular master Ilhomjan numbered his negatives, his studio is known to have produced around 3,000 highly artistic studio pictures in ten years.
In 1903 Khudaybergen Divanov (1879-1938), a son of a noble person close to the royal family, founded a photo studio in the Khanate of Khiva. Khudaybergen was a true enthusiast who had learnt the photographic profession from the headman of a German village near Khiva and was improving his qualification attending training courses in St. Petersburg given by the best photographers of the Russian Empire. Khudaybergen Divanov was also one of the founders of the Uzbek cinema. The first films which he made in 1910-1913 with a Pâté camera have survived till today. Divanov was among the first in Uzbekistan to promote the art of photography and cinematography. He demonstrated his own films and films from abroad in Khiva’s public places in the evening, and distributed pictures of the architectural monuments of Khoresm with explaining inscriptions made by himself. Up to now it is still possible to find Khudaybergen Divanov’s original photographs in different markets of antiquities across Uzbekistan. The pictures demonstrate the author’s true love for the people of the Khiva Khanate and his approach to photography, at the same time artistic and ethnographic.
There was a number of good professional photographers in Samarkand and the Fergana valley at that time. The masters glued the pictures they had made onto special passe-partouts with the studio’s trademark, characteristic symbolic images, the studio’s address and the regalia the studio had gained. By 1910 only in Tashkent, the capital of the Turkestan kray, there were 20 professional photo studios.
Amateurs of photography also produced high-quality works, among which were those by Grigory Pankratyev, a talented author of the popular photo album ‘The Historical Monuments of Samarkand’ (1910).
There also existed a public association named ‘The Turkestan Society of Enthusiasts of Photography and Fine Arts’. The society organised the First Turkestan Photographic Exhibition in Tashkent in 1899. Even for today this exhibition seems quite remarkable: the commission presented to the public more than 2,500 pictures in 12 different sections. The exhibition displayed photographic works by all prominent masters of Turkestan.
The works of a number of Turkestan photographers were displayed at exhibitions abroad, in Europe and America, gaining prizes for their makers. Thus, a series of twelve photographs by the photographer Dmitry Nazarov from Tashkent were awarded the Grand Prix at a 1908 exhibition in Marseille.
(Source: «Uzbekistan airways» magazine)
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