DECEMBER 4 – THE ELECTIONS OF PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
Johann Peter Traugott Tejler, head of the OSCE ODIHR mission for observation of presidential elections in Uzbekistan, arrived November 1 in Tashkent.
Earlier, on 28 October 2016, the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan took decision to accredit members of the core team of the OSCE ODIHR mission, including 17 people from 13 participating states of the Organization.
The core group consists of two divisions – analytical and operational – and ensures full-fledged action of the entire mission, including collection, compilation and final analysis of all the information related to the elections, together with regular contact between the mission and the OSCE ODIHR to provide the mission with all the necessary support from the headquarters of the Office in Warsaw.
The head of mission, Johann Peter Traugott Tejler (b. 1949), is a Swedish national with 40 years of diplomatic service. Over the years, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Sweden, its embassy in Syria, and headed his country’s diplomatic missions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Africa and other countries. In 2012-2016, he was Sweden’s Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
His task now in Uzbekistan is to monitor the work of the mission, including the establishment and maintenance of contacts with government agencies, electoral authorities, and other participants of the electoral process, as well as to secure the elaboration of intermediate, preliminary and final reports.
It should be noted that the OSCE ODIHR election observation mission, in addition to the core team, also includes long-term observers numbering 28 and short-term observer group comprising 250 people.
The objective of long-term observers, expected to arrive in Uzbekistan on November 5, is to monitor the various stages of the electoral process in the nation’s regions and provide mission participants with comprehensive information about the developments in the country. The long-term observers’ work allows ODIHR to compile a report on the electoral process in its entirety, including the summary of observation results across regions.
Short-term observers are tasked with observation in districts assigned to them on the election day, as well as accurate and complete report on its findings to the headquarters of the mission. The deployment of a sufficient number of short-term observers allows ODIHR to cover a statistically representative section of polling stations across the country. Short-term observers are anticipated to fulfill their mission on 2-6 December this year.
Worth noting is that the full-scale observation mission for the elections is sent to Uzbekistan for the first time at the invitation of the country’s Central Election Commission and in view of the nation’s readiness to hold the important political event in an open and transparent manner in accordance with universally recognized international electoral standards.
(Source: Republican Press Center for Covering the Elections of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Tashkent has hosted one of the world’s biggest events in cotton and textile industry – the 12th International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair. More than 2,000 foreign traders and representatives of procuring companies have confirmed their participation.
This year’s fair was organized by O’zpahtasanoateksport holding company, O’zbekyengilsanoat joint-stock company, Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan, Commodity Exchange, Sifat Center and other organizations.
The main IUCTF activities took place in the exhibition halls of Uzexpocentre. The leading representatives of the world cotton and textile market discussed the issues of cotton production in Uzbekistan and abroad, and the ways of expanding trade and investment cooperation. The conference has wrapped up with signing several agreements on the purchase of cotton and textiles.
Initiated by the first president of Uzbekistan in 2005, over time the fair has evolved into an authoritative international forum in cotton and textile industry. Year by year, IUCTF has been contributing to the development of new effective tools for exporting Uzbek cotton, which meet the long-term interests of the country and its international strategic partners, and building of a strong foundation for reliable and stable economic relations in the future.
The dynamic growth of the number of participants is the best proof for that. The first fair was attended by representatives of 170 companies from 30 countries of the world, while this year the fair hosted more than 2,000 representatives from more than 45 countries.
Uzbekistan is known in the global market not just as a manufacturer of high quality industrial cotton fiber, but also as its reliable supplier. O’zpahtasanoateksport reported on ongoing measures in the industry on modernization of ginning companies and introduction of innovations in the production process. Special attention is paid to the establishment of an electronic reporting and quality control system throughout the entire process of cotton delivery, processing and storage to its selling.
The measures have helped to quickly and dramatically increase the production capacity, and improve fiber quality.
Development of enhanced processing of raw materials and increase of manufacture of products with high added value rank among the priority directions of ongoing reforms in the industry. This is the objective for channeling foreign investment, and construction of many modern enterprises. The volume of domestic processing has grown from 7% in 1991 to 55% in the first half of 2016.
Since 1995, the industry has raised over $2 billion of foreign investment, implemented more than 200 projects with participation of investors from Germany, Switzerland, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, the USA, India and other countries, commissioned cutting-edge enterprises with full cycle of textile manufacture.
It is worth noting that for the past 25 years light industry of Uzbekistan has grown into a leader in exporting products with high added value. The industry is represented by a large mix of export products, ranging from yarn to finished garments and knitwear. Light industry enterprises of Uzbekistan launched first exports in 1994.
Those days, the volume of exports of textile and garment and knitwear production was only $7 million. Uzbek enterprises were actively increasing their presence in foreign markets, as proved by the growth of export indices, which exceeded $1 billion in 2015. The number of exporting companies has been growing rapidly too. In the first half of 2016, the share of high value added products in total exports has approached to 40%, and keeps growing steadily.
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and some states of the European Union are major importers of Uzbek light industry products. In general, the Uzbek textile, sewing and knitting products are exported to more than 50 countries. In order to diversify foreign markets and expand the range of export products, manufacturers actively participate in international trade fairs in Germany, the Republic of Korea, China, Russia, Belarus, Latvia, Turkey and other countries.
Despite good production and export progress, Uzbek light industry still has a space to grow. By 2020, Uzbekistan is planning to implement more than 70 projects on modernization, re-equipping and commissioning of new businesses, totaling more than $1 billion. The plans are secured by the Light and Textile Industry Development Program for 2015-2020. Its implementation promises to more than double the production and export capacity of textile industry of the country.
The potential of the cotton and textile industry of Uzbekistan is immense. In the wake of last year’s fair, Uzbekistan signed contracts for selling 700,000 tons of cotton fiber and textile products for more than $800 million.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
The duration of customs clearance procedures for traders and entrepreneurs has decreased 4.7 times in Uzbekistan over the past three years
The procedure has been accelerated by the interactive service of ‘Electronic declaration’, which enables entrepreneurs sending cargo customs declaration filled and other documents to the customs authorities on the Internet from their offices.
In 2013, only 39.2% of customs declarations were submitted in electronic form. Those days, customs clearance took 8.5 days on average, and entrepreneurs spent over 1.2 billion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 01.11.2016, 1$= 3102.18 soums) on cargo customs declaration forms.
Meanwhile, the practice dwindled after the transition to electronic interaction in 2014, thereby saving about 60 tons of paper annually. In the first 9 months of 2016, 99.9% of declarations were submitted online. Now, customs clearance takes only 1.8 days.
A Unified Electronic Information System for Foreign Trade Operations ranks among the most popular customs e-services today. It enables information interaction between ministries and departments of Uzbekistan. Over 137,000 contracts were processed through the system last year, and more than 76,700 contracts – in the first nine months of the current year.
Late last year, customs officials introduced a new service of ‘Advance notification of the State Customs Service officials by individuals who intend to cross the customs border by vehicles’. In a short time, the service had tremendous sway with the population. Since the beginning of the current year, businessmen have submitted electronic applications for more than 77,000 cars to the customs authorities, which is 84.7% of all freight vehicles that have crossed the border over this period.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
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