November 13, 2014
16th plenary session of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan
Senate’s plenary session starts in Tashkent
The sixteenth plenary session of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan will start in Tashkent on 13 November 2014.
Senators will consider state budget of Uzbekistan for 2015, budgets of state targets funds and main directions of tax and budget policy, as well as a programme of creation of jobs and employment of population for 2015.
The upper house of parliament will consider several laws of Uzbekistan, directed at further reforming and liberalizing all spheres of political and social-economic life of the country.
Senate will consider laws “On introduction of changes and amendments to law “On investment activities”, “On appeals of individuals and legal entities”, “On introduction of changes and amendments to some legislative acts in connection with adoption main directions of tax and budget policy for 2015, as well as changes and amendments to some legislative acts.
At the same time, the Senate will discuss other issues, related to jurisdiction of the Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan.
Free economic zones in Uzbekistan implemented 32 investment projects worth about $300 million.
By today, 32 investment projects worth $ 300 million have been implemented in the free economic zones in Uzbekistan. According to the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, 23 investment projects worth over $ 123 million are implementing with the participation of foreign companies.
The formation of free economic zones, including in 2009 – “Navoi” Free Industrial Economic Zone , in 2012-2013 – “Angren” and “Namangan” special industrial zones have become one of the factors in increasing the involvement in the economy of republic of investments for modernization, technical and technological renovation of industrial production in recent years.
Creation of free economic zones provide investors additional attractive conditions and mechanisms to expand their investment activities and promote the development of domestic manufacturers producing new competitive on the domestic and foreign markets kinds of telecommunication, oil and gas equipment, chemical, automotive and electrical industries, modern building materials, consumer products, and other high-tech products.
Along with this, the effective use of the rich raw material and labor resources to areas adjacent regions through the development of export-oriented production of modern industrial production will increase the number of new jobs, employment and welfare of the population.
8th International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange
An Industrial Tomorrow
The Eighth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange wraps up.
Uzbekistan’s industrial policy is oriented, first of all, toward rectifying the uneven development of its provinces as well as boosting the competitiveness of its economy under open-market conditions. Cooperation between the enterprises of the economy’s real sector and small businesses is crucial to the endeavors to achieve these goals. This kind of interaction is helping to set up new types of production and manufacture products in demand.
With the development of the global market at its peak and countries integrating with a single global system of industrial production, Uzbekistan’s real sector faces new tasks. It is important to not only secure swift technological growth with the help of imported technologies and cutting-edge equipment, which no longer provides a considerable competitive edge in foreign markets, but also to switch to a new model of industrial production based on innovative development. Bringing together leading domestic and international companies, representatives of research institutions, construction entities and small businesses and encouraging them to come up with fresh ideas and discuss collaborative projects and initiatives is the mission that the Eighth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange (EIIFC) gave itself in Tashkent.
It is hard to overestimate the effectiveness and relevance of this platform. There is a simple example: successful businesspeople will never waste time for the activities that profit nothing. The annual dynamics of the number of participating enterprises and companies speaks for itself. More than 1.3 thousand participants presented their products in 2013, while at the latest fair their number exceeded 1.7 thousand. They exhibited over 20 thousand items of products, including 1,270 new samples, the production of which has been established in 2014.
Close attention of international companies is another vivid indicator of the success of the expo. For seven days IIFCE was attended by more than 95 thousand people, including the more than 1.2 thousand representatives of corporations and holding companies from Germany, UK, China, Korea, India, Japan, Turkey, UAE, Czech Republic, CIS countries and other nations. They were offered 80 presentations of the leading industries, promising small businesses, regions of the country, where they learned about the investment potential and prospects of joint production of import-substituting competitive products at the domestic enterprises.
At this year’s trade show the organizers drew attention to the information support of exhibitors of the Cooperation Exchange. They arranged consultations of experts of the ministries and departments, banks, insurance and leasing companies, as well as organizations specializing in standardization and certification. This is a very important step, since today, when implementing innovative projects, many companies are challenged by the lack of information on how to properly process a loan, register a product, and pass a certification procedure for exporting their products.
The number of contracts on product sale, concluded under the Eighth International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange, was 1.38 times as many as in 2013. Moreover, the number of export deals has increased 1.13 times. Along with the traditional list of signed pacts, the participants reached agreements on exporting the products, the manufacture of which has just been launched. They are special cars based on ISUZU and MAN vehicles, Gentra cars, new kinds of household appliances: refrigerators, air conditioners, gas stoves, LED TVs, mobile phones, cable and wiring products, assembled concrete structures, a wide range of textiles, fruits and vegetables, household detergents, and others.
In addition to its immediate purpose, IIFCE fulfills another important function. It helps to create the market infrastructure needed for the establishment and expansion of long-term economic relations, provides access to raw materials and credit resources. It is no coincidence that the implementation of localization projects has intensified since the start of IIFCE across the country, and particularly in the regions. In the first nine months of 2014 the nation’s enterprises have manufactured finished goods valued at two trillion soums under 443 projects, in the framework of the Production Localization Program of Goods, Components and Materials for 2014-2016 (currency rates of CB RU from 13.11.2014 1$= 2392.50 soums). The estimated effect of import substitution has exceeded $870 million. Enterprises have launched the manufacture of 525 new kinds of localized products, including electric ovens, gas and electric stoves, air conditioners, electric engines and pumps, welding wire, antifreeze for cars, artificial lawns for sports fields, rubber based flooring, sports equipment and other products.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Up the Business Ladder
The policy of creation of a favorable business environment and investment climate, perfection of the legislative and regulatory system, elimination of excessive bureaucratic and administrative procedures regarding the launch and maintenance of business is underway in Uzbekistan. This progress is reflected in the estimates of international experts.
In recent years, the government has approved a range of targeted measures on the development of small business and entrepreneurship, draw of local and foreign investment, concurrently reshaping the national banking system and strengthening the resource base of domestic financial institutions. The measures taken have contributed to a drastic improvement of quality of services rendered by banks, and in intensified loaning policy.
It is no accident that in the recently published country rating provided by the World Bank and International Finance Corporation ‘Doing Business 2015’, the Republic Uzbekistan has climbed eight positions. A remarkable growth was registered in ‘access to loan’, as evidenced by the increase by 26 positions.
The World Bank and International Finance Corporation publish their report annually. Business conditions in different countries are estimated by various criteria. According to international experts, Uzbekistan has a great potential to further raise its rating in ‘access to credit’. In this regard, the Central Bank has a considerable experience, particularly in the field of credit information exchange and transactions on security.
It is worth noting that Uzbekistan received seven points out of eight in terms of ‘credit information gap index’. Overall, the report has confirmed the fact that in a short period of time Uzbekistan shaped a favorable business environment and a stable banking system, turning its small business and entrepreneurship into a pillar of social and economic stability, an active driving force that promotes the country’s development.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Double Impact: Steam and Gas to Cement the Energy Balance of the Nation
Uzbekistan keeps upgrading its generating capacities deemed as a kind of circulatory system of the real economy sector. Combined cycle plants are of special priority as the latest trend in modern science and engineering. For instance, gas technology has been the most popular kind of the global energy over the last two decades. Today, it accounts for two-thirds of all new generating capacities.
According to experts, the global development of the power system in the coming decades will be built on the combined cycle. This is primarily conditioned by high efficiency of combined-cycle plants (CCP) unlike the conventional thermal power plants (TPP), since CCPs use the energy of the fuel burned twice – first in the gas turbine, and then in the thermal one. Thermal power plants operate on steam cycle alone.
In Uzbekistan, thermal power plants produce more than 84% of all electricity, which suggests that their modernization is not just a strategic goal, but a vital necessity. Therefore, the integrated introduction of modern combined-cycle technologies in TPPs has been underway in different regions of the country for the past two decades. That would compensate the withdrawn power capacities and stabilize the supplies to the industry and the general public.
Such projects are extremely complicated and costly. Even prosperous states are not able to afford several major projects at a time, particularly in the context of global economic instability, when the industrial demand for electricity is falling. Meanwhile, Uzbekistan stands up against the trend. Domestic experts have elaborated an ambitious program of developing generating capacities, envisaging both modernization of existing plants and construction of new ones with the latest technological solutions. The projects are partnered by the world’s leading engineering manufacturers and international credit and financial institutions.
Asian Development Bank has been a flagship in this cooperation. For example, in mid-2014, the bank’s Board of Directors approved a $300 million loan for Uzbekistan for the construction of two combined cycle power plants with a capacity of 230-280 MW at Takhiatash TPP. The government entrusted Uzbekenergo to work out a feasibility study for the project by late January 2015.
Introduction of an automated system of commercial electric power accounting is another interesting joint project, envisaging the installation of about five million of cutting-edge electronic meters in all regions of the country.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Fresh Opportunities to Explore Chinese Experience
The creation of the Faculty of Chinese Studies is the second major change undertaken by the Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies since the start of the year. The first one was the establishment of the Abu Raihon Beruni Center for the Study of Oriental Manuscripts at the institute.
“Eighty-three freshman students are currently enrolled in the new faculty, studying Chinese philosophy, world politics, the economics of countries and country studies,” says the rector of the Institute, Abdurahim Mannonov. “Our goal is to train high-caliber specialists in Chinese Studies, who would have a good command of the Chinese language along with good knowledge of Chinese history, culture, politics and economy.”
The intense interest in China is fully understandable. The country is the world’s second biggest economy and Chinese-made goods are in great demand. It therefore comes as no surprise that the country is dubbed ‘the factory of the world’. Young specialists would be instrumental in further developing the bilateral cooperation that commenced back in the times of the historical Silk Road. In recent years, joint enterprises have mushroomed across Uzbekistan.
The teachers have been using modern teaching and information technologies during the educational process, and a series of organizational issues are being addressed. The institute has forged partnerships with leading Chinese universities and institutes with an eye to attracting professionals to increase the students’ knowledge and skills and sending Uzbek students and teachers to China as interns.
Cooperation between Uzbek and Chinese higher educational institutions will contribute to the further development of another joint project, the Confucius Institute, which has been operating at the Tashkent institute for over ten years and has given thousands of students opportunities to study the language and explore Chinese culture and literature. In the pipeline are joint educational and research programs.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Bukhara. Thinking of Chor Minor
In its way, Chor Minor is a unique masterpiece erected by the architects of Bukhara. It is without parallel when compared with Uzbekistan’s other architectural monuments. This very fact attracts the attention of researchers, travelers and city people themselves, who have created an atmosphere of mystery around the building.
Many believe that there are places on earth which accumulate great intellectual, spiritual and creative energy to feed the development of mankind. This theory is quite applicable to several cities in Uzbekistan, and Bukhara is one of them.
Every street, building, or brick in the city holds many secrets, stories and legends. Blessed Bukhara has always been a center of science, spirituality and philosophical search. It gave shelter and inspiration to many noble sons of men. This is the very place where Avicenna used to work on his Canon of Medicine; Khoja Ismail al Bukhari collected hadiths and wrote about them in his Al Jami as-Sahih; and Bahauddin Nakshbandi became a creator of Nakshbandia, a new trend in Sufism.
The seclusion of the city, in combination with its integrity and architectural austerity, creates a special air: your perception of time disappears as well as worldly vanity and anxiety. Years are needed to understand Bukhara; even a brief acquaintance with it takes long days.
Bukhara holds lots of architectural monuments from different ages. Many of them absorb a traveler’s attention from afar; others are hidden from the view by the curvy side streets of the Old City. Chor Minor (Four Minarets) is one such “secret” place. This unique building looks like a miniature painting by Bekhzad which, by a lucky chance, has acquired its tangible architectural form.
When asking local residents about Chor Minor, you will hear a number of different stories. Many believe Chor Minor was built by a rich Turkmen merchant with the Charminar Mosque in Hyderabad, India, as its possible prototype. Allegedly, the merchant visited the mosque during his long travels. As a character, this merchant exists in all the stories relating to Chor Minor, and his life accumulates more and more details as the stories unfold.
The storytellers’ imagination exceeds all bounds in their attempts to interpret the symbo- lism of the four unusual minarets. Some people take the towers as dedications to the merchant’s four daughters. Others are inclined to think that the minarets personify four parts of the world. The third group assumes that the towers were created to perpetuate the memory of once ruling dynasties. Another hypothesis suggests that the minarets’ decor elements reflect the religious and philosophical understanding of the four world religions. Some see that a few elements look like a cross or a Christian fish, or the Buddhist prayer wheels.
The personality of the Chor Minor’s founder gave rise to legends which clearly reflected the Bukharians’ concept of a perfect compatriot, a model citizen. He had to take care of his children; to work for the good of his family and society; to respect the law and order; to be tolerant towards all religions; to be hospitable; to encourage learning; to be engaged in an understandable and right business; to do good. It does not matter that a mythical personality of the Chor Minor builder does not coincide with the real one. The chief thing is that it forms priorities and expresses the world outlook and philosophy of life of the Bukharians.
As to the real creator of Chor Minor, he was an outstanding personality. His name was Niyazkuli at-Turkmani. The man was not a merchant but one of famous scholars and Sufi teachers of the Nakshbandia-Mujadiddia community. Due to his great services, he was also named as Pyr-i dastghir (Teacher and Guardian), ad-Darvish ash-sharaf (Noble Dervish) and qutb al-aqtab (Main Pole). Niyazkuli was an expert in Moslem law and a famous Koran lector. Emir Shahmurad and Emir Khaidar, the rulers of Bukhara, were among his disciples, as well as an outstanding Tatar theologian Abd an-Nasir al-Kursavi.
Niyazkuli constructed the madrasah building in 1807, and Chor Minor is its extant chartak, i.e. the gate. The design of the madrasah followed all the rules of the Islamic style of architecture which included a building, a garden and a pool – an embodiment of earthly paradise. The madrasah’s plan and setup were quite typical of such structures. It is still a secret, what inspired Niyazkuli to erect such an uncommon chartak as Chor Minor, with quite different towers set very close to each other. To a certain degree, its shape might have been conditioned by functionality. The madrasah was located within a residential district, and there was no room to fit a monumental Timurid-like edifice.
Probably, the construction of Chor Minor implied some symbolic, yet unclear meaning. Minarets are believed to have played the role of beacons in the desert – a light on the way to a destination point. Four minarets personify the light from four parts, and the next generations of the Bukhara people take this endowment of Niyazkuli as an act of noble patronage and enlightment. They consider Niyazkuli mujaddin- i din, the enlightener who has brought the light of knowledge to his native land.
(Source: «Uzbekistan airways» magazine)
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