The Government presents a strategy for the future development of Uzbekistan
Today, no one has illusions as to development of the global economy. In the near future Uzbekistan has to face instability and uncertainty in the external markets, the economic slowdown in many countries, as well as geopolitical problems. The key to success in the tough conditions comes to the development of an integrated development strategy, which should not be a vague and ephemeral document, but an effective ‘road map’ that would spell out each certain item. The country’s government presented this very plan of action to the parliamentarians late January.
According to experts, 2015 will go down in the history of the independent republic. It will draw the vector of the country’s development for at least next five years. According to the constitutional amendments, each nominee for the post of prime minister should submit a detailed program of action of the government as part of consideration of his candidacy in the parliament. With this in mind, Shavkat Mirziyoev presented a clear, well-structured and detailed road map for the country’s development to the Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament.
‘The Programme of Action of Uzbekistan in the Short and Long Term’ is the title of the document that should become a guideline for the national economy as it paves its way through the depths of the global financial and economic crisis, which is escalating on the background of geopolitical issues and regional conflicts. The practice of adoption of annual or long-term programs for individual companies or entire industries has become traditional for Uzbekistan.
Back in the early 1990s, the beginning of the processes of privatization, Uzbekistan concentrated on integrated and correlative development of all sectors of the national economy. To date, this position has fully justified itself, since no large project can be implemented without an effective combination of resources and human power, generation and active implementation of new ideas and technologies that might ensure the quality of interaction between the state and investors on the basis of clear and well-structured rules of the game. Businessmen often acknowledge that stability and predictability of economic policy, which is the only prerequisite for long-term and strategic planning, is much more important for the joint work with the state than any privileges and preferences. This idea goes through the new program document, which was presented by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan.
The key point in the program comes to specific steps on the development and soonest submission of a package of comprehensive measures, each of which sets objectives for the development of respective sectors of the economy and infrastructure, as well as mechanisms to achieve them. For instance, by the end of 2019, Uzbekistan is planning to implement 870 major investment projects worth $38 billion under the Program of Measures on Ensuring Structural Reforms, Modernization and Diversification of Production for 2015-2019. It is envisaged to establish 415 new businesses, as well as upgrade 455 existing industrial facilities. It is expected that in five years the industrial production will increase by 1.5 times, the share of industry in GDP – from 24 to 27% by 2020. 52,000 new jobs will be created.
According to experts, the new program fundamentally differs from the previous ones as it primarily focuses on hastened development of high-tech industries that ensure the supply domestic and external markets with export-oriented and competitive products. Uzbekistan has the necessary expertise, resources and capacity to implement such an ambitious program. Implementation of big and complex projects have provided significant research, technical, engineering, production and intellectual experience and a secure foundation for the implementation of new and technically advanced projects on the introduction of cutting edge technologies. In turn, that has ensured the competitiveness of domestic products for years ahead. It is worth mentioning that the above listed capacities are engaged in basic industries and other industries, with the focus on processing. For these purposes it is planned to involve the strategic foreign investors, as well as the world’s technology leaders.
Another important direction of development of the real economy and provision of the domestic market with quality products covers localization and import substitution. In the next five years Uzbekistan is scheduling to implement 600 projects on localization of finished goods. Their implementation will be ensured by the Program of Localization of Finished Goods, Components and Materials for 2015-2019. The program should catalyze deep processing of local mineral raw materials, the production of 1,225 most popular types of products with an estimated annual effect on import substitution for $3.5 billion and creation of 13,300 new jobs.
It is important to realize that the achievement of such indicators in the industry and attraction of foreign investors is impossible without further development of private property and private enterprise. Once they pushed the economies of the traditional leaders of the eurozone – Germany, France and the UK. Therefore, the elaboration of the program of measures for the further development of private property and private enterprise is currently underway. It envisages catalyzation of the further liberalization of the business environment, the complete eradication of the facts of illegal interference of state authorities in business, elimination of all barriers and unreasonable restrictions, and expansion of access of the ‘small economy’ to loans, logistical and raw resources through the open exchange and fairground bids.
The strategy also spotlights the issues of further simplification of the mechanisms of registration and obtaining permits in a ‘single window’. To do this, it was proposed to establish a Single Center for Businessmen in each district. It will basically focus on simplification and cheapening of the procedures associated with registration of property rights, allocation of lands to business entities, issuance of building permits and connection of objects to infrastructure networks.
During his speech, the Prime Minister lifted the veil of the Program on State Property Privatization for 2015-2016. It is, perhaps, one the key documents under development, which should complete the process of balanced transition to a market economy. Within this period of time the state is planning to completely sell its share in 360 non-strategic businesses, and sell over 400 idle state objects at a zero cost.
In addition, it is envisaged to terminate more than 660 idle state-owned enterprises, and subsequently sell them out to new private owners at a public auction. The state will reduce its share to 51% in 203 existing manufacturers through issuing additional shares worth 450 billion soums in the stock market, which will be consequently sold in the stock exchange to private investors 2448.16. As a result of implementation of the abovementioned program about a thousand state-owned facilities will be sold out at a public auction, and the number of enterprises with the state share in the authorized capital will be reduced from 534 to 147, or by 3.6 times.
However, the measures on selling out the state property actually cannot be panacea in today’s rapidly changing economic conditions. This is just a mechanism, but the enterprises should be managed by the people, the managers of the new formation with good knowledge of the market economy and up-to-date methods of corporate governance. Lessons of the past have shown that reorganization of enterprises into joint stock societies and companies did make them efficient or competitive neither at the global, nor even at the national level. A program of measures on fundamental change of the principles and approaches to corporate governance will be developed in the near future to change the situation. It will outline the new scheme of organizational structure and requirements for the staff of joint-stock companies with state share.
The program will aim at not just changing job titles and functional responsibilities of administration and specialists, but should fundamentally change the principles of operation, and give the new impetus to the interaction and initiatives. As pointed out by specialists who are involved in the development of the document, the program will help to completely shift from ineffective director corps that administrates enterprises in the old administrative-command style.
The shift to a new phase of development of agricultural production is going to become a basic direction of the government’s work. Experts are currently working on a package of documents as a follow-up of structural reforms in the agricultural sector, the introduction of advanced agricultural technologies, integrated mechanization of agriculture, as well as intensification of processing of raw materials.
Specialized government agencies are currently finalizing the Program of Agricultural Development for 2015-2019. It provides for the phased optimization of cotton areas at the expense of turning low-yield lands into the fruit, potatoes and other crop fields, as well as building of intensive orchards. It is planned to further develop seed breeding and seed production, including the development of new high-yielding salt and drought-resistant varieties of cotton and grain crops. Jointly with Klaas, Lemken and other world’s leading companies the enterprises of Uzagroprommashholding are planning to organize the production of state-of-the-art high-performance tractors, advanced cotton harvesters, combine harvesters and other machinery.
The concurrent introduction of up-to-date water-saving technologies will include the expansion of drip irrigation in orchards and vineyards. They will allow annual savings of up to one billion cubic meters of irrigation water. The Government is going to work on soil enrichment, and continue the implementation of the Program on Melioration of Irrigated Lands for 2013-2017. It envisages the construction and reconstruction of irrigation systems and installation of up-to-date energy-saving equipment. The program’s objective is to ameliorate 1.4 million hectares of irrigated lands and increase crop yields within five years.
Growing bumper crops is just half of the deal: it is important to process and conserve them correctly. In the next few years Uzbekistan is going to significantly intensify processing and exports of fruit and vegetables. To make the plans true it is envisaged to implement 391 investment projects in the food industry, build about two thousand up-to-date cold stores with the storage capacity as much as 1.3 million tons of fruits and vegetables, bringing the total storage volume to two million tons. Conjugate logistics networks will be developed concurrently.
The government estimates that the implementation of above listed and other measures in the agricultural sector in 2015-2019 will allow further strengthening of food security and self-sufficiency in major types of foods, as well as a significant increase of exporting of popular products to foreign markets.
Development and modernization of transport and communication infrastructure is the next priority, as it should cut the costs of promotion and delivery of products by domestic exporters to the global market. The remoteness of transport communications and the lack of direct access to sea ports rank among obvious and tough challenges for Uzbekistan. In this context, the external trade has been transited through the territory of two or three states. That increases the delivery cost of goods, which negatively affects the competitiveness of export enterprises. In this regard, the Program of Development and Modernization of Industrial Infrastructure for 2015-2019 provides for specific measures on the further evolvement of motorways, railways, logistics centers and communications, which will be taken through 150 related projects worth about $10 billion.
A strong social policy is seen as a key pillar of the activity of the government and state authorities in the field. They are assigned to accelerate the overall equipping of educational, vocational and higher education institutions with up-to-date computer and laboratory equipment, expand teaching of popular and relevant skills and subjects, including information technologies, foreign languages, business foundations. At the same time, there is a need to ensure the implementation of resolutions of the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Sports Development Fund on the construction and equipping of 1,700 modern gyms in secondary schools, and supply full sets of tools to 153 youth sports schools and specialized schools of Olympic reserve.
It is also planned to continue the implementation of the Program on the National Model of Mother and Child Healthcare, to shift to preventive healthcare and cultivate the principles of healthy lifestyles. There is a need to assign a special role to enhancement of efficiency of rural health units, hasten the provision of medical institutions with high-tech medical and diagnostic equipment, as well as train highly skilled professionals.
The agenda also includes the key issues related to the improvement of social conditions of the people, the supply of natural and liquefied gas, high-quality drinking water, modern system of sanitary cleaning and utilities. A range of measures will cover the municipal improvement. It is scheduled to complete and present an integrated program of measures on raising the mode of culture of the population.
All this is just a small part of the enormous work to be carried out by all of us, the residents of independent Uzbekistan. It is less about the government program, but more about the desire of each citizen to build a better future for himself and his children. It is our capacity that paves a thorny way towards ranking the country among the world’s leading powers. We get to choose .
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Joint stock company Uzavtosanoat (Uzbek Automobile Industry), which unites enterprises of automobile industry of Uzbekistan, launched new production capacities for US$87.4 million in 2014.
The press service of the company said that within the investment programme of Uzbekistan for 2014, some 14 projects for US$87.4 million were commissioned in Uzbekistan in 2014.
GM Uzbekistan transferred production of Damas mini-vans from Andijan region to Khorezm region. The capacity of the plant is 40,000 cars a year. Some US$55.4 million were directed to the project.
The industry also launched production of headlights and lamps, seats, plastic details, stamped details of the cars and other components in 2014.
A regular meeting of the Central Election Commission, which reviewed the issue of registration of candidates for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The Central Election Commission, having considered the political party documents, adopted a resolution on the registration of candidates for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan registered from he Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen of Uzbekistan – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP) – Islam Karimov, The People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan – Hotamjon Abdurahmonovich Ketmonov, The Milliy Tiklanish (National Revival) Democratic Party of Uzbekistan – Akmal Saidov Kholmatovich and the Social-democratic Party of Uzbekistan Adolat (Justice) of Uzbekistan – Narimon Madjitovich Umarov.
In accordance with Article 28 of the Law “On Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” from the date of registration of the Central Election Commission of the candidates for President of Uzbekistan starts its election campaign. In this regard, the meeting considered the question of the election campaign and the appropriate decision.
A regular meeting of the Central Election Commission, which reviewed the issue of registration trustees of candidates for President of Uzbekistan.
The Central Election Commission, having examined documents submitted by candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan , adopted decrees for registration of authorized representatives of candidates for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In accordance with Article 29 of the Law “On Elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan shall have the right to have up to 15 agents, who help him in the election campaign, campaign for electing him as a President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, represent his interests in relations with state and community organizations, election commissions.
At the meeting discussed other issues relating to the powers of the Central Election Commission.
(Source: IA «Jahon»)
In keeping with tradition, every February Uzbek people celebrate the anniversaries of two outstanding personalities, Alisher Navoi and Bobur, whose legacy plays a major role in the cultural and spiritual life of the Uzbek nation.
A number of events are held at higher educational institutions to pay homage to these great men. Virtually every school has put in place a program that includes various competitions, creative nights, theatric plays based on works by these poets and other events.
Music and art school №18 in Bukhara Region’s Qorovulbozor District that has recently moved into a new building hosted a creativity night. Students, who draw inspiration from Navoi and Bobur’s creativity, played a concert performing local and international composers’ works, national dances and a premiere of theater play. Villagers attending the cultural event had the opportunity to artworks by children learning applied and fine art skills. Another focal point of these celebrations is cultural institutions that also host various events involving international specialists.
The main festivities in honor of the 574th anniversary of Alisher Navoi took place in Navoi Park in Tashkent. Event participants, among them Senate and Legislative Chamber members, representatives of ministries and agencies, scholars and Navoi experts, talked about ongoing efforts to perpetuate the poet’s cultural and spiritual legacy. Majestic monuments of Navoi have been erected across the country in recent years and a twenty-volume collection of Navoi’s works has been published. Navoi’s oeuvre is studied all over the world while series of scientific works, monographs and brochures on research findings are published. An ‘Encyclopedia of Alisher Navoi’, the first of its kind, is in the making in Tashkent.
One remarkable event dedicated to the legacy of the poet was a music event titled ‘Nazm va navo’ (Poetry and Melody). The two-day event, held on February 9-10 at Turkiston Palace, featured performers reciting fragments of gazelles and poems and singing classical songs based on Navoi’s works.
A fine and applied art exhibition celebrating the outstanding thinker’s creativity was mounted in the foyer of the palace.
“In our creative endeavors we turn time and time again to the works of this eminent poet,” says Uzbek folk singer Ulmas Saidjonov. “His works glorify unity and peace as well as lofty human qualities such as creativity, patriotism, honesty, humbleness and faithfulness. They play a pivotal role in the upbringing of young people and will remain forever in the hearts of generations and guide them toward happiness.”
Tomorrow, Andijan, the birthplace of Bobur, will play host to an international conference that will focus on his legacy. Events will be held at Bobur Park and the head office of Bobur International Foundation.
“In what has become a tradition, prominent experts on Bobur’s life from Tashkent and other parts of Uzbekistan have been invited to join the events. Among invitees are many specialists from Afghanistan, Turkey and Arab countries, who make a considerable contribution to the study and promotion of Bobur, who played a huge role in the development of the cultures of many nations,” commented Zokirjon Mashrabov, the Chairman of the Bobur International Foundation. “We hope to hear news related to research into his legacy from guests and to present our work – the first-ever encyclopedia dedicated to Bobur in the history of Uzbek literature. It was published by our Foundation and Sharq Publishing House.”
“Over 100 specialists – historians, biographers, ethnographers, cartographers, philologists and even mathematicians – worked for many years on the 744-page encyclopedia,” says Azim Abdullayev, the editor-in-chief of the encyclopedia. “Our book will be interesting even to those, who think they know all there is to know about Bobur, his life and creativity. In the course of painstaking research into sources available throughout the world, we discovered a lot of little-known and unexplored facts, which have been incorporated in the encyclopedia. For example, while handling bibliographic data from Russian libraries it was established that Bobur custom-wrote a tutorial on basic arithmetic, geometry and astronomy for his son. It is our hope that the publication will be of use to a broad circle of readers.”
In the meantime, celebrations continue.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
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