March 17, 2015
In January-December 2014, the gross agricultural output of Uzbekistan made up 36.957 trillion soums, which rose by 6.9% year-on-year, of which output of plant-growing – 21.81 trillion soums (+6.9%) and animal husbandry – 15.146 trillion soums (+7%) (currency rates of CB RU from 17.03.2015 1$= 2478.23 soums).
Share of dehkan farms in total production of agriculture production made up 65.1% in 2014 (64% in 2013), farm entities – 32.9% (34%) and agriculture enterprises – 2% (2%), the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan said.
In January-December 2014, the share of crop production in the total agricultural output was 59% (59.8% in 2013).
Total sown area of agricultural crops for the yield in farms of all types was 3.678 million hectares.
The areas under grains were 1.655 million hectares (+0.8% compared to 2013), including wheat – 1.455 million hectares (0.2%). The areas, allocated to cotton production, were 1.301 million hectares, which fell by 0.6% compared to 2013.
The areas under forage rose by 3.4%, potatoes – 2.6%, melons and gourds – 1.8%, and vegetables – 1.4% in 2014.
In January-December 2014, all categories of farms milled 8.05 million tonnes of grain in original weight.
Uzbekistan produced 2.452 million tonnes of potatoes, 9.287 million tonnes of vegetables, 1.696 million tonnes of melons and gourds, 2.491 million tonnes of fruits and berries, 1.441 million tonnes of grapes in 2014.
In January-December 2014, the share of animal production in the total agricultural output was 41% (40.2% in 2013).
Compared to 1 January 2014, number of cattle rose by 387,600 heads (+3.7%), including cows – by 64,300 heads (+1.6%), sheep and coats – by 727,200 heads (+4.1%), poultry – by 3.858 million (+7.4%) in all category of farms.
In the total stock, the share of cattle in dekhkan farms was 93.9%, in private farms – 5%, cows – 94.5% and 4.6%, sheep and goats – 83.8% and 7.2%, horses – 84.6% and 9.7%, poultry – 63.4% and 12.3% respectively.
In January-December 2014, farms of all types produced 1.906 million tonnes of meat in living weight (6.7% more than in January-December 2013), 8.433 million tonnes of milk (+7%), 4.95 billion eggs (+13%), 34,400 tonnes of wool (+6.2%).
Investment activity keeps growing in Uzbekistan despite the negative external background. Last year, the volume of investments in the economy increased by 10.9% and reached $14.6 billion. This year, experts anticipate reaching a new benchmark of $15.9 billion. However, this would require shaking up the real sector through intensification of import substitution in various industries.
Investments have always been an important indicator of the attractiveness and openness of the economy to private business, and more so given that this market is global, there are many players, offering different conditions for raising capital, and consequently there is a tough competition. Therefore, success implies the need to keep making the investment climate better and promoting Uzbekistan in international investment ratings.
It is worth specifying that achievement of high rating is not an end in itself, but just an essential component of scaled initiatives on promoting domestic investment brand in the global market. A contemporary investor naturally caters on the ratings and estimations when making up his mind to invest in a certain country. The market capacity, demand, stability and coherence of policy, as well as other factors are equally important for him. It is important to realize that the rating reflects the result of successful transformations and acts a kind of advertising on the international market on the attractiveness of the national economy, which is capable of attracting an investor. And the durability of the rating is ensured by other mechanisms.
Uzbekistan has been intensively adopting the experience of the leading countries on improvement of the investment climate. There are dozens of annual big expert platforms with participation of leading specialists of international credit and financial institutions, banks and rating agencies, which give way to making proposals and recommendations on streamlining the national legislation and financial system. For instance, Uzbekistan climbed up eight positions and ranked 141 amidst 189 countries in the last report on ‘Doing Business-2015: Moving Beyond the Effectiveness’. It is still a modest index, however, there is a noticeable fact: the same report rated Uzbekistan among the top 30 reformer states that have demonstrated the best results in creating favorable conditions for doing business in 2005-2014. This is a clear evidence of the vector of optimal improvement of the business climate, which was defined by the state.
The rise by 61 positions up to the 118th place in taxation is the most significant upsurge in the country’s rating. This is a result of cutting the total amount of tax payments by 1.4 times, reduction of the time spent on tax payment procedures, as well as decrease of the tax burden on businesses by nearly 2.5 times. Meanwhile, according to the World Bank, the tax burden level in Uzbekistan is considerably lower than in Austria, Belarus, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, India, Canada, China, Russia, USA, Ukraine, France, Japan and other countries.
The rating demonstrates the significant uprise of the level of protection of minority investors. Uzbekistan was rated eight out of a maximum 10 points in the given index, thus improving its ranking by 18 positions. The measures undertaken by Uzbekistan in improving the corporate governance, also through strengthening the protection of minority investors, enhancement of transparency of corporate management and strengthening of their accountability to shareholders, have contributed to a considerable improvement of the index.
Uzbekistan would likely move up higher in the new ranking on this indicator given the constant monitoring the efficiency of over 1,100 incorporated companies and other state-share economic entities, which will ultimately pave the way to elaboration of effective control mechanisms. A program of measures for a radical change in the principles and approaches to corporate governance, which is currently under development, and which should clearly reflect the standard of organizational structure and requirements for the staff of state-share joint-stock companies, is expected to contribute to the higher rates as well.
Hundreds of ongoing projects in Uzbekistan are aimed at technical and technological re-equipment of production that is well embedded in the overall system-based development of the national economy. At the same time, the industrial policy focuses not just on modernization of individual enterprises, but on the implementation of a range of measures on the development of entire industries, establishment of cooperation and localization, creation of transport and logistics infrastructure. Domestic and foreign investments prove essential in these processes. Over the years of independent development investments in Uzbekistan exceeded a total of $190 billion, of which more than $65 billion comes to foreign investment.
Experts point out that in conditions of the downturn of the global economy Uzbekistan has to keep pursuing a policy of diversification of production, in order to avoid the negative consequences from reduced export earnings and growth of import costs. There is an ongoing range of programs on import substitution in various industries ranging from metallurgy and finishing with engineering and pharmaceuticals. Adopted every year, and seen as a roadmap for business and government, the investment program ranks among the key programs. In 2015, the document envisages channeling over 6.5 trillion soums of foreign investment in the equivalent, and 5.3 trillion soums of banks credits and other loan funds (currency rates of CB RU from 17.03.2015 1$= 2478.23 soums). Players of the real economy will perhaps undertake the leading role in the investment process. For instance, enterprises intend to invest more than 11.8 trillion soums of own funds in the modernization, technical and technological extension of production.
The launch of Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex at Surgil deposit worth $4.2 billion proves to become the biggest project to be completed this year. Funded by foreign direct investment, it is unique in its technological level, in the amount of foreign investment and the scale of construction. It fairly received several awards as the world’s best project in gas and chemical industry. The construction of the complex involves about 6,400 people. Domestic specialists, with the prevalence of the young people make up over 3,500 people. The project is funded by direct investment of South Korean companies Kogas, Lotte Chemical, STX Energy and Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company, as well as through loan resources. The commissioning of the complex will provide an annual production of 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, 400,000 tons of high density polyethylene, 100,000 tons of polypropylene, 110,000 tons of pyrolysis gasoline. The complex alone will provide more than a thousand new jobs.
The project is a good example of the successful implementation of the policy on the rational use of the rich resource base for the establishment of production with high value added, fundamental modernization of production facilities, and enhancement of the country’s export potential by increasing exports of finished products and consequent creation of high-tech production capacities and new jobs.
Impressive both in the scale of Uzbekistan and Central Asia, the initiative will get its first outlines late 2015 with the support of Uzeltehsanoat Company. The first stage on the establishment of the Logistics Center for Electrical Goods will be completed in the facilities of the former engine plant in Tashkent. A manufacture of aluminum and plastic, including the components of household appliances, a service center, and a permanent exhibition will be located on the same site.
Many projects have been underway in the light industry. By the end of the year Uzbekyengilsanoat is intending to complete the implementation of ten different projects totaling over $91 million. The launch of yarn and high quality hosiery manufacture in Bayaut District of Syrdarya region, and a spinning manufacture on the basis of Bostanlik Plastteks in Tashkent region promise to be the largest projects.
The company has been enthusiastic about expanding the range of finished goods for exports. Experts expect a significant increase in the production of textile products in the near future. According to the concept of light industry development, by 2020 the volume of industrial production at Uzbekyengilsanoat should exceed 6.97 trillion soums. For instance, the production of cotton yarn will grow by 2.5 times, finished fabrics – 2.8, silk fabrics – 2.7, nonwovens – 1.5, knitted fabric – by 2.7 times. In addition, the companies intend to increase the production of finished goods with high added value. For example, the production of garments should grow by 3.2 times, knitwear – 2.1, and raw silk – by 2.1 times.
The domestic pharmaceutical industry has been showing a good example of successful cooperation with foreign partners and development of import substitution. For instance, in the early 1990s, almost all medicines and medical supplies were imported, and only two local businesses produced about 20 types of medicines, taking a 2% market share. A favorable investment climate, incentives and preferences have radically changed the situation.
Today, there are more than 140 domestic pharmaceutical enterprises producing about 2,000 kinds of medicines, medical supplies and medical equipment. They won the domestic market back from Western counterparts and started exports. Over 45 kinds of medicines and medical supplies, produced by 17 domestic companies, are exported. The domestic pharmaceutics manufacturers have scheduled to implement 23 different projects totaling $100 million this year.
The international financial institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank have remarkably supported Uzbekistan in the implementation of structural reforms and strategic investment projects. Their loan portfolio in Uzbekistan has exceeded more than $8 billion. The international organizations support the implementation of projects in the strategic sectors – water supply, agriculture and transport infrastructure.
In 2000-2014, about $1.3 billion worth of investments, including $335 million in loans from international financial institutions were channeled to the development of irrigation systems, enhancement of safety and reliability of large and strategically important water facilities. $390.6 million of direct centralized capital investments have been allocated for further development of irrigation systems in 2015. By 2020, it is planned to channel $1.48 billion of centralized capital investments, including $1.1 billion of concessional foreign loans, for the further improvement of irrigation systems.
The development of infrastructure is deemed an essential component of the investment policy. Almost 2,000 km of roads, including 1,500 km of sections of the Uzbek national highway, have been laid out and reconstructed over the recent years. 342 km of new lines Navoi-Uchkuduk-Nukus-Sultanuizdag, and 223 km of Tashguzar-Baysun-Kumkurgan line have been built as part of development of railway communication, including the electrification of over 550 km of railways. The construction of a new electrified railway Angren-Pap with a 19 km tunnel in a mountainous area is currently nearing its completion.
The above-listed activities are just a small part of the broad range of joint ongoing projects throughout the country. Experts expect the growth in their number in the coming years. Uzbekistan is working on an integrated plan of attracting new strategic and professional investors. It will be based on the new edition of the law ‘On Investment Activity’, many provisions of which were developed with the direct involvement of experts, entrepreneurs and investors. Experts see joint projects as the optimal form of production in conditions of high-risk and unstable global economy. Therefore, the support of efforts of investors has been a priority in Uzbekistan. Additional funds would provide the manufacturers with the opportunities to expand the production and range of products, introduce innovations and improve quality of goods. Ultimately, that should contribute to the dynamic development of domestic industries, intensification of the processes of modernization, and, most importantly, would increase incomes and welfare of the Uzbek people.
Candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen – Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on March 16 met with voters of Tashkent region.
The meeting was opened by the Chairman of the 10th Tashkent region election commission of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan N. Abdullaev.
Candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov made a speech at his election program.
In the program the special attention was paid to improving the competitiveness of the economy through the modernization and diversification of industry, the elimination of all barriers to the development of private property and entrepreneurship, providing complete freedom of the sector, the revision level of state involvement in the economy, land reclamation and increase fertility acreage, continuing conversion of farms in multidisciplinary, development and localization of production of import-substituting products, further improve the investment environment, providing employment, and sustained improvements in quality of life, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign countries.
Tashkent region, characterized by abundant natural resources, well-developed industry and agriculture, occupies a special place in the development of our country. The region has the fuel and energy complex, construction industry, agricultural products processing. At the plant (created in partnership with «General Motors» (USA)) of automobile engines as well as at the large industrial complexes in Almalyk, Angren, Bekabad, Chirchiq volumes of production and exports are increasing steadily.
As a result of the full support of small business and private entrepreneurship the number of such entities is increasing, their share in the economy is also increasing. Farmers and cultivator are making a great contribution in providing the residents of not only the region but also the capital with fruits, vegetables, grapes, meat and dairy products, etc.
Veteran of Labor S.Salohiddinov, head of the farm “Yokuthon Said” of Buka district S.Saydullaev and others noted that as a result of great creative work on the development of the field the face of towns and villages is changing, living standards are raising. They stressed that the preparations for the election of the President of Uzbekistan are in full compliance with national legislation and international democratic principles and called on the voters to take an active part in the upcoming March 29 elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
(Source: IA «Jahon»)
More than 18 million of our compatriots participated in the nationwide charitable hashar held in Uzbekistan on 14-15 March.
The decree of the head of our state “On the preparation and holding of a national holiday Navruz in 2015” from February 25 of this year, is an important factor in the improvement of our cities and villages with the arrival of spring, to further strengthen our society’s consent, the provision of grant assistance, kindness and mercy.
The event was held at a high organizational level in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers’ decision of 7 March 2015, which proclaimed March and April as months of improvement and greenery planting.
According to Mahalla fund, more than 43 thousand hectares of lands, irrigation ditches with a total length of 26 thousand kilometers, over 9 thousand places of worship were covered with hashar over the weekend.
About 16 thousand units of special equipments were used in removal of nearly 60 thousand tons of household and construction waste.
Thanks to hashar, more than 150 projects were completed and put into operation new mahalla guzars, shops, beauty salons, chaikhanas, pharmacies, banquet halls, playgrounds, production departments and points of public services.
Social assistance is provided to the houses of Sahovat, Muruvvat, children of orphanages, large families and people with disabilities.
The collectives of enterprises, organizations and institutions planted more than 10 million decorative, more than 8 million fruit trees, about 12 million pieces of flower seedlings through the nationwide charity hashar entitled “24 sapling for the 24th anniversary of independence”. Pruning and whitewashing of trees implemented.
The personnel of the Council of Federation of trade unions planted nearly 5 million of fruit and ornamental trees, more than 235 thousand pieces of flower seedlings on the territories of children’s health camps and sanatoriums. In connection with the Year of Care for the Senior Generation they also visited the people living over a 100-year milestone and rendered them financial assistance.
Funds received from the charity hashar, will be transferred to the account of the Mahalla public fund and further directed to such a noble goal as social protection of needy citizens, improvement of mahallas, settlements, residential areas, guzars, playgrounds, places of worship.
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