April 2, 2015
The Exports and Trading House Uzbekistan was opened in Riga, Latvia, according to the Latvian mass media.
The goal of the newly-launched business center is to increase trade in goods and services between Uzbekistan and EU member states, Florens Jansons, the official representative of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to Central Asian states and a member of the Global Getaway management board, told BNS.
Jansons said that Uzbekistan’s new trading house will let Latvian entrepreneurs import goods of nearly any kind from Uzbekistan using open account payments or working on consignment.
“This was made possible thanks to an agreement with our Uzbek partners and some short-term loans,” Jansons said.
In 2014, Latvia exported €49.808 million worth of goods to Uzbekistan, which accounted for 0.5% of Latvia’s total exports, while imports from Uzbekistan totaled €8.972 million, or 0.1% of Latvia’s total imports, according to data from Latvia’s Central Statistics Office.
Raising the level of attractiveness in terms of doing business is an important component of any country’s economic progress. It is the main factor boosting the inflow to its economy of overseas investments, whose role in creating high-tech production facilities, satiating the home market with quality competitive goods and broadening the composition of national exports can hardly be overestimated.
Since the declaration of independence, the leaders of the Republic of Uzbekistan have been working towards the attraction of advanced technologies and foreign investments to the national economy. Consistent measures are taken to improve both the country’s business environment as well as its attractiveness as an investment destination.
Following the improvement of the Republic’s regulatory-legal base, as many as 160 permitting procedures and licence-related requirements have been abolished for 19 lines of entrepreneurial activity. What’s more, the number of statistical and tax records have been reduced appreciably.
Steps to ameliorate the investment climate in Uzbekistan are conducive to a rise in FDI volumes lured to the national economy. In 2014, for instance, the volume of attracted foreign direct investments has exceeded US $4.5 billion.
At the present day, the Republic’s competitive advantages, along with its very propitious investment climate, have already been highly assessed by some 5,000 enterprises set up with the participation of foreign investments. Among them are such world-renowned corporations as General Motors, MAN, Knauf, Itochu, Rieter, Klaas, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Kogaz, Sasol, Ariston, CNPC, Indorama, Gazprom, Lukoil, LG, Lotte, Sumitomo, Korea Telecom etc.
It should be pointed out in this connection that the foreign partners have already implemented a lot of investment projects to create high-tech production facilities capable of manufacturing commodities that are much in demand and can compete in foreign markets. Vivid examples of successful competition with foreign partners are thick on the ground. These include such projects as the production of automobiles and engines in conjunction with General Motors and trucks – jointly with MAN, construction of the Ustyurt Gas-Chemical Complex to process gas and produce polypropylene and polyethylene on the basis of the Surgil gas field, construction in Kashkadaya province, together with the Swiss company Rieter, of a plant to produce synthetic liquid fuel using GTL technology, organization of full-scale production of modern textile equipment and other projects.
What attracts investors in Uzbekistan?
First, it is the political and economic stability. The complex measures taken by the Uzbek government ensure a sustainable pace of economic growth in the country and dynamic development of all sectors of the national economy.
In the past 10 years, the annual GDP growth rate exceeds 8 per cent, one of the world’s highest figures. Thanks to such a rapid development dynamics, the economy of Uzbekistan has doubled in that period.
Since 2005, the Republic has been managed to maintain the positive trade and payment balance and proficit of the state budget.
According to recent forecasts of the international organizations and financial-economic institutions, such a spectacular growth trend is expected to remain in Uzbekistan in prospect.
Second, the country’s essential advantage lies in the fact that it is one of a handful of states in the world, whose economy is characterized by the absolute energy self-sufficiency. Uzbekistan has enormous reserves of natural resources and raw materials. It is one of the world’s leading producers of gold, uranium, copper, silver, lead, zinc, tungsten, rare metals etc.
Uzbekistan is one of the top ten countries in the world in terms of deposits of oil and gas, coal and uranium. The electric energy generated in the Republic is 4 times as cheap as an average price paid by industrial manufacturers in developed countries.
Third, the Uzbek economy is the most diversified in Central Asia. The country is the region’s only manufacturer of a wide range of modern motor vehicles, cars, trucks and high-quality agricultural equipment – from tractors to combines, as well as the biggest producer of chemicals, textiles, foodstuffs, building materials, electronics and electrical equipment.
Fourth, the country possesses a substantial human and intellectual potential, which corresponds to the current international standards of education. Young people account for more than a half of Uzbekistan’s population. Owing to the obligatory 12-year education system, they acquire deep knowledge and at least 2 professions. Moreover, they are able to use latest information technology and speak 2 foreign languages.
Today, branches of several leading European, Asian and Russian higher educational establishments are functioning in the Republic, including Britain’s Westminster University, Singapore’s Institute of Management and Development, the Turin Technological University, the Moscow State University etc.
Fifth, the advantageous geographic location and proximity to the world’s biggest markets constitute another factor of Uzbekistan’s attractiveness for foreign investors. Numbering over 30 million citizens, or about 50 per cent of the total population of Central Asia, the country is the biggest consumer market in the region.
A well-developed transport infrastructure enables domestic enterprises to export their produce to the largest dynamically developing markets of Central Asia and Afghanistan, whose total population exceeds 90 million, the CIS member states (with more than 300 million), West and East Asia and Europe.
The availability of free trade agreements with 11 CIS countries allows the Uzbek producers to export their goods to these markets on a duty-free basis.
The fact that the Republic of Uzbekistan has signed the favoured-nation-treatment agreements with 45 countries makes it possible to raise competitiveness of national produce in foreign markets.
Sixth, the Republic’s banking-financial sector is also an important link in the realization of active investment policy regarding the implementation of strategically significant projects to modernize the leading industries of the national economy, provision of financial backing to small business and private entrepreneurs as well as rendering of quality banking services to physical persons.
The reinforcement of the national banking system has created all necessary prerequisites for the reduction in 2014 of a Central Bank refinancing rate from 12 per cent to 10 per cent and a credit interest rate for commercial banks.
In the last few years, the world’s leading rating agencies like Moody’s , Standard & Poors, and Fitch Ratings, have been assessing the performance of Uzbekistan’s banking system as “stable”. In 2011, only 13 commercial banks of the country enjoyed such a high rating; nowadays all 26 commercial banks operating in Uzbekistan are beneficiaries of their high ratings.
Seventh, unprecedented privileges and preferences are stipulated for investors in the Navoi Free Industrial-Economic Zone and the Angren and Djizak Special Industrial Zones. Their residents are exempt from almost all taxes for different periods, depending on investment volumes: from 3 years to 15 years (the Navoi FIEZ) and from 3 years to 7 years (the Angren and Djizak SIZs).
At present, the following industries of the national economy are considered to be the most promising directions in terms of FDI attraction: the oil-and- gas sector – deep processing of hydrocarbons and production of goods with high value added; the chemical industry – production of polyvinylchloride, plastics and new types of chemical fertilizers; mechanical engineering; electro-technical industry; production of building materials; textile industry, development of mineral resources, including the reconnaissance and joint development of new deposits; introduction of alternative sources of energy; and information technology.
By and large, the Republic of Uzbekistan can offer foreign investors not only a vast natural wealth, but other advantages, too, including the political and economic stability, a favourable business environment, a considerable personnel and intellectual potential, the beneficial geographic location and developed infrastructure.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
Cadet and Junior Fencing World Championships started in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on 1 April 2015.
Ministry of Culture and Sport Affairs of Uzbekistan, National Olympic Committee, Uzbekistan Fencing Federation organized the tournament in cooperation with the International Fencing Federation (FIE).
Over 1,000 athletes from over 100 countries of the world are attending the tournament, which will end on 9 April 2015.
The competition of Men’s epee and Women’s epee were held on the first day of the event. Myeongki Kim of South Korea won the gold medal in the Men’s epee competition. Jakub Jurka of the Czech Republic clinched the second place. Bence Bende of Hungary and Loic Beaulieau of Canada claimed the bronze medals.
Alexandra Predescu of Romania defeated Kinga Nagy of Hungary in the final of the Women’s epee competition to win the gold medal. Eleonora De Marchi of Italy and Alla Gryschyk became the bronze medalists.
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