April 30, 2015
The Central Bank held an enlarged meeting of the Board, on the results of banking system activity for the first quarter of 2015, the implementation of the basic directions of the economic program and priorities for the current year, defined by President Islam Karimov at the meeting of Cabinet of Ministers on January 16 of the current year, as well as discussion of the tasks set by the banking system at a government meeting on April 24, 2015.
The meeting was presided by the Chairman of the Central Bank of the Republic of Uzbekistan F. Mullajanov.
It was noted that the monetary policy of the Central Bank in the reporting period was aimed at achieving the forecast of macroeconomic indicators for 2015, the implementation of the requirements of resolutions and decrees of the head of state on further reforming and increasing sustainability of the banking system and achieving high international rating indicators.
A number of measures to improve the level of capitalization of the banking system, strengthen its liquidity and stability have been implemented in the first quarter of 2015.
As a result of these measures, indicators of the banking system not only meet generally accepted international standards but also exceeds them in some respects.
In particular, the capital adequacy of the banking system today makes 23.7%, which is 3 times higher than required by the Basel Committee on banking supervision (8%). Total capital of banks as of April 1, 2015 reached over 6.9 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 10.02.2015 1$= 2512.73 soums).
The current liquidity level for several years exceeds 64%, which is twice higher than the minimum standards accepted in the world practice.
Total assets of banks compared with the same period of the last year increased by 28.1% to over 56.6 trillion soums.
The implementation of effective banking supervision on the basis of international standards, constant monitoring of asset quality and liquidity of banks allowed all 26 domestic banks to obtain and confirm a positive rating from leading international rating agencies – Fitch Ratings, Мoody’s and Standard & Poor’s.
Rating Agency Мoody’s for the fifth year in a row assigns the banking system of Uzbekistan the rating at “stable”.
Such basic indicators of the banking system as capital adequacy, the liquidity of commercial banks, the volume of deposits, changes in the volume of credit investments, by the results of the reporting period correspond to the highest value.
Banks on the basis of priority economic tasks implemented extensive measures for the commissioning of the most important high-tech and modern facilities and capacities; modernization, technical and technological renewal of production in the industrial sector.
In particular, the total volume of loans to the real sector of the economy in the first quarter compared to the same period of the last year increased by 30.6%, and today is estimated at 35 trillion soums.
The volume of loans for investment purposes, compared with the same period of the last year increased by more than 1.1 times and as of April 1, 2015 amounted to more than 2.3 trillion soums.
Within the execution of resolutions and decrees of the head of state, aimed at developing small businesses, creating a favorable business environment and providing greater freedom for entrepreneurship, the volume of loans to small businesses compared with the same period of 2014 increased by 1.3 times and on April 1 of the current year amounted to 2.8 trillion soums, including the allocation of microcredits amounted 590.9 billion soums, which exceeds the same period of previous year by 1.3 times.
The volume of credits aimed at supporting women’s entrepreneurship, compared with the same period of the last year increased by 1.3 times and amounted to more than 314.3 billion soums.
Banks are also paying serious particular to the wide involvement of graduates of professional colleges in entrepreneurship, as well as financing their business projects. Thus, in the first quarter of the current year credits worth 48.2 billion soums were allocated to these purposes, 1.8 times more than in the corresponding period of the last year.
Stable condition of domestic banks, increasing their credibility, as well as the growth of real incomes of the population have become a solid basis for attracting free funds of the population and economic entities to deposits. Total deposits in the reporting period increased by 30.3%, and currently makes over 28.6 trillion soums.
The share of banks in the structure of financial services amounted to 88%, and this figure compared with the same period of 2014 increased by 1.3 times. This is a practical example of the implementation of targeted measures to expand and improve the quality of banking services to businesses and the population, reform of the banking sector as a whole.
It should be noted that special attention is paid to the further development of cashless payments, which demonstrates a rapid growth of plastic cards issued. More than 13.9 million cards are actively used today in the Republic, while the number of terminals exceeded 162 thousand.
At that, the activities of individual commercial banks that do not use fully the available opportunities to expand the types of services and increase customer confidence were criticized at the meeting.
The meeting identified priorities, which should be implemented in the first half of this year. In particular, the heads of commercial banks tasked with execution of the most important points of the economic program for 2015, identified at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers on January 16 of the current year, namely for the sustainable functioning of the banks, further improvement of the assessment system of the activities of banks on the basis of international standards and principles, regulating supervision, strengthening cooperation with international financial institutions, financial support of subjects of small business and private entrepreneurship, expansion and improvement of the quality of banking services, rapid application of new information and communication technologies in banking.
In addition, the bank executives charged with absolute execution of tasks defined in the State program “Year of attention and care for the older generation”, including the creation of favorable business environment for business development in all branches of banks.
(Source: UzReport.uz )
Thirteen new projects with total cost of US$259 million are implemented in special industrial zone Angren.
According to newspaper Pravda Vostoka, the main part of the enterprises will be commissioned by the end of 2015.
The projects were initiated by Tashkent regional administration, Uzbekneftegaz, Association Uzbekcharmpoyabzali, Uzbekkomir, small businesses of Uzbekistan and companies from China and Bulgaria. Over 1,000 people from Tashkent region will be employed in the result of implementation of the projects.
Leather products will be produced on the bases of Tashkent Sheyk Industry and Hamkor Nur Savdo of Uzbekcharmpoyabzali.
Ohangaron kombikorm will utilize about US$12 million to launch production of 192,000 tonnes of granulated mixed fodder for cattle and poultry. China’s Jiansu Muysng Group Co.Ltd will supply equipment for the plant, which will be commissioned in the second half of 2015.
Gulf Cable Trading Company of China will launch production of glazed porcelain tiles and glazed ceramic tiles. The volume of foreign direct investments into the project will make up almost US$21 million.
It is also planned to launch production of oil from used technical oils, welding electrodes, ceramic bricks, decorative ceramic tiles, sanitary ware, coupling fittings, insulators, organic glass and other demand in the domestic and foreign markets products.
Special industrial zone Angren was created in line with the decree of the President of Uzbekistan from 13 April 2012. It will function for 30 years and can be prolonged.
Currently, nine projects for US$166 million were implemented at the zone with participation of companies from China, Great Britain and Belize. The enterprises produce briquette coal, gypsum and plasterboard. Singaporean and Austrian companies invested US$108 million to sugar plant. Uzbekenergo and Korean partner launched production of LED-lamps for streets.
The Uzbek-Hungarian business forum with participation of business circles of the two countries took place on April 29 in Tashkent. The event was organized within the framework of the visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan of the Deputy Minister of foreign affairs and trade of Hungary, co-Chairman of Uzbek-Hungarian intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation Laszlo Szabo.
Laszlo Szabo in his welcome statement praised the current level of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and called for Hungarian companies to actively use the existing capacity in the implementation of joint trade and investment projects.
Note that the business forum was attended by heads and representatives of such leading Hungarian organizations as the Hungarian agricultural chamber and the Eximbank Hungary, enterprises-manufacturers of modern equipment for the food and pharmaceutical industries, medical and electrical equipment, purification systems for industrial and municipal facilities, technologies of deep processing of agricultural products, construction materials.
Presentations of economic and investment potential of Uzbekistan, as well as specific projects for future cooperation in the pharmaceutical, food and electrical industries, in the production of building materials were held during the business forum. In addition, participants considered proposals to increase the supply of products of the enterprises of Uzbekistan in the Hungarian market.
Cooperation exchange and negotiation between business circles of two states were held in the second half of the day.
Recall that diplomatic relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Republic of Hungary established on March 3, 1992.
In October 2002, the agreement between the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Government of Hungarian Republic “On mutual protection and promotion of investments” and “On international road transport of passengers and goods” was signed. In April 2008, the Convention on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income and capital was signed.
In accordance with the agreement “On partnership and cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU”, the trade relationship between the two countries is carried out in the most favored conditions. By the results of 2014 the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Hungary amounted to more than 63 million.
Currently three ventures with investors from Hungary, of which two are joint and one with hundred percent Hungarian capital, operate in the Republic. 4 Hungarian companies accredited at the MFERIT.
The intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Hungary operate since 2013. The Commission activity is governed by the economic cooperation Agreement dated November 7, 2011. The last Commission meeting was held on November 24-25, 2014 in Budapest.
The automotive industry of Uzbekistan has been recently replenished with a fairly serious competitor in the domestic market of small cars, specializing in transportation of goods. The assembly of tricycles under a famous Chinese brand of Lifan has been launched in Tashkent. Experts say the vehicles will actively steal competitive advantage of their competitors owing to easy operation and price.
Subcompact cargo-technologies have been intensively invading the automotive market around the world. It stands to reason, as the ever-increasing traffic in megalopolises, rising fuel and maintenance prices impose seeking for the best solutions. Subcompact cars and motorcycles are popular with commercial entities that deal with delivery or small carriage in major cities. In the current conditions of busy traffic, compact and maneuverable cars are seen irreplaceable. In Uzbekistan, these vehicles would be very popular in the farms owing to their unpretentiousness, since motorcycles, as shown by preliminary tests, cope with off-road without any problem.
The Uzbek side is partnered by Chinese investors. Initially it was planned that the vehicles will be assembled in one of the industrial zones, but then the choice was made in favor of Tashkent as one of the Central Asia’s fastest developing metropolises with extensive transport and communication infrastructure.
“Prior to the establishment of the manufacture, we have closely studied the Uzbek market, focusing on the segment of freight traffic. As it turned out, cargo tricycles have been very popular here, and attractive for small businesses from the regions. Almost every day they have to carry small loads. Trucks are seen unprofitable for these purposes, so the bikes are most suitable,” said the Chang Hao Group founder King Chang, which serves the basis for assembling vehicles.
The company looks forward to further development of production. Currently, the vehicles are produced here by means of the so-called ‘screwdriver assembly’, however, according to investors, it is planned to start the localization of components in the near future, so the production of new designs is around the corner.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Annually, on April 23, the whole world marks the World Book and Copyright Day. The holiday is called upon to remind people of the world of the valuable and irreplaceable role of books in education, culture, science and shaping of each personality.
A popular expression ‘a book is a source of knowledge’ is still relevant today. Books and periodicals have been increasingly adopting modern shapes – now we have an opportunity to read the media like e-books, tablets and other mobile devices. The market has been constantly expanding. Have they challenged conventional books? The facts suggest that traditional books do not plan to give up.
To date, a customer has got much ‘younger’; his middle age has decreased. Young people buy books as active as the older generation. Many buy textbooks for professional growth: marketing, business, psychology, etc. Popular science publications in various subject areas have been showing a high rating. The books on mathematics, chess, design, as well as dictionaries are sold like hot cakes.
The book selection has expanded with the increased supply of books by domestic publishers. According to the State Statistics Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in 2014, the printing industry of Uzbekistan produced industrial output totaling 745 billion soums, or 109.5% YOY. Large enterprises have increased the production of books and magazines by 43.4% YOY (currency rates of CB RU from 10.02.2015 1$= 2512.73 soums).
As reported by the Uzbek Agency for Press and Information, an annual total circulation of published books exceeds 50 million copies. There are over 190 bookstores, of which 84 stores are located in district centers, 59 – regional centers, and 49 – in the capital. The indicators tend to grow with the years.
Reverence to the book
Storage medium, bedrock of education and creativity, a book opens up a window into the world of cultural diversity. It has become a bridge between different civilizations in time and space. The traditional respect and reverence for books in Uzbekistan takes its roots deep in the history of emergence of the first manuscripts and libraries on the Uzbek land. Books were stored in chests made of juniper, which were kept in special rooms away from sunshine and moisture. Libraries in mosques and palaces, public and private libraries were truly temples of science. They stored numerous works in mathematics, astronomy, law, history, geography, religion, written by eminent scientists and thinkers. The libraries of Sakhibkiran Amir Temur stored manuscripts in Greek, Latin, Armenian, Arabic, Persian and other languages, worked on the collection of valuable manuscripts, their decoration and covering. Such libraries used to be book shops as well. They employed experienced calligraphers, miniaturists, engravers, bookbinders.
Parchment and paper were the basic materials for manuscripts. Ancient Samarkand produced high-quality silk paper. For thousand of years kogozgar craftsmen manufactured the world’s best smooth and durable paper. The libraries of Samarkand, Bukhara, Termez and Shahrisabz kept many elegantly decorated and illustrated rare manuscripts in the 14-15th centuries.
Popularize and attract
The events promoting books and authors have been increasingly scaled in Uzbekistan after gaining independence. Uzbekistan Press and Information Agency (UzAPI) has been initiating publisher contests for the ‘Year’s Top Book’, ‘Year’s Top Bookstore’, and more to encourage quality of content and printing performance of books, further evolvement of publishing, and stimulate the authors.
Fair and forums on the occasion of the International Day of Children’s Books, the republican festival of ‘Children’s Book’ take place across the country. Book and magazine stalls are getting an integral part of other events, reflecting the further evolution of the cultural life of the Uzbek people. The names of the year’s best writers and publishers are announced at grand celebrations. They are awarded prizes and awards. There are traditional seminars, panel discussions, briefings, and meetings with writers.
Uzbek publishers participate and get prizes at many prestigious international book fairs and exhibitions in Germany, Iran, China, Russia, and Turkmenistan. Last October Uzbek publishers participated at the International Book Fair in Frankfurt (Germany) and received high appreciation and feedback from colleagues about the quality of their products.
From editorial to the printing machine
Creation of the book implies a long process: it takes a few dozen steps from its inception, a ready author’s text, to its release. A book’s thematic content and aesthetics are equally important. First impressions are most lasting…
Publishing and book trade have stopped to be a state monopoly with the transition of Uzbekistan’s economy to market relations.
According to UzAPI, 110 publishing houses of different directions and forms of ownership have been licensed and registered throughout the country. The book production, management and marketing have drastically changed over the years of independence.
Uzbekistan carries out scaled transition to international standards for quality control, technical and technological extension of its industries, backed by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers ‘On additional measures to introducing quality management systems at companies in Uzbekistan’ of June 19, 2009 as a guide to action.
Sharq Publishing and Printing Company ranks among the first ‘swallows’ to introduce and adopt the quality management system ISO-9001. O‘qituvchi publishing and printing house has been recently awarded a certificate as well. Recognized by 58 countries, ISO-9001 certificate opens up new opportunities. The shift to the new system has empowered the modernization of basic processes of quality control. The certificate allows concluding contracts with foreign companies and selling products in the international market.
The Presidential Decree ‘On granting additional tax benefits and preferences for further development of mass media’ of December 30, 2011 opened up new opportunities for the industry, contributing to the development and streamlining of the book market. Companies are granted with additional privileges and benefits. From January 1, 2012 media outlets and publishing houses are exempt for five years from income tax, tax on the development of social infrastructure, as well as the profit tax from selling socio-political and children’s literature and literature for people with disabilities. This measure has contributed to the establishment of new production facilities, technical and technological extension of the industry and, ultimately, improved the quality and range of printed products, and reduced their cost.
Each publisher displays its performance on its website, which is also expressed by the readers’ feedback.
Staff training has been a relevant issue. To this end, Uzbekistan publishing and printing house opened a learning center for advanced training of specialists in the publishing industry.
The saying “Read the thoughts instead of letters” reflects the people’s desire to satisfy their intellectual hunger. UT reporters have addressed the question about the readers’ current interests to the Alisher Navoi National Library of Uzbekistan – the major public library of the national and foreign press, multi-function library and information and research institution, a methodical center for all libraries in the country. Publishing samples come here annually from all over the country. As noted by the head of stock acquisition department Nasiba Kholdorova, it is about 1,500 books and almost 300 – magazines. Which are most in demand?
“Most often the readers request for socio-political literature,” says the head of Visitor Registration and Literature Issuance Department Marina Kim. “Educational literature, most often foreign books, enjoy the highest demand, since college and lyceum students make up the majority of our readers. Apart from the books in the Uzbek, Russian and English languages, we have been seeing the growing demand for textbooks and books in the Chinese and the Korean languages.”
The library users have been also interested in the literature on culture, sports, and information and communication technologies. The heritage of Zulfiya, Muhammad Yusuf, and other Uzbek writers and foreign classics, translated into the Uzbek language, are quite popular. There is a growing interest in the different genres of fiction – young people pay attention to the detectives and science fiction by Uzbek authors.
In the Bowels of Publishing
Along with publishing and printing houses O‘zbekiston, O‘qituvchi, State Research Publishing House O‘zbekiston Milliy Entsiklopediyasi (National Encyclopedia of Uzbekistan) and some other agencies, the Ghafur Ghulom publishing and printing house is part of the system of Uzbek Agency for Press and Information.
The publisher releases books in the Uzbek language and fraternal languages, albums and other printed materials. This year, Ghafur Ghulom PPH has presented some new products designed for the general reader and specialized professionals. It has also released a colorful album ‘I am a Citizen of Uzbekistan’. Its illustrated pages offer a brief excursion into the social, scientific and cultural life of the country.
The list of recent publications includes a book-album entitled ‘The Uzbek National Academic Drama Theatre”. Unique in its scope and performance, the edition is designed for theater amateurs and a broad range of readers.
A recently published 288 page book-album ‘Cotton Industry of Uzbekistan in the Years of Independence’ expounds of the reforms, dramatic transformations and positive changes in cotton industry – one of the leading areas of agriculture. The book offers details ranging from the start of cotton growing in Central Asia to the current capacity and economic progress in the years of independence, as well as the development and implementation of phased reconstruction of the industry enterprises.
Joint Stock Company Sharq is the largest newspaper and magazine complex in Uzbekistan and Central Asia.
At an international conference in Geneva in 1999, which was attended by companies from 57 countries of the world, Sharq won special recognition and was awarded the International Gold Star. The company was repeatedly awarded diplomas and certificates at various international forums and conferences.
Last year, for the first time in its history, Sharq released the encyclopedia on ‘Zakhiriddin Muhammad Babur’. Over 50 researchers of India, Pakistan, the United States, Japan and Uzbekistan wrote nearly five thousand articles. The encyclopedia was completed late last year after two years of work. It has caused a strong response among readers and scientific circles. Currently, scholars are preparing materials for the encyclopedia devoted to Alisher Navoi.
The publishing of popular series of ‘The Uzbek Novel of the Twentieth Century’, which represents the works by major Uzbek literature masters like Abdullah Qodiri, Oybek, Chulpon, Abdullah Kahhor, Pirimkul Kodirov, Odil Yokubov, is underway . Tohir Malik’s five volume work ‘Shaytanat’ has been popular for several years.
The readers take keen interest in the books that are issued on the occasion of remarkable dates. Last year, a collection of works was published on the occasion of the anniversary of Abdullah Qodiri. A collection of works was published on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the national poet of Uzbekistan Muhammad Yusuf. These books were successfully sold out and are currently being republished.
Foreign literature enjoys as much demand. The list of favorites of the publishing market includes a series of ‘World Adventure Literature’ of 14 volumes. Classics of the genre never get old – it has been republished for the seventh time within five years. Publishers have recently started printing a series of books by foreign authors including the works by Kafka, Theodore Dreiser, Nodar Dumbadze and other writers.
The Book Center Sharq Ziyokori, part of the Sharq JSC, distributes book products in the regions through branches in regional centers. Meanwhile, the executives say it is not enough – books should reach the most remote villages, because of the growing demand for them.
Every third published book today is a children’s book. Cultivation of love for reading in children ranks among the priorities of the spiritual policy.
The children’s audience is primarily offered the folklore of different countries, domestic and foreign classics, and contemporary authors. It is important to monitor and reveal the interests and demands of the younger generation. The publishers take into account the content, moral values, educational, informative, entertaining, motivating and aesthetic functions. The format, font size, appearance and quality of the books do matter.
The Chulpon publishing and printing house has been operating in the domestic market of books for over a decade, and today is widely regarded as the flagship of children’s literature. Fairy tales, novels, short stories, poetry collections clearly reflect folk traditions, centuries-old history and culture of the Uzbek people.
Last year, the publisher released a collection of Karakalpak, Uzbek folk tales, ‘Bolajon – Bolajonim’ by children’s writer Pulat Mumin, a collection of poems, plays and fairy tales, a ‘Cognitive Encyclopedia’ and other books.
Authorship under Protection
Uzbekistan joined the Berne Convention in 2004, and in 2005 assumed the obligation on its implementation. The national legislation was brought in line with the principles of international law. Adopted in 2006, the new edition of the law on copyright and related rights fully meets international legal standards.
Article 10 on the origins of the copyright of the law defines the presumption of authorship. The copyright for a product of science, literature and art arises by virtue of its creation. Its origination and implementation does not require registration or observance of any other formalities.
Certain related regulations were approved. For example, the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on the minimal rates of remuneration for certain works of literature and art came into force on January 19, 2008. Under the resolution, all legal entities and individuals, regardless of ownership, who carry out or arrange the public performance of works, should pay royalties. Thus, the act has secured a strong foundation for authors’ rights and stimulated their creativity. The interests of compatriots are protected today in almost any country, as the Berne Convention was signed by over 160 states and foreign rights holders can be supported in Uzbekistan as well.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Work has started at the Termez archaeological museum on the creation of an electronic catalogue of exhibits, which will be available in the Internet.
“Archaeological excavations had started in Surkhondaryo region eighty years ago. During those years the scientists have accumulated and continue to collect rich and unique material. It proves that different world religions, cultures and human civilization in general, developed on the territory of present-day Uzbekistan. Numerous findings make up an exposition and the funds of our museum, built up in 2002,” says museum director Ismoil Botirov. “Nothing else was left but a catalogue, which will deservedly present the museum and its exhibits. It was prepared within the Japanese government grant. A huge volume of working is awaiting us ahead. Among other things there are 5605 archaeological artifacts and 2656 coins. Many of the items are the relics of global significance.”
“The information will be provided in four languages: Uzbek, Russian, English and Japanese, which will make easier for our foreign visitors to get acquainted themselves with the collection, says Ismoil Botirov. “So far the majority of exhibits have been described in the Uzbek or Russian languages.”
Specialists from national universities and researchers from Japan will work in cooperation with the museum personnel. It is expected that the catalogue will be presented both in the hard and electronic formats.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Reference to the source is a must in reproducing materials