“Investment portal of Uzbekistan”

Citizens of 76 countries will be able to get an electronic visa to Uzbekistan (List)

Uzbekistan announces visa waiver for citizens of 45 countries (List)

Important Visa Information for Indian Citizens Travelling to Uzbekistan

January 15, 2015


January 15, 2015


The quality and competitiveness of Uzbek cotton fiber2

technology.. 4

Drip irrigation to be expanded to 25 thousand hectares by 2018. 4

Society.. 4

The Year 2014 in Retrospect4







The quality and competitiveness of Uzbek cotton fiber

It is well known that cotton is a main raw material in the textile industry. By the beginning of the 19th century its dominating position among other types of raw stuff became prevalent.

Today, over 40 countries produce cotton fiber. Uzbekistan is one of the world’s six leading producers of cotton fiber. Cotton is pictured on the Republic’s National Emblem, a fact accentuating the importance of this crop for the development of the Uzbek economy.

In the course of its independent development, Uzbekistan has been taking steps to reform the cotton sector. And these efforts have borne fruit. Both the quality and competitiveness of Uzbek cotton fiber have improved appreciably. The strategy implemented in this area is based on two pillars: maintaining stable production volumes and creating a competitive environment for trade in Uzbek cotton in the region and in the international arena alike. That’s why the structural reforms realized in the cotton industry encompass the following priorities: the development of new technologies; reduction of the prime cost of cotton-fiber production; improvement of its qualitative and technical characteristics; wide introduction of market principles and mechanisms in the production and sale of cotton fiber; application of globally accepted forms and methods of account-settlement, and the creation of a competitive environment in the home market.

It should be observed that in 1992 the Republic of Uzbekistan has joined the International Consultative Committee on Cotton. Participation in this organization implies the exchange of scientific-technical information, which is necessary not only for cotton producers, but also for researchers, processors and exporters of cotton. This, in turn, has a positive impact on the promotion of Uzbek cotton fiber to overseas markets.

Since the acquisition of independence, domestic selection scientists raised more than 160 grades of cotton. Most of them were put on Uzbekistan’s state registry and recommended for cultivation in different provinces countrywide. When planning selection works, the Uzbek selectionists take into consideration the Republic’s climatic conditions and devote special attention to parameters such as high productivity, the quality of fiber and increased resistance to salinization of soil, insufficient moisture, plant diseases, pests and extremely high temperatures.

Many significant changes have been made in the cotton-cleaning sector over the years of the country’s development as an independent state. A given sector may be called a connecting link between the cultivation of cotton and its further processing. Partial upgrading or complete technical re-equipment of virtually all cotton-cleaning plants has allowed Uzbekistan to considerably augment the sector’s efficiency.

The Uzbek Center for Cotton Fiber Certification, SIFAT, a member of several leading cotton associations of Europe, is an independent organization for certification and control of the quality of cotton fiber, lint, technical cottonseeds, cotton wool and absorbent cotton wool. In its work, the Center follows a range of internationally accepted requirements and standards when it comes to assessing the quality of cotton fiber.

Operating in the provinces, SIFAT’s regional laboratories carry out bale-by-bale tests of cotton and monitor the qualitative characteristics of lint, cotton wool and technical cottonseeds. All of them are outfitted with highly productive systems HVI 900 SA and state-of-the-art trial instruments. The Center weighs each bale of cotton and lint supplied by domestic cleaning plants. The certificates of correspondence and bale-by-bale plumb statements issued by the Uzbek Center SIFAT are considered to be the obligatory documents to be presented without fail when selling cotton produce.

The certification procedure, involving bale-by-bale trials and tests, is based on the exploitation of modern equipment, such as the HVI systems, which are capable of determining all characteristic features of cotton fiber. Combined with the improvement of agricultural technology and the introduction of selection grades, this facilitates a steady rise in the proportion of 4-grade cotton fiber, which is much in demand in the textile industry thanks to its uniform length.

It is necessary to point out that given tough competition in the world market, this cotton grade boasts a number of merits, including the highest quality, whiteness, durability, high technical characteristics and complete correspondence to the stringent requirements of the global textile industry.

The past cotton seasons have witnessed one stable trend – an increase in the proportion of 4-grade cotton and cotton of higher classes – “oliy” and “yakhshi”. Intensive efforts to improve selection grades directly affect the quality of cotton fiber in several aspects. For instance, such cotton grades as Bukhara -8, Omad, Andijan-36 and Bukhara-102 have the biggest fiber length. Among the strongest grades are Namangan-34, C-2610, C-6524, Bukhara-8, Bukhara-6 and Bukhara-102. And the following grades are distinguished by the optimum micro-neur indicator: Bukhara-8, Bukhara-6, Bukhara -102, Omad, Sulton and Kelajak. As for the best uniformity indicator, grades such as Namangan -34, C-2610, Namangan-77, C-6524, Andijan-36, Bukhara-6 and Bukhara-8 should be mentioned. Another essential characteristic of cotton fiber is its whiteness. The following grades enjoy the highest indicator of whiteness: C-6541, Uchkurgan-2, Namangan-34, Khorezm-127, Khorezm-150 and Mekhnat.

In order to make Uzbek cotton more competitive in the international arena, work is currently under way in the Republic’s cotton sector to implement the Program of Modernization, Technical and Technological Re-equipment of the Uzbek Center for Cotton Fiber Certification, SIFAT, in the period 2013-2017. This document stipulates a series of measures, including modernization of all testing instruments and ancillary facilities, technical upgrading of HVI systems used for assessing the cotton fiber’s quality, and the development of information networks and IT technologies.

The country’s endeavors to upgrade the existing infrastructure of the cotton industry take many forms, all of which are aimed at perfecting the entire system of deliveries to foreign customers, including the purchase of fiber from territorial associations, certification, trans-shipment at terminals, storage, insurance and transportation of exports.

Three big foreign trade companies have been set up in Uzbekistan since independence: the State Foreign Trade Joint-Stock Company Uzmarkazimpeks, the State Joint-Stock Company Uzprommashimpeks and the State Foreign Trade Joint-Stock Company Uzinterimpeks. They carry out the active market strategy based on modern efficient sales methods. Closely cooperating with a number of permanent strategic partners and seeking to expand the existing network of foreign markets, these foreign trade companies ensure that the exports deliveries of Uzbek cotton fiber remain even and stable.

Today, Uzbekistan-made cotton fiber is exported to many countries, such as China, Bangladesh, Russia, Moldova, Iran, the EU member states, Turkey etc. Active efforts are made to expand the geography of cotton exports from the Republic by finding buyers in new markets, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and others. Uzbek cotton fiber adequately competes with the similar commodity from other parts of the world.

Speaking about the quality of Uzbek cotton fiber, it should be said that it has undoubtedly earned a rather enviable reputation in the world market. This opinion is adhered to by all buyers of cotton fiber from Uzbekistan. In addition, the national exports policy is designed to provide equal opportunities to all potential customers, including the absence of any restrictions in contractual volumes and terms of delivery.

With a view to raising the efficiency, optimizing cotton fiber deliveries from Uzbekistan to the world markets and expanding the country’s exports geography, an international-scale event was organized in Tashkent on the initiative of President Islam Karimov. The 1st International Uzbek Cotton Fair was held in the Uzbek capital in 2005. It attracted not only traditional buyers of Uzbek cotton fiber, but also lots of new potential customers. Taking into account the excellent practical outcome of the event and its high assessment by foreign participators, it was decided to convene the International Uzbek Cotton Fair on an annual basis, each autumn at the beginning of a new cotton season.

In October 2014, Tashkent has become a cotton business centre for the tenth time. In the course of this jubilee fair, its participants learned a lot of valuable information, highlighting, among other things, the qualitative characteristics of Uzbek cotton and latest innovations in the cotton industry’s production, trade and logistics. As well as that, they took part in round-table discussions and bilateral negotiations between the crop’s exporters and consumers, which allowed them to canvass a range of related issues and exchange opinions and proposals on ways to expand cooperation on terms of mutual advantage.

The quality of Uzbek cotton fiber, meeting all international standards and requirements, solidifies the foreign buyers’ confidence, thus increasing the competitiveness of Uzbek cotton fiber in the world marketplace.

(Source: «Business» newspaper)


Drip irrigation to be expanded to 25 thousand hectares by 2018

As a result of implemented new technologies in agriculture and conducted in the Republic works during the last six years, a drip irrigation system has expanded on the area of more than 10 thousand hectares. Just during the year, this method began to be used on the area of 3.5 thousand hectares and on 1.5 thousand hectares carried out construction work.

With a use of state preferential loans, it is planned to expand the network of drip irrigation to 25 thousand hectares by 2018.

Deterrent for mass spread of this system remains the consumption of electric energy and high initial capital costs for implementation. In this regard, the research institutes under the Ministry of agriculture and water resources develop better ways that reduce both capital and operating costs, but showing at the same time similar efficiency. In particular, the Scientific research Institute of irrigation and water problems at the Tashkent Institute of irrigation and melioration has developed its own method, based on the natural pressure of the water in its supply pipes from reservoirs located in the foothill areas of the country. It is possible to eliminate the consumption of electricity and save approximately 300 thousand soums per hectare per year(currency rates of CB RU from 15.01.2015   1$= 2424.31 soums).



The Year 2014 in Retrospect

Although the curtain has fallen on 2014, impressions from the year’s events, which have gone down in history, still linger. Uzbekistan Today has turned over another page of 360 days of its historical chronicles, and below we would like to highlight the most outstanding, successful and significant accomplishments.

We still live through last year’s events, and it is difficult to take a detached view of them. Uzbekistan Today managed to cover and report on many issues last year. Now it is time to sort out what was really important and what was just trivial. We are taking an attempt to look at the facts from the point of view of their importance for history. On one hand, there is a risk to make a mistake, while we are more likely to reveal a virtuous mission in the whole editorial buzz. We are to spotlight the truly remarkable events and compile a kind of a chronicle of the country’s history.

Much like an archive, the newspaper stores a wealth of information on its pages. Meanwhile, each, even trivial news, is made by people, personalities, contemporaries, those who are building the history of Uzbekistan in the 21st century. Over the past year, Uzbekistan Today published more than 400 newspaper pages, each of which presented five or six experts and common people who every day come to their workplace and dedicate themselves to their nation and country.

As the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov noted in his New Year’s address, “The current confident and persistent advancement of our country toward democratic renovation and liberalization, the political and economic stability, the high rates of economic growth and modernization recognized across the globe – it is all a result of everyday relentless labor, courage and firmness of every person living in our generous land, irrespective of their ethnic origin, language and faith. This all is an outcome of the atmosphere of mutual respect, kindness and tolerance, interethnic and civic harmony reigning in Uzbekistan. It is an effect of our consolidated aspiration to preserve and cement peace and calmness in our common home called Uzbekistan.”

2014 left its bright trace in each of us: someone participated in the election for the first time in their life, someone had a baby, someone bought a house, an apartment, a car, found an interesting job, became a university student… But it would all be impossible without the integrated work of the whole state, which provided conditions for the development and well-being of its citizens. Meanwhile, the fact that 2014 went by without turmoil, in peace and harmony, is the highest accomplishment. As we have entered 2015, we make a wish that the best we have achieved would remain with us in the New Year.

President Islam Karimov spoke at length about the accomplishments in his address: “2014 will undoubtedly leave a deep trace in our lives, especially in terms of sustainable economic growth rates, and quality renovation in all aspects of life. We see that through huge changes taking place across the country, through the increasingly transforming appearance of our towns and villages, new high-tech enterprises, sustainable improvement of efficiency and productivity of agriculture, steadily improving quality of life, intensive promotion of international image of Uzbekistan and its decent place in the global community.”

Deepening democratic reforms

Looking back at 2014, it is worth to note a tremendous work that was done to promote prosperity and progress in Uzbekistan. The country made a significant progress towards building a democratic state and a strong civil society, and joining the ranks of developed countries.

The legislative activity on enhancing democratic reforms has been in progress. Last April the Basic Law was amended and changed to ensure the gradual implementation of the principle ‘from a strong state – to a strong civil society’, to expand the role of both chambers of parliament in the system of public authorities, and strengthen capacity of the supreme legislative body in shaping internal and external policy. At the same time, the amendments have significantly increased the responsibility of the government to the parliament, and local representative to the councils of people’s representatives for the implementation of tasks on socio-economic development of the country.

Introduction of the institution of parliamentary and public control and mechanisms of its implementation in the Constitution has been a huge step in terms of democratic modernization of power.

Approved upon the scaled legal experiment, the law on the openness of state power and administration has enhanced the responsibility of governing bodies for the quality decision-making. The legal act has caused a broad international response and high assessment of expert communities.

Deep democratic reforms were carried out in the electoral system of the country. In accordance with the amendments to the Basic Law, it constitutionally enshrines the status and democratic formation of the Central Election Commission, as well as the basic principles of its activities, strengthens the guarantees of independence of the entire system of electoral bodies that are responsible for the organization of elections to representative bodies.

These and other changes and amendments that were introduced in the electoral law as part of implementation of the constitutional principle of freedom of choice and expression, have ensured a successful conduct of elections of members of the Oliy Majlis and local councils of people’s representatives on December 21, 2014 in full compliance with the national law and international democratic legal acts.

Last year marked intensified involvement of civil society institutions in addressing pressing problems of economic, social and cultural development, strengthening the institution of social partnership of NGOs and local authorities. They enhanced their role in rendering legal assistance, raising the level of political awareness of citizens, the work with young people and women, employment assistance, support of vulnerable groups and others.

Vital importance in further development of civil society institutions places the approval of the Law ‘On Social Partnership.’ It provides a well-composed system of forms, principles, and mechanisms of interaction between the state authorities and civil society institutions, as well as rights and responsibilities of the both sides. New law has created additional conditions for active participation of NGOs and other civil society institutions in democratic transformations and modernization of the country.

New motivations and prospects

2014 was uneasy for the global economy. Rearrangement of the structure of the international financial system, unstoppable fluctuations in the markets resulted in decreased investment activity and capital outflows. Despite this fact, Uzbekistan has concentrated on the principle of ‘the crisis as a motivation for development’, strengthened its national economy, and continued the policy of modernization and technological extension of its industries.

Intensive investment policy has promoted the further development of the automotive industry, chemical and petrochemical industries, electrical engineering, oil and gas and railway engineering, pharmaceuticals, textile and furniture industries. Uzbekistan completed over a hundred large investment projects, including the construction of a unique Portland cement and white cement plant in Jizzakh region, new car manufacture in Khorezm region, a sugar factory in the Angren SIZ, and many others.

Enhanced competitiveness of the national economy through reduced costs is another noteworthy area of activity. All the leading business associations and large enterprises together with the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan developed measures on reducing production costs for each industry. The objective was achieved through streamlining of technological processes and regulations of consumption of raw materials and energy, increase of the level of capacity utilization and labor productivity growth, reduction of operating and overhead costs, optimization of the staff number, and other factors. As part of the measures on enhancing industrial competitiveness large enterprises replaced more than 2,770 units of obsolete and worn-out equipment.

Favorable business environment, a broad system of legal guarantees and privileges for foreign partners, integrated system of measures on stimulation of foreign-invested enterprises have contributed to a significant increase in foreign direct investment in the Uzbek economy. There are currently more than four thousand joint ventures invested by foreign partners from more than 90 countries. Cooperation with foreign businessmen through the economic zones in Navoi, Angren and Jizzakh has proved high efficiency. 32 investment projects worth about $300 million have been already implemented there. The work on implementation of 23 more projects worth $123 million is underway.

Unforgettable Moments

It would hard to remember a year rich in exciting and engaging events, many of which were held for the first time.

Celebrations of the 100th anniversary of the Uzbek National Academic Drama Theater, in line with a presidential resolution, came as one such event. In months leading up to the celebrations, the theaters material and technical resources were fully upgraded and renovated, with major conveniences created for the actors and the audience. Theater directors across the country worked on new plays; around 600 plays were staged last year. The Debut festival, which brought together young professionals from all over the country for the fifth time, contributed toward efforts to support the youth.

Major undertakings have also been seen in other areas. A Youth Symphonic Orchestra of Uzbekistan has been created, which has demonstrated huge potential at the national festival ‘The Spring of the Youth’. The Italian opera competition, Competizione dell’Opera all but sent shockwaves not only in Uzbekistan, bur also abroad, thereby putting the spotlight on Uzbekistan’s talents.

Among other international-level major events are Ona Yurt Ohanglari (Melodies of Motherland) competition of folk instrument players under 16 and Sozlar Navosi (Sounds of Music) competition. Traditional juried contests and concerts under the slogan ‘We, the Children of Our Motherland’, contributed to the creation of highly artistic songs.

More than 300 exhibitions and art festivals were staged under the auspices of the Uzbekistan Academy of Arts. Among the projects are the Festival of Fine Art of Uzbekistan and Tashkent International Biennale, which came as an opportunity for art aficionados to judge and enjoy remarkable artworks and photography created at home and abroad.

Out of hundreds of facilities erected and reconstructed by the state in an effort to ensure comprehensive creative development, one that merits special attention is the Palace of Art in Fergana city. The local people and professionals have thus been given more opportunity to enjoy artistic activities.

Special attention went to the activities of museums. From 2015 onwards, all museums offer free attendance twice a week. In addition, 24 centers and 22 culture and leisure parks entered into service across the country last year.

International cooperation

Uzbekistan has entered into 2015. Highlighting the international component of the state policy, it becomes obvious that Uzbekistan has been effectively maintaining its foreign strategy while the global situation with its hardly predictable processes has been getting tangled with the years.

The first state visit of the President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye ranks among important events in 2014. Experts see the meeting of leaders of Uzbekistan and South Korea as an important stage in the dynamic development of multifaceted relations, the opportunity of integrated analysis of their status, opening of promising priority areas and enrichment of actively evolving strategic partnership with a new content.

Following the talks, the sides signed a Joint Declaration on the Further Development and Deepening of Strategic Partnership, the Framework Agreement between the governments on the borrowings of the Fund for Economic Cooperation and Development for 2014-2017, a Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Investment Cooperation, and the loan agreement between the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Export-Import Bank of the Republic of Korea.

The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Uzbekistan was another important event. The two leaders emphasized the need for the further expansion and diversification of trade, development of investment cooperation, strengthening of interaction in transport and transit traffic. They pointed out to numerous untapped opportunities that might contribute to the further development of cooperation. Following the talks, the sides signed an impressive set of documents targeted at practical implementation of the agreements.

It is also worth noting that Uzbekistan initiated the launch of the new international transport and transit corridor between Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. It is expected to promote foreign trade and economic development in the region. The project related issues were discussed at a meeting of foreign ministers of the member states on August 7, 2014 in Muscat, Oman’s capital. Following the talks, the sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of Iran, Oman, Qatar, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the Establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor. The agreement was signed in April 2011 in Ashgabat after talks of delegations of member states.

It is expected that in the long term the new corridor will become an optimal route for Central Asian countries to access the ports of the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman. The access to the new solvent markets might also be feasible for Russia and China, which would make the trans-regional project more attractive from the point of view of economy.

The member states see the initiative of Uzbekistan as timely and capable to contribute to further progress and prosperity of each country in the region through the expanding scope of the general trade and decreasing cost of freight.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) opened its representative office in Uzbekistan, aiming at assisting the country in ensuring the quality nutrition, increasing the efficiency of production of agricultural and food products, improving education and administration in the field of agriculture, conservation of natural resources and development of advanced methods of agricultural production. The opening ceremony was attended by a delegation led by FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva.

Solid social protection

The national program the Year of the Healthy Child, which was funded by 4.8 trillion soums and more than $260 million, was the largest social project of the past year(currency rates of CB RU from 15.01.2015   1$= 2424.31 soums).

Initiatives in education and healthcare were the basic components of the program. They covered not only children, but the entire population, since their ultimate goal was to create a favorable environment for the development of comprehensively advanced generation. As part of support programs, members of young families had the opportunity to learn entrepreneurship, graduates of vocational colleges and universities were provided with jobs, the medical institutions for both adults and children could strengthen their logistical capacity.

The program included a wide range of measures covering all spheres of life. For instance, young families were granted with preferential loans totaling nearly 215 billion soums for purchasing housing, its construction or reconstruction, procurement of durable goods, as well as 57 billion of noninterest borrowings. It is worth to mention the donation of household appliances worth 1.5 billion soums to low-income families by the Federation of Trade Unions.

The year’s major social program has originated new projects to be implemented in the near future. They include an approved program on the development of institutions for retraining and advanced training of public education staff, a program on construction of secondary school gyms. There is also a pending draft program on the pre-school education development.

Implementation of ongoing projects was continued, like, for instance, the initiatives on the development of higher education institutions and drastic improvement of quality of staff training. The Tashkent State University of Law and Urgench State University have changed their look, and Bukhara Engineering and Technology Institute completed the construction of its campus. Builders worked on a total of 20 universities.

Specialists continued working on advancing the content of education. Cutting edge information and communication technologies, multimedia learning programs, advanced laboratory facilities are increasingly getting popular. The provision of workshops of vocational colleges with consumables was improved, as they are an essential component of professional skills of students. Educational institutions expanded and developed cooperation with companies on the organization of practical training, established new fruitful contacts.

Much has been done in health care. Regional hospitals adapted high-tech methods of diagnosis and treatment. An angiographic complex was installed outside Tashkent for the first time. Henceforth, doctors of Namangan Regional Cardiology Center provide coronary angiography and vessel diagnostics services to the residents of the Ferghana Valley, as well as treat them by balloon angioplasty and stenting. A phacoemulsifier in Nukus branch of the Republican Specialized Center of Eye Microsurgery is a seamless technology of eye lens prosthesis in patients with cataract, which is a recognized ‘gold standard’ in the global ophthalmology community.

Preparatory works for the construction of a specialized multidisciplinary pediatric clinic of the highest fourth level are underway in Tashkent. For the first time Uzbekistan is planning to launch a robotic surgeon performing precise operations, and a positron emission tomography, which is capable to distinguish the smallest tumors.

2014 marked the launch of another scaled package of measures on streamlining the labor protection system aimed at the decrease of workplace injuries and occupational diseases. This process is backgrounded by the ongoing advancement of the system of training, retraining and advanced training of professionals and production safety executives.

Uzbekistan is the country with a strong social security system. Therefore, those in need of social protection are given every support. Administered by the National Center for Prosthetics and Rehabilitation of People with Disabilities, the related institutions improve their work. The specialists both treat patients and help them adapt in the society.

Brilliant Triumphs  

Uzbek athletes marked 2014 with victories at the Second Youth Olympic Games, Asian Games and many other prestigious international competitions.

The prizes our athletes won at the Asian Sambo Championship, World Wrestling Championship, Afro-Asian Cup and the Asian Weightlifting Cup in the capital and other cities of Uzbekistan are especially dear. Uzbekistan is proud for its youth football team that had won the quarterfinals of the Asian championship, and thus passed to the World Cup.

Much has been done to ensure more triumphs in the future. Youth sports schools and other institutions involved in training candidates for national teams in various kinds of sports streamlined the staff related activities. By 2018, all working coaches without specialized physical training education should attend the courses and receive a certificate.

The construction of sports facilities continued in 2014. The facilities were built for members of national teams and for competitions in various kinds of sports. A National Specialized Youth Sports School of Olympic Reserve in Chess and a special facility for table tennis were built in Tashkent. Local authorities have launched the construction of athletics’ complex. There is an ongoing construction of the shooting area in Tashkent region. Fencing and boxing facilities are currently being built in Andijan. It is noteworthy that all the facilities are designed both for training and for big international competitions.

… All that has been built and is currently projected will undoubtedly be a good platform for the new initiatives to be implemented in 2015. Saying the least of it, 2014 has become a strong foundation for the implementation of important projects in various fields. All the accomplishments are just a link of a long and complicated chain Uzbekistan is building towards an open democratic constitutional state with sustainably growing economy and globally recognized society, where the people, their interests, rights and freedoms are the highest value not in word, but in fact.

The republic has been steadfast in its purposes…

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Reference to the source is a must in reproducing materials