The economy of Uzbekistan in the first quarter grew by 7.5%

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May 27, 2015

The economy of Uzbekistan in the first quarter grew by 7.5%

economy_uzbekistanOn April 24, The Cabinet of Ministers held a meeting, dedicated to the discussion of the results of socio-economic development of the Republic for the first quarter of the current year and the assessment of the implementation of the major directions and priorities of economic program for 2015, defined by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the session of the Government of the Republic on January 16 of the current year.

The participants extensively discussed and deeply analyzed the results of ongoing measures to further improve the competitiveness of the economy, primarily due to the expansion and deepening of structural reforms, modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of the leading sectors, active diversification and localization of production, the formation of a developed infrastructure, as well as on elimination of all barriers and restrictions on development of private property and private enterprise, to improve the level of employment, the quality and standard of life of the population.

It was noted that due to consistent and purposeful implementation of evolutionary and phased strategy of reform and development, based on five principles and recognized in the world as the “Uzbek model” reforms, developed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, despite the ongoing worldwide economic crisis and the growing opposition, Uzbekistan preserved the macroeconomic stability and sustained high growth of the economy. For the first quarter of the current year, gross domestic product increased by 7.5 per cent, the volume of industrial production by 7.9 percent, agriculture – by 6.3 per cent. The state budget recorded a surplus of 0.1 percent of GDP. The inflation rate did not exceed the forecast parameters.

Measures taken on full support of domestic producers of consumer goods and the balanced stimulating of the domestic demand contributed to the increase of production of consumer goods by 11.2percent, retail turnover by 15.2 percent and services – 13.1 percent.

As a result of the implementation of a set of targeted measures, more than 141 thousand new jobs, including more than 88 thousand, or 62.6% in rural areas has been created.

Started active implementation of measures stipulated in the State program “Year of attention and care for the older generation”, to provide proper attention and full support to the elderly, to improve the level and quality of health and social services, to financing of which at the expense of all sources allocated about 593 billion soums.

During the discussion of the agenda issues of the meeting, special attention was paid to a detailed analysis of progress of the implementation of major programs and investment projects aimed at structural transformation, upgrading and diversification of industrial production, the deepening of localization of production of finished products, components and materials.

It was noted, that being realized active investment policy and measures taken to speed up the processes of modernization, technical and technological updating of industrial production, creation of infrastructure contributed to the growth of utilized volumes of investments by 8.7%, including foreign direct investments – 10 percent. Realization of 53 new investment projects with a total value worth over $4.8 billion has started in the framework of the Investment program for 2015. At that, production of more than 430 new types of localized products mastered. The growth of investment activity contributed to the increase in the volume of contract construction works at 18.9 percent.

The heads of ministries, agencies, companies, associations, large enterprises, khokimiyats of all levels have been set specific targets to accelerate the implementation of the approved by the President in February-March of the current year medium-term programs of structural reforms, modernization and diversification of industrial production, the development and modernization of utilities and road infrastructure, as well as the localization of production of finished products, components and materials.

It was emphasized that implementation of projects during the years 2015-2019 included in these programs will provide a solid foundation for further economic growth, enhancing structural reforms and diversification of production, raising the development of vital industries to a new level, creating a modern and developed infrastructure.

The meeting thoroughly reviewed the implementation of programs to increase industrial potential of the regions, integrated development of their road transport, utilities and social infrastructure. It was noted that since the beginning of the year, in the framework of implementation of regional programs of socio-economic development of regions, 434 new production facilities put into exploitation. In rural areas introduced 169 kilometers of water networks, 54 kilometers of gas networks, 1.3 million square meters of housing. Measures are taken on the organization of construction of 12 thousand individual houses on standard projects with the necessary engineering and communication and social infrastructure in rural areas.

During the discussion of these issues, activities of heads of hokimiyats of some regions, who failed to coordinate implementation of investment projects included in the territorial program at the proper level was criticized. They were tasked to eliminate the defects and the complete the backlog, to ensure the timely commissioning of facilities on ongoing investment projects.

Special attention at the meeting was paid to a detailed analysis of the impact of measures to increase and expand the range of export products, improve product competitiveness in foreign markets and diversification of export deliveries, ensuring on this basis the achievement of forecast export parameters for 2015.

It was emphasized that, despite the increasing unpredictability and instability of the situation on the global markets, the implementation of systematic measures to encourage exporters and provide them with comprehensive support in the promotion of products to foreign markets provided the growth of export volume by 13.9% and a positive foreign trade balance. Since the beginning of the year, 146 new businesses were involved in the export activity.

The attention of heads of business associations, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokimiyats of regions and the Tashkent city, the Ministry of foreign economic relations, investments and trade, Ministry of economy, was drawn to the need to adopt effective measures for the identification and mobilization of existing reserves to increase production volumes and expand the range of exported products, including involvement in export activity of enterprises, which were not previously exported their products, as well as diversification of the geography of exports.

The meeting comprehensively and deeply analyzed the condition of the formation of the most favorable business environment, as well as identified concrete measures to give greater freedom and stimulation of private property and private entrepreneurship. It was noted, that taken systematic measures contributed to the creation in the first quarter of this year more than 8 thousand new small businesses, or 10.2 percent more than the same period of 2014.

The small businesses received bank loans worth 2.8 trillion soums, or by 1.3 times more compared to the first quarter of 2014. Since the beginning of the year, 55 state assets worth 28.3 billion soums were sold to private entrepreneurs, including 13 objects at zero redemption value with the adoption by the investors obligations to invest 9.7 billion soums.

The leaders of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokimiyats of areas, the relevant ministries, agencies and business associations have been assigned specific tasks to accelerate the improvement of procedures for granting land for setting up a business, obtaining construction permits, cadastral registration of the relevant documents, the connection of businesses to electric networks, registration of businesses on “one window” principle.

The Ministry of justice together with the interested ministries and departments entrusted to prepare and submit specific proposals to strengthen the responsibility of officials allowing illegal intervention in financial and economic activity of subjects of private entrepreneurship, including criminal liability.

The Republican Commission on coordination of the implementation of the Complex program of development of National information-communication systems of Uzbekistan for 2013-2020, together with the Ministry for development of information technologies and communications, other interested ministries and agencies entrusted to ensure completion of a transfer to the electronic form of all permits and other procedures related to business activities before the end of the current year.

On the issues of agenda, reports of the heads of complexes of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries, departments, economic associations, large enterprises of the Republic and khokimiyats of areas were heard. Following the discussion, relevant decisions were adopted.