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INFORMATION DIGEST No. 123

June 23, 2017

ECONOMY
GM Uzbekistan intends to launch the production of two new car models in the next four years

This is stipulated by the Automotive Industry Development Program for 2021. Unfortunately, the automaker does not specify the models, the manufacture of which is scheduled for 2020 and 2021. However, as suggested by the production estimates – 46,000 and 43,000 cars per year, plans come not to a semi knocked down assembly of premium cars like Captiva and Malibu, but to likely new class C sedans or budget options. The total value of both projects exceeds $270 million.

Besides, GM Uzbekistan is planning to launch the release of Labo microvan with an elongated body as early as this year. There are plans afoot to produce up to 5,000 similar modifications annually.

The initiatives of the Samarkand Automobile Plant have been in progress as well. The plant has scheduled the launch of production of gas engine buses for the next year. The annual capacity will be 500 items per year, and the project cost will amount to $2.3 million.

Another interesting project totaling nearly $12 million envisages the development of the production of intercity buses in 2020, with an annual capacity of 400 items.

Meanwhile, as stipulated by the program, the production growth rates in the automobile industry are expected to triple by 2021, against 2016. For example, the production of passenger cars will reach 240,000 (88,200 in 2016), buses and trucks - 6,900 (4,400), commercial passenger cars - 6,200 (are not produced today). The level of localization of passenger cars will increase to 74.2% (69.9%) by 2021, buses and trucks - up to 43.3% (39.6%).
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

INNOVATIONS
An innovative technopark ‘Yashnabad’ is to be created in Tashkent in the near future

As intended, the technopark will specialize in scientific research and innovative development, pilot and industrial tests, and transfer of innovative products for adaptation. Subject areas include biotechnology, pharmaceutics, food industry, energy saving, electrical engineering and robotics, car engineering, chemical technologies, alternative and renewable energy sources, materials science and metal processing technology.

Pilot-industrial and small innovative enterprises on the territory of the park will produce high-tech, domestically and internationally competitive products.

The technopark will also be engaged in testing innovative products, ensure transfer of modern foreign and domestic technologies feasible of introduction in domestic producers. The head of state assigned to involve strategic foreign partners with the capacity and resources needed in the organization of high-tech and innovative manufactures.

For this purpose, the residents of the technopark will be provided with a wide range of benefits and preferences. So, for example, they are exempt from land tax, profit tax, legal entity property tax, tax on improvement and development of social infrastructure, single tax payment, as well as mandatory contributions to state target funds. They are also released from customs payments for equipment, raw materials, reagents, components and building materials that are not produced in the republic and imported for production needs.

The operational life of the technopark will be 30 years with the possibility of its subsequent extension. At the same time, the status of a resident will be assigned for a term of up to 10 years on a competitive basis. Yashnabad Director is equaled by status to Deputy Minister of Economy of Uzbekistan.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev assigned the commercial banks of the country to allocate soft loans for innovative projects in the technopark for a period of up to seven years, with a two-year grace period and an interest rate under 50% of the refinancing rate of the Central Bank. There is another important point: the equipment purchased by residents or guarantee of the technopark management can act as collateral.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Meeting with Ambassador of Vatican

On June 22, 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov received the newly appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Vatican with residence in Moscow Celestino Migliore.

The Minister received credentials and congratulated the Ambassador on the beginning of his diplomatic mission in our country.

After the brief ceremony a conversation about the state and prospects of bilateral cooperation, including interreligious dialogue was held.

On February 7, 2017, the President of Uzbekistan approved the Strategy of Actions on Further Development of Uzbekistan in five priority areas in 2017-2021. This concept provides further modernization of public administration, reforms in the judicial and legal system, liberalization of the economy, developing social sector and the basic principles of strengthening security, including ensuring interethnic harmony and religious tolerance, and also foreign policy.

Currently, representatives of more than 130 nations and nationalities live in peace and harmony in Uzbekistan, 138 national cultural centers, 34 friendship societies and over 2 thousand religious organizations of 16 religious confessions function here.

At the meeting it was noted that during 25 years of establishing of diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and Vatican, a positive experience of partnership aimed at strengthening friendship and mutual understanding between people of different nationalities and religious affiliation has been accumulated.

During the conversation other issues of mutual interest were also discussed.
(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan: Enlightenment Disfavors Ignorance

What is the reason for the growing radicalization of youth and how can it be neutralized? Four factors that, according to the head of the Uzbek foreign ministry, will help solve this problem.

The first is access to quality education.

In particular, we are talking about education, nurturing and spiritual and moral enlightenment of youth. In this regard, the Center for Islamic Culture will be established in Tashkent, the motto of which will be "Enlightenment disfavors ignorance".

The second is to create an atmosphere of intolerance towards all forms of manifestation of religious extremism.

This can be achieved through a large-scale awareness-raising work using NGOs, the media, television, the film industry and the involvement of cultural and art figures.

The third is the formation of a reasoned and scientifically based ideology, based on a true interpretation of the sacred Islamic writings.

Armed with it, you can eradicate the ideology of religious extremism. This will also be facilitated by the active participation of representatives of the clergy of Central Asian states in the work of the international center for studying the religious heritage of our great ancestors, established in Samarkand.

The fourth is to ensure interethnic tolerance, improve people's well-being and systemic dialogue with the people.

In Uzbekistan, the concept of religious tolerance has evolved into an atmosphere of religious harmony and openness. In other words, our unity is in diversity. Particular attention is paid to employment, primarily employment of graduates of vocational colleges and universities, as well as the implementation of housing programs to raise the level and quality of life of people, especially in those regions that are considered particularly vulnerable to the recruitment of terrorists.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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