February 10, 2017
Actions Strategy Approved by the President
The Presidential Decree signed 7 February 2017 approved the Strategy for Actions for the Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan along Five Priority Areas in 2017-2021, worked out on the basis of a comprehensive study of pressing issues оf the population.
Drafts of this document as well as the state program for its realization were placed on different information platforms for broad public discussion, which received numerous proposals. Citizens expressed interest and involvement in the reforms, demonstrated high political activity.
In particular, according to the results of public discussion of the drafts, the portal «Impact assessment system of legislative acts» received 1,310 recommendations and feedbacks on the basis of which 41 paragraphs of the state program were revised.
The Strategy for Actions outlined the issues of socio-political, socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian development of the country announced by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during his electoral campaigning, numerous meetings with the electorate, business community and government bodies.
The aim of the Actions Strategy is cardinal advancement in the effectiveness of reforms, creation of conditions for securing comprehensive and rapid development of the state and society, modernization of the country and liberalization of all walks of life.
Five priority areas were identified for the country's development, each of which containing specific sections on the enhancement of reforms and transformation.
The Strategy for Actions envisages implementation of it in five stages, each having a separate annual state program to be approved1 every year in accordance with the declared slogan of that year.
The realization of the first track of the state program, Improving the state and society building, provides for the consolidation of the role of the Oliy Majlis in the system of government, a radical perfection of the quality of legislative activity, cementing the role of political parties in public life.
It is planned to introduce measures to improve public administration, especially reform the civil service, reduce state regulation in the economy, develop modern forms of mutually beneficial cooperation between the public and private sector and the e-government system.
Securing effective dialogue with the people is one of the critical and pressing tasks of the state program, in connection with which it was expected to raise public control, further the advancement of NGOs, the media, and step up the role of mahalla in society.
The second track of the national program provides for measures on securing the rule of law and genuine independence of the judiciary. It envisages the establishment of the Supreme Judicial Council designed to ensure the independence of judicial decision-making, the formation of a professional judiciary, realization of measures to protect the rights and legitimate interests of judges.
It contemplates for the further specialization of courts and strengthen their apparatus by setting up administrative courts, regional appellate courts in the system of economic courts, and improve the procedural legislation in order to avoid bureaucracy and unjustified delaying of cases, the expansion of the powers of superior courts on self elimination of the weaknesses of lower courts and making the final decision.
Within this framework of this direction it was provided the realization of measures on establishing a direct dialogue with the people by the heads of all law enforcement and regulatory bodies, state and economic administration, government authorities in places, securing their accessibility to the public, timely receipt of complaints about violations of rights and freedoms of individuals and business entities. It also contains reforming of the system of notary and registry offices.
The realization of the measures mentioned in the third direction, «The development and liberalization of the economy» provides ensuring the stability of the national currency and prices, the gradual introduction of modern market mechanisms of currency regulation, expanding the revenue base of local budgets, developing foreign economic relations, introduction of modern technologies for the production of export-oriented products and materials, the evolvement of transport and logistics infrastructure, improvement of investment attractiveness for the development of business and foreign investors, betterment of tax administration, introduction of modern principles and mechanisms of regulation of banking activities, the advancement of diversified farms, as well as accelerated development of the tourism industry.
In 2017-2021, it is planned to realize sector-based programs providing for a total of 649 investment projects worth $40 billion. As a result, over the next five years, the production of industrial goods will increase 1.5 times, its share in GDP is to grow from 33.6% to 36%, the share of processing industry - from 80% to 85%.
The fourth track, «Development of the social sphere» provides for the introduction of measures to bolster employment, improve the system of social and citizens' health protection, the advancement and modernization of road transport, engineering, communications and social infrastructure, improving the provision of electricity, gas, and quality of social care for vulnerable segments of the population, enhancing the status of women in public and political life, reforming the healthcare system, securing the availability of pre-school educational institutions, improving the quality and development of general secondary education, specialized secondary and higher education.
In particular, it provided the execution of employment programs through the creation of 256.4 thousand jobs by the realization of about 25 thousand investment projects for integrated advancement of the territories. In the regions with the highest unemployment rate it is projected to create 46.8 thousand jobs and to allocate loans for 10 thousand graduates of educational institutions to start a business.
There were also included measures on the support of the older generation, improvement of the issuance order of social benefits, reforming the healthcare sector. Thus, it is planned reconstruction of 78 regional medical associations, 7 urban and 2 regional diversified medical centers, provision of emergency medical services with 1,200 units of special vehicles.
In rural areas it is scheduled to build 15 thousand affordable houses, 415 km of water supply ways, 316 km of gas supply ways, 291 km of internal roads. In order to improve the quality of transport services to the public it is planned to introduce 86 new bus lines and to buy 537 modern buses.
The fifth track, «Ensuring the security, interethnic harmony and religious tolerance, balanced, mutually beneficial and constructive foreign policy» provides for the realization of measures on the protection of the constitutional order, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the republic, bettering the system of information and legal base in the field of cyber security, organization and development of the public warning system for emergencies, mitigation of the Aral Sea disaster, as well as development of the concept for priority policy directions in the field of interethnic relations and the concept of public policy in religious sphere.
There will be allocated 37.7 trillion soums (currency rates of CB RU from 10.02.2017, 1$= 3294.74 soums) and 8.3 billion US dollars for the realization of aforementioned measures of the state program.
Introduction of the Strategy for Actions will come to be a potent impetus for reforming and modernization of the country, building a democratic state ruled by law, with a developed market economy a robust civil society.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Ministry of economy of Uzbekistan: cotton fiber processing goes up 40%
According to the Ministry of economy of Uzbekistan, cotton fiber processing volume reached 40% in 2016, while in 1991 it was 7% only.
Today, the industry exports textile products to more than 50 countries. In recent years, the export has been expanded to Brazil, Chile, Croatia, Nigeria and other countries.
The Presidential Decree dated 21 December 2016 “On measures for further development of the textile, garment and knitwear industry in 2017-2019” has opened even more possibilities for improvement of the sector.
According to the document, by 2020 all available capacities of the cotton fiber are to be processed within the Republic.
The analysis shows that today, the yarn constitutes nearly 50% of exports. Priority is to increase exports of products with high added value due to the gradual reduction of yarn export. Currently, the share of finished products in the total volume of production amounts to 47%, in the future it is planned to increase this figure to 65.5%, as well as to increase the share of finished products in the export from 41 to 70%.
Some $2.2b. of investments (nearly half foreign) are to be involved into the industry in 2017-2020. Special textile complexes shall operate on the basis of a four-phase system that includes all processes, starting from processing ending with the production of finished products. More than 27 thousand new jobs will be created. It is also planned to organize 120 new and upgrade more than 10 enterprises.
The allocation of credits for projects will be implemented based on a completely new mechanism. Commercial banks will co-Finance the projects and to open a credit line for the purchase of modern spinning, weaving and painting equipment. In projects implemented at the expense of attracted funds of commercial banks, the banks or investment companies can participate with a share up to 100 percent in the share capital of the company. Banks have the right to engage in loans capitalization of interest accrued in the investment period, and not to apply restrictions on equity participation in the authorized capitals of the enterprises.
One of the key features of the program is the development and implementation of new industry standards for design and construction of textile enterprises on the basis of foreign experience. These standards will ensure lower costs of construction and installation works and pre-emptive use of local building materials. The terms for tax and customs incentives provided to encourage the processing of raw cotton, have been extended until January 1, 2020.
Syrdarya region implements production of particleboard from cotton stalks
Syrdarya region is implementing a project for the production of particle boards from cotton stalks. The decision was approved by the Decree of the Government of Uzbekistan "On introducing amendments and additions to the Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of September 22, 2016 № 319" On measures for creation a modern production of particle boards from cotton stalks".
The plant, whose capacity will be 30 thousand m3 per year, will provide 150 people with job places. The project’s cost is $3.5 million. It is expected that the enterprise will be put into operation in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Business ombudsman: service to the interests of businessmen
Comprehensive support and protection of business are one of priorities of state policy in Uzbekistan. To improve the business environment and accelerate development of economy in our country protection of the rights of businessmen consistently becomes stronger, liberalization of the legislation is carried out. At the same time responsibility of officials for illegal interference in business activity is enhanced, modern principles of regulating tax administration and bank activity are introduced, procedure of issue of permits and licenses is simplified.
State's guarantee of freedom of economic activity and entrepreneurship, the equality and legal protection of all forms of ownership enshrined in our Constitution is a basis for ensuring the rights of business, effective realization of the undertaken economic reforms. The adopted laws along with legal regulation of the sphere of business serve to ensuring the rights and interests of businessmen.
However, as the head of our state Shavkat Mirziyoev noted in the report at the solemn meeting devoted to the 24th anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, unfortunately, at present there are a lack of impact of the laws on the efficiency of reforms and low level of their role in immediate regulation of social relations.
We should keep in mind that this state of affairs may lead to distrust in the system of laws of our country on the part of our citizens, businessmen, and let alone, the foreign investors.
In this regard the Decree of the President adopted on October 5 this year "On additional measures to ensure the accelerated development of entrepreneurship, all-round protection of private property and the qualitative improvement of business climate» has defined the further steps aimed at further strengthening of legal protection of businessmen, improvements of investment climate and a business environment.
During the current period of development of the Republic of Uzbekistan need for creation of institutes of business support, development and protection is more and more obvious. The state continues to improve system of interaction between business and authorities according to the international standards, including in strengthening of institutes of protection of the rights and legitimate interests of businessmen.
Therefore the decision on creation of institute of the Representative for protection of the rights and legitimate interests of entrepreneurs under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, or, in other words, the business ombudsman within implementation of the above-mentioned decree is obvious need for additional support, development and protection of business community.
The business ombudsman is the official entrusted with functions of control of observance of justice and interests of businessmen in activity of executive authorities and officials. This human rights protection institute functions in many countries now.
For example, in Australia the institute of small business commissioners functions at both state and federal levels. The purpose of their activity is creation of the favorable environment for development of this sphere. Commissioners perform two main functions. The first one is ensuring alternative settlement of commercial disputes between business and public authorities. The second function consists in assistance to settlement of disputes by means of consulting small business and negotiations with each party. Also in Australia the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman is established which power include upholding and protection of interests of these subjects, assisting businesses to resolve disputes without resorting to costly litigation.
The post of the National small business ombudsman exist at U.S. Small Business Administration. The first law regulating activity of the American business ombudsman provided flexible application of measures of regulation concerning small business: authorities were ordered to assess the volume of the regulating impact upon small business and to find alternatives to decrease the regulating burden without prejudice to business. The main task of the business ombudsman in the USA is assisting small enterprises in cases of excessive or unfair administrative pressure, for example, at the repeated audit inspections or investigations, applying overestimated penalties, threats and other unfair actions of the authorities.
American Ombudsman receives complaints from small businesses, and acts as an intermedium between them and federal agencies. The ombudsman submits these complaints to the appropriate public authorities to get comments on justice of some kind of actions they undertook concerning small enterprise. In some cases the amount of penalties decreases or the penalty is cancelled in all, and decisions are revised in favor of the owner of business that testifies to efficiency of introduction of this institute.
The business ombudsman publishes the annual ratings of the American federal executive authorities which are formed proceeding from assessment of assistance they rendered to small business of the country, including level of cooperation with ombudsman office on conflictual issues. National ombudsman submits the Activity report annually to the Congress of the USA.
In Russia the institute of the business ombudsman is presented by Commissioner under the President of the Russian Federation on protection of the rights of businessmen.
It should be noted that the law in Russia has established not a single position of federal level but the whole system of representatives of both federal and regional levels.
Among the main tasks of the Russian business ombudsman it should be noted protection of the rights and legitimate interests of the Russian and foreign businesses in the territory of the Russian Federation and domestic businessmen abroad, control of observance of rights and legitimate interests of businessmen by executive authority of all levels and local government. He also promotes development of the public institutes focused on protection of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses, participates in formation and realization of state policy in the sphere of their development, protection of the rights and legitimate interests of business. Considering that in most cases activity of the national business ombudsman will be associated with control of observance of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses by executive authorities, representative and an executive authority at the local level, decision about ombudsman referral to jurisdiction of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan demonstrates the democratic approach in formation of this institute.
One of important functions of the business ombudsman is submitting proposals on protection of the rights of businesses as well as recommendations about suspension of subordinate regulations to public authorities.
According to the above mentioned Decree of the President of Uzbekistan the national business ombudsman will take part in formation and realization of state policy in the sphere of development of business activity, protection of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses, render them legal support when inspecting their activity. He will also study the practical implementation of the norms and requirements of the legislation on guarantees of freedom of entrepreneurship, evaluate the effectiveness of the adopted normative legal acts on the implementation of entrepreneurial activity. He will control the observance of rights and legitimate interests of business entities of the state, regulatory and law enforcement agencies and government authorities in the field.
Certainly, establishment of institute of the Ombudsman for protection of the rights and legitimate interests of businesses will be an additional guarantee and a measure of protection, both for domestic businessmen and for foreign investors.
(Source: «Business partner.uz» newspaper)
Meeting of representatives of business of Uzbekistan and Kuwait
On February 8, 2017 Uzbek-Kuwaiti Business Forum was held in Kuwait city. The governmental delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which is in the State of Kuwait on an official visit, attended the forum.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov in his speech at the opening ceremony expressed deep appreciation of the event at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait, which is aimed at jointly identifying promising areas of cooperation between the two countries in trade-economic, financial-investment and other fields.
The Minister paid special attention to the existence of enormous opportunities for further consistent development of the Uzbek-Kuwaiti links and actively using the untapped potential between our states. It was underlined that the trade-economic and financial-investment direction of cooperation are considered as the most priority and perspective ones in bilateral relations with Kuwait.
It was hoped that on the outcomes of the Business Forum business circles of Kuwait would learn more about Uzbekistan, its current social-economic development and priorities for the future, as well as the enormous opportunities for business offered by the Uzbekistan’s economy.
It was noted that today all necessary conditions are created for expansion and deepening of interaction in business area: the close and trustworthy political dialogue between the two countries is established; the necessary treaty and law basis of bilateral cooperation is created; the favorable investment climate for foreign investors is put in place in Uzbekistan.
During his speech the Minister pointed out that several meetings with the leadership of Kuwait, including the conversation of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev with the First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in Tashkent in October of 2016 demonstrated the political will of the two sides to actively develop and expand the trade-economic and investment cooperation, encourage the businesses of their countries to establish contacts and implement the joint projects.
As underlined during the years of Independence in Uzbekistan we have created the favorable investment climate, introduced the broad system of legal guarantees and preferences for foreign investors and elaborated the system of measures on stimulating the activity of enterprises with foreign investments.
The members of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Kuwait, representatives of leading Kuwaiti companies, including “KIPCO”, “KAMCO”, Kuwait Investment Company, the Kuwait Investment Agency, the company “Thuwany Trading Company”, the bank “Burgan Bank” and others attended the business forum.
(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
President approves antigraft programme
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed on February 2 the Resolution ‘On Measures for Implementation of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan ‘On Combatting Corruption’.’
The Resolution sets out the State Programme on Combatting Corruption 2017-2018.
State authorities, public unions and other organisations have been tasked with enforcing the Programme.
The Resolution established the Republican Interministerial Commission for Combatting Corruption, whose tasks include:
organising and enforcing antigraft programmes;
coordinating authorities involved in antigraft operations;
working out projects to make corruption socially unacceptable;
stepping up efforts to prevent, expose, and stamp out corruption, its causes and consequences;
getting and studying corruption-specific data;
keeping an eye on and assessing antigraft projects;
making proposals to improve antigraft laws and associated work;
Assisting interministerial antigraft commissions.
The Embroidered Wonders of Shakhrisabz
Majestic Shakhrisabz.Rome’s peer.A wonderful town, sunlit and peaceful. The walls of the Ok Saray (White Palace) propping the sky. The shade of century-old plane trees and the cool of curative springs in the courts of old mosques. This land is so majestic and unfathomable that even for us living in Uzbekistan each visit to Shakhrisabz turns out an unending series of discoveries.
If you have already observed the city from the top of the Ok Saray’s walls, had a tour of the mysterious mausoleums, enjoyed the beauty of the Kuk Gumboz mosque and tasted the diverse local cuisine, then it is just time to walk across the palace square. We invite you into the absolutely new and up-to-date two-story building. ‘What’s in there?’ you may ask, surprised, and, after hearing the answer, sigh in disappointment ‘Ah, shops, souvenirs…’
It is not mere souvenirs that fill the numerous cool rooms. Most of what awaits you in the craftsmen’s shops in the Ok Saray square resembles, rather, exhibits from a museum of traditional applied arts, in which everything is for sale. A firework of silk and velvet and a luster of gold threads – wonderful! And embroidery all around. Traditional clothes, dresses, jackets, waistcoats, ties, belts, headwear and thousands of bags of different size, each millimeter of which is covered with fabulously beautiful handmade embroidered ornaments. There even footwear is embroidered from heels to tops.
All you can see around you does not comprise ‘exotic local’ clothing, which is bought just to be put in a wardrobe and shown to friends as elements of some overseas life. Most of the embroidered wonders from Shakhrisabz’s workshops can be defined as ethno-style. The articles are quite modern in appearance and design and can and should be worn right now. Authentic high-quality handmade items with a unique style.
What is so unique about them? Certainly, it is all about embroidery! Shakhrisabz is a town, which has since ancient times been famous for its masters in embroidery. Local embroideresses boast a unique embroidering manner. They rigorously observe their ancient traditions, so that each element of their embroideries remains unchanged for hundreds and even thousands of years. Masters in embroidery know each symbol by its name, as well as the meaning it contains. Kuchkarak – a sheep’s horns – symbolizes wealth. Bodom (an almond flower) and panjara (grid) perform the function of ancient talismans. Symbols of water, the sun, a wheat sprout and many, many other things have been preserved in the local embroideresses’ wonderful works.
The embroidered items you will see in Shakhrisabz are in most cases performed with the use of two techniques typical of the region. Their local names are iroki (cross stitch) and basma (satin stitch). Unlike the techniques utilized in the European embroidery, the Shakhrisabz style is characterized by the use of thread folded into many layers. As a result, each knot becomes rounded and bulging, which makes items performed in the iroki style look more like colourful beadwork applique than embroidery. The basma embroidery with many-layered thread is thick and textured. These thickness and relief endow each item with a special contour. Outer clothing, footwear and bags embroidered using this technique are very hard-wearing and strong and barely subject to creasing.
Bags decorated by the Shakhrisabzembroideresses have gained special popularity throughout Uzbekistan. They are bright, light, original and absolutely traditional in everything. In everything but shape. The bags in Shakhrisabz feature all modern forms, from clutches and barrel-shaped bags to stylish rucksacks and cases for tablet computers and laptops.
The craftsmen’s shops in Shakhrisabz offer such a great diversity of embroidered items that most of the buyers are at a loss for what to buy when they first visit the place, unable to remember their initial goal. Too many temptations. But do not lose your head and ask the trading embroideresses for advice. For example, it is hard to see immediately the whole wide range of ornamental patterns meant to decorate your home. There you will find wonderful suzani tapestries, bedspreads, tablecloths, pillowcases and even covers for chairs and armchairs decorated with beautiful patterns. Those who wish to buy an authentically traditional item instead of that made in the ethno-style will also find a good deal to choose from. Articles of this kind include the famous Uzbek teapot covers, embroidered fans and skullcaps.
So, here we are, at last, amidst the soft round Shakhrisabz skullcaps! You will see thousands of them at the complex. Never think of leaving Shakhrisabz without this wonderful headdress, otherwise you will not stop seeing in your dreams this charming little cap you have failed to buy. The skullcaps from Shakhrisabz are characterized by three interesting features.
First: a skullcap that fits one’s head perfectly can relieve its owner of their headache, as its rim rests exactly on the acupunctural points.
Second: these skullcaps fit everyone, regardless of the type of their face. If you do not believe it, put one on and look at yourself in mirror.
Third: with a brightly embroidered skullcap on your head you will be easily noticeable from above. If you are without it, those in the sky will hardly notice you.
What about the prices for this embroidered piece of wonder? You have, probably, been told already that you must bargain when you buy something in Uzbekistan? In Shakhrisabz you should not be too insistent bargaining. The prices bid by the embroideresses are quite reasonable. A large bag embroidered in the basma style for $5-10 or a great skullcap covered all over with iroki embroidery for $5-6 is almost nothing. Moreover, these are handmade items, many of which deserve to be exhibited in a museum.
Guess, you will be leaving Shakhrisabz in the traditional manner, with an embroidered skullcap on the head, embroidered shoes on the feet, an embroidered waistcoat round the body and a hard-wearing embroidered rucksack behind the back. The rucksack will be full of small embroidered joys bought as souvenirs to be presented to friends.
In time, sunlit ancient Shakhrisabz will move into a distant past. Any embroidered miracle from Shakhrisabz, will always remind you that you became richer by a whole world. The world of the amazing Shakhrisabz embroidery.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Airways” magazine)
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