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INFORMATION DIGEST No. 36

February 20, 2017

INFRASTRUCTURE
Uzbekistan Airways national company has been implementing an investment project on the construction of a new international passenger terminal at the Tashkent airport

The initiative constitutes a success story in the bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and South Korea, and is seen as a priority for Uzbekistan Airways and the country in general.

It is primarily aimed at the improvement of quality of passenger service and bringing it up to the latest international requirements and standards. It will also help to meet the growing demand for air travel, improve airport infrastructure, as well as increase the tourist flow.

Feasibility study of the project was developed with the assistance of grant funds of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in January-July 2016. In the course of this work, experts of Uzbekistan Airways and the Korean side did much to assess the current state of the infrastructure of the capital's air harbor and aviation industry of Uzbekistan, development prospects, and develop a concept of construction of the international passenger terminal Tashkent-4.

When developing the feasibility study, KOICA selected organizations with pool of relevant experience. They are the five companies of the Republic of Korea: Incheon airport - the project manager, Heerim, Yooshin, EY Hanyoung and Transport Institute of Korea.

In December 2016, the government of Uzbekistan and the Eximbank of the Republic of Korea signed a loan agreement on allocation of borrowing funds of EDCF Fund of Korea for the project. As a result, its total cost exceeded $430 million.

According to the feasibility study, the area of Tashkent-4 will make up nearly 87,000 square meters, capacity – 1,500 passengers an hour, or 5.7 million a year. From a bird's-eye, the terminal will resemble outstretched wings of the Humo bird of happiness. The terminal will have four floors, a platform for 36 planes, and a driveway with parking. The construction of the terminal will take three years. Construction and installation works are scheduled for this year.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed a Decree defining measures to further improve the road management system

The document envisages the implementation of a package of measures aimed at the formation of an effective road management system based on comprehensive approach to the design, construction and maintenance of roads and buildings, improving their financing system, creating a complete service of the customer, contributing to improve the quality of design and road construction works.

The abolished State Joint-Stock Company for the construction and operation of roads (SJC "Uzavtoyul") has been replaced by the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Motor Roads. It will serve as the specially authorized body of the state for road management.

The State Inspectorate for Quality Control of Road Construction Works under the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan is to be set up.

The Decree provides for the subordination of the Republican Road Fund under the Ministry of Finance to the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan.

The new system of public administration in the field of road construction should ensure effective implementation of the resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On measures to implement the Program of development of regional roads in 2017-2018”.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

BUSINESS CLIMATE
Uzbekistan establishes Guarantee Fund for small business development

Uzbekistan has established a Guarantee Fund for small business development. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan signed the corresponding Decree on February 10.

The State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for privatization, demonopolization and development of competition acts as the main founder of the Fund, while the Association of Banks of Uzbekistan, Chamber of Commerce, as well as a number of large banks and insurance companies act as its shareholders.

The Fund is established in order to further improve the business climate and accelerate the development of entrepreneurship.

Lack of collateral is one of the main obstacles in obtaining bank credit by small businesses. Meantime, it is the most common reason for refusing a credit.

The Guarantee Fund is intended to provide security to banks for loans granted to small businesses, to the extent not covered by the pledge of up to 50% of the loan amount, but not more than $100 thousand.

The Guarantee Fund also provides advice to small businesses, assists them in creating high-tech and innovative industries.
(Source: UzReport.uz)

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Message of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan
To the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP
Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

It gives me a great pleasure to congratulate You on the occasion of the landmark date – the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Uzbekistan considers Great Britain as an important international partner and one of the leading world powers with enormous political, economic, technological and intellectual potential.

We highly value the dynamic and equal relations with Your country, which have been established in the past period. The roots of these relations trace back into the centuries. Over 40 British delegations visited Uzbekistan in recent years. We believe that this fact speaks for the commitment of the two states to further develop equally beneficial and constructive cooperation.

I would like to note that at present, when our countries are going through the crucial social and political events in their modern history, in Uzbekistan we look with optimism at the prospects of our interaction with the United Kingdom.

We highly appreciate the support of the British Government and the people during this very important period for our country and consider the recent visit of the Minister of State Sir Alan Duncan as confirmation of a keen interest of the UK in further strengthening our bilateral relations.

We are committed to the continuation of the practice of mutual visits and further consistent strengthening of partnership with Great Britain in the spheres of political dialogue, inter-parliamentary cooperation, economy and industry, advanced technologies, culture and arts, ensuring regional security and stability.

I am confident that the Uzbek-British relations based on the principles of mutual respect and equal consideration of interests will continue to strengthen for the benefit and in the interests of our nations.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Respectfully Yours,

Abdulaziz Kamilov,
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

SOCIETY
Presidential Resolution to boost Academy of Sciences

Having built a stable science management and financing system, Uzbekistan has a wide scholarly network of schools, laboratories, institutes, research centres, ministries, and councils.

The government has recently fuelled research resources and opened a batch of complexes, among them the Genomics and Bioinformatics Centre, the International Solar Energy Institute, and the Cambridge-affiliated High Technology Centre.

The scientific fleet is swayed by the Academy of Sciences, a flagship centre connecting research pioneers and demanding close governmental attention.

As a proof of this close attention, Shavkat Mirziyoyev held his first meeting as President with the scientific community.

From January 1, scholars are paid tax-exempt salaries of 10 minimum wages and are eligible to free-of-charge treatment in sanatoriums.

Steps have been taken to encourage academic progress.

But modern-day resources fail to match Uzbekistan’s socio-economic development, as scientific competitiveness lags behind international rates.

As research financing stumbles and talent pool dries up, a major overhaul is in order to restore scientific prestige, implement state programmes, and provide scientists with necessary conditions.

The Action Strategy 2017-2021 has it as priority to boost scientific activity and open laboratories and research centres.

Following his dialogue with the people in regions, the President set objectives to restore the scientific potential and attract talented youth by mobilising scientific research and merging science and production.

The Presidential Resolution ‘On Measures for Further Development of the Academy of Sciences and Scientific and Research Activity Organisation, Governance and Financing’ aims to address the issues.

The Resolution reorders the Academy’s activities and provides for a number of scientific establishments to be opened or returned under the Academy’s aegis.

Apart from forming exact science, natural science and humanitarian departments, the Resolution provides for a new office to be opened in Navoi, to quarterback research and development in Navoi Region.

The heads of the Karakalpak and Navoi departments, as well as the chief of Khorezm’s Ma’mun Academy are now placed on the academy’s vice-presidential footing.

A Financial Stimulus Fund will be opened to encourage scientific breakthroughs. The fund will receive 10% of profits by the Academy’s research centres.
The State Science and Technology Commission headed by the Prime Minister will shape state policy on science and innovation.

A science and technology commission, replacing the Science and Technology Coordination Committee, will formulate state tasks in implementing scientific innovation.

These steps will stoke up scientific activity and prune ineffective research areas.

A Scientific and Technical Activity Support and Development Fund, established as a legal entity under the Resolution, will:
create new university laboratories;

fund patents filed by local scientists;

supply laboratories with equipment;

fund access to international scientific databases; and finance internships in international scientific centres.

The Resolution follows in the footsteps of Uzbekistan’s science policy and serves to fulfil the Action Strategy for 2017-2021. It will raise academia’s prestige, improve organisation, and attract talented youth, among others.
(Source: UzReport.uz)

SPORT
World Champs Licenses to Be Played out in Tashkent
AIBA is to hold the Asian Boxing Championship 2017 for men in the Uzbek capital.

Asian Boxing Championship 2017 is due in Tashkent from 30 April to 7 May. In the weight category from 49 to over 91 kg, in addition to the medals, there will be awarded licenses for the World Cup, which, in turn, will take place in Germany from 25 August to 4 September.

The composition of the national team of Uzbekistan to participate in the Asian Championship awaits to be determined.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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