March 9, 2017
THE STATE VISIT OF THE PRESIDENT OF UZBEKISTAN TO TURKMENISTAN
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are strategic partners
As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Ashgabat on 6 March with a state visit at the invitation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
It should be underlined that this is the first visit of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to a foreign country as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his pre-election manifesto and his speech at the ceremony of inauguration as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, stressed that Uzbekistan will carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries, principally, with the neighbouring countries. This state visit of the President of our country vividly exhibits that Uzbekistan attaches a specific importance to good neighbourhood relations in its foreign policy.
Our people since ancient times have lived side by side, in friendship and accord with the Turkmen people, conducted trade, mutually enriched their cultures.
This proximity serves as a base for developing the cooperation between our countries. The Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan relations are steadily developing on the base of the Inter-governmental agreement on further strengthening friendship relations and comprehensive cooperation, signed in 2007.
The regular visits at the highest level reveals the highly developed international relations. This meeting of the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is a logical continuation of a mutually beneficial and active dialogue, the foundation of which was laid by the First President of our country Islam Karimov.
An official meeting ceremony took place at the Independence square of Ashgabat. A guard of honour was formed in honour of the high-level guest. Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov reviewed the guard of honour. The anthems of the two countries were played.
The Oguzkhan palace hosted a face-to-face meeting of Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The Heads of the two countries exchanged views on current state and prospects of further developing cooperation between our countries, substantial regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev cordially congratulated Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with his re-election as the President of Turkmenistan. He particularly highlighted that a solid cooperation has been instated between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, this visit is a logical continuation of steadily developing, mutually beneficial and active negotiations.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to Shavkat Mirziyoyev for paying his first state visit after being elected President of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan, underscored that this historical event will serve to exploit the unused opportunities of our countries in further strengthening the interactions.
The foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan is based on the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-use of force or threat of force, inviolability of borders, resolution of conflicts only through peaceful means, non-interference to internal affairs of other countries and other universally acknowledged norms of international law. The foreign policy of Turkmenistan is based on the principles of neutrality, peacefulness and good neighbourliness.
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan mutually support each other at the international arena. A consistent cooperation is carried out within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic cooperation, the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea and other international organizations.
The unity of the views of our countries on establishing stability in neighbouring Afghanistan only through political means was also corroborated. The parties exchanged views on the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime, strengthening regional security.
The Presidents carried on negotiations on an extended set-up with the official delegations of the two countries. The attention was paid to the issues of further developing cooperation in commerce, economy, petrochemicals, transport communications, agriculture, culture, tourism and other spheres. The issues of diversifying trade-economic ties, enhancing the variety of exports and imports, increasing the trade turnover were discussed.
Uzbekistan exports to Turkmenistan transport vehicles, mineral fertilizers, agricultural products, construction materials, electrical and mechanical equipment, metal products and services in different spheres. Petroleum products, propylene polymers and other chemicals are imported from Turkmenistan to our country.
The parties accentuated that the volume of mutual trade does not correspond to the existing potential and the capacities of the economic spheres for its extension should be analysed.
Intergovernmental events, meetings of business circles serve to further develop interactions. In September 2016 and in January 2017 the meetings of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan intergovernmental commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation took place in Tashkent.
A transport sphere is one of the priority areas of cooperation. Cargo, destined to Turkmenistan, is transported through the territory of Uzbekistan and vice versa. Mutually integrated road and railway lines of our countries also carry out transit functions for third countries. In this regard, the agreement on construction of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transport-communications corridor, signed in 2011 and a practical implementation of the initiative of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, has a geostrategic significance. Road and railway bridges, built on the Amudarya river, which will be opened within the framework of this visit of the Head of our state, are an important part of this transport corridor.
Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are rich in hydrocarbon resources. Their export requires mutually agreed actions, which enhances opportunities of our countries in diversifying their energy sector and in ensuring access to world markets. The Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline, commissioned in 2009, is a brilliant corroboration of this.
During the talks, an agreement was reached to engross new areas of cooperation, expand the scale of trade and economic relations, develop direct contacts between the regions.
A particular attention was attached to the issues of rational use of transboundary rivers, fight against desertification, environmental protection.
The Uzbek and Turkmen people share common history and culture, their traditions and customs are close. Scientific and creative heritage of our ancestors are a common property of our people. This proximity is a solid base for developing cooperation in cultural-humanitarian spheres. The representatives of culture and arts, athletes of the two countries actively take part in different concerts, festivals, exhibitions and sports competitions, held in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In September 2016 the Uzbek cinema days were held in Turkmenistan, while in November the Turkmen culture days were organized in our country.
Our countries also possess huge opportunities in tourism. Within the “Great Silk Road” project, tours to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are organized for citizens of the two countries.
The cooperation in science is also advancing. Scientists of the two countries carry out joint research in agriculture, petrochemicals and other spheres.
Following negotiations, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Shavkat Mirziyoyev adopted a Joint Statement and signed an Agreement on strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The respective ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan also signed an agreement on Economic Cooperation for 2018 – 2020 and memorandum on further Development of Cooperation in Railroad Transport, an Intergovernmental Programme of Cooperation in Cultural and Humanitarian Sphere for 2017 – 2019, Programme of cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017 – 2018, contracts on the supply of agricultural machinery and chemicals from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan. Agreements on Cooperation in Trade and Economic, Cultural and Humanitarian spheres between Dashoguz Velayat and Khorezm Region and between Lebap Velayat and Bukhara Regions were also signed.
During the meeting with the representatives of mass media, the Presidents underlined that this visit was a good opportunity to discuss crucial issues of the bilateral relations, to exchange views on the regional and international problems. The negotiations were held in the spirit of openness, mutual understanding and friendship, the signed documents will serve the interests of the people of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the Presidents said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev presented to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov a book by Mahtumquli “Elingga bakhsh ayla”, recently published in our country. The President of Turkmenistan, noting that a book is the best present, expressed gratitude to the President of our country.
In the second half of the day, the Presidents of the two countries went to the International Akhalteki horse complex. The President of Turkmenistan presented a thoroughbred horse to Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The President of our country laid a wreath to the Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan, planted a seedling at the Alley of honoured guests. It is noteworthy that here in 2007 First President of our country Islam Karimov also planted a tree.
The Head of our state laid a wreath to the mausoleum of Saparmurat Niyazov.
The state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmenistan is continuing.
Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan: good neighborhood and fraternal relations are strengthening
As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev paid a state visit to Turkmenistan on 6-7 March at the invitation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The main events of the visit took place on 6 March. The Heads of state conducted face-to-face negotiations, as well as with the official delegations in an extended format. The issues of further developing cooperation in petrochemical, commerce, economy, transport communications, agriculture, culture, tourism and other spheres were discussed.
Following the negotiations, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Shavkat Mirziyoyev adopted a Joint Statement and signed an Agreement on strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan. The respective ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan also signed several documents on consistent development cooperation in the economy, agriculture, chemical industry, railway transportation, cultural-humanitarian spheres, as well as in strengthening inter-regional links.
On the second day of the visit, Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov visited the city of Turkmenabad.
An opening ceremony of the Turkmenabad-Farab road and railway bridge over the Amudarya river took place.
The length of the road bridge is 1600 meters, while the railway bridge reaches 1750 meters. In construction of these structures, built by Turkmen and Ukrainian specialist, German and Norwegian technologies were used.
Presidents visited the exhibition of products, made by Uzbek and Turkmen artisans, handicraft masters, organized at the square near the bridge.
The President of our country underlined that these bridges symbolize the friendship of our peoples and have a geostrategic significance not only for Turkmenistan, but also for the whole region. He stressed that wide-scale works are carried out in Uzbekistan on developing transport communications, in particular, the Angren-Pap railway line, constructed last year, links Central Asia with China. The mutual integration of railway lines of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will be an important link of the revitalised Great Silk road and will contribute to the development of the region and increase of the welfare of the population.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that Turkmenistan has put forward initiatives on developing transport and transport and these bridges are practical implementation of the measures, taken in this regard. He highly assessed the quality of the construction works, underlined the significance of the structures and expressed thanks to builders and contractors.
The Presidents made a journey over the bridge on the train.
At the state funeral of First President of Uzbekistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov had underscored that the memory of great statesman Islam Karimov will be worthily perpetuated in Turkmenistan. In this regard, one of the main streets of the city of Turkmenistan has been named after Islam Karimov.
A memorial complex has been erected in this street, where the bust of our First President is installed and the complex is decorated with the state flags of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The granite board has the words of Islam Karimov inscribed in Uzbek and Turkmen: "The important fortune that we should value and multiply is a mutual trust between our countries".
Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Bedimuhamedov, following this wise advice, are strengthening trust between our countries, are steadily developing mutually beneficial cooperation.
An opening ceremony of this memorial complex took place.
Islam Karimov was a great politician, an outstanding statesman, who put the interests of his nation first, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. The President wisely resolved difference problems and overcame difficulties, which Uzbekistan came across in its new life, hugely contributed to developing peace and cooperation in the whole region, in particular, in consolidating relations between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Perpetuation of the memory of Islam Karimov was our duty. Today, in giving this duty, we must remember the need to preserve the heritage of this great politician, to further strengthen friendship and cooperation between our countries.
We are deeply thankful for this tribute to the memory of First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said. Islam Karimov was a great statesman, far-sighted and wise politician, one of the brightest personalities of our time. The founder of independent Uzbekistan built a strong state and developed democratic society in the country, hugely contributed to the peace, security and accord in the whole region. The relations between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are a bright example of friendly, good neighbourhood ties.
The Presidents laid a wreath to the memorial complex, took a stroll in the street of Islam Karimov.
The members of the governments of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, representatives of the diplomatic corps, the public also laid flowers at the memorial complex.
The Rukhiyat Palace in Turkmenistan hosted a concert of artists from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The concert luridly exhibited fraternal relations of the Uzbek and Turkmen people, served as a good opportunity for close acquaintance with contemporary and classical arts of the two countries.
An exhibition of arts and crafts of Uzbek and Turkmen peoples was organized in the foyer of the palace.
On this, the state visit of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmenistan came to a close.
The President of Turkmenistan saw off our President at the Turkmenabad airport.
The visit of the President of our country to Turkmenistan, the signed documents and organized cultural events vividly demonstrate a high level of cooperation between our countries, based on the principles of good neighbourhood and fraternity.
A pilot project on cultivation of intensive varieties of tomatoes is currently underway on 350 hectares of Marokand Meva-Sabzavot farm in Samarkand region
Seeds were laid by special drills from Italy. However, this is less interesting than the fact that tomatoes are not collected by hand but by specialized harvesters.
“In recent years, tomato-specialized farms have been facing difficulties caused by various plant diseases. The new method we have applied is advantageous in terms of reducing the risk of plant diseases, effective land and water use, efficient fertilizer use, and minimum of manual labor. The seeds of the disease and pest resistant tomato variety underwent specific treatment before sowing. The fertilizers were applied together with water by drip irrigation technology,” said the managing director of the farm Mr. Tursunov.
In 90 days, the matured harvest was collected by specialized harvesters of Germany, processed and shipped for export. This year, the farm intends to expand the area of cultivation of this variety, and collect up to 100 tons of product.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Capitalizing on Quality and Effectiveness
Improvement of the transport system, primarily the level and quality of public transport service in the regions, ranks among important missions of the Action Strategy that was approved by the leader of our state. Director of the Uzbek Agency for Automobile and River Transport, Galina Magai, has told us about the challenges in this area.
“In recent years, Uzbekistan has adopted and is gradually implementing target programs on the development passenger and freight traffic sector. New convenient regular routes have been launched, bus terminals and stations have been built and revamped to improve the quality of passenger service.
Nearly 3,000 buses and 12,000 public passenger vehicles have been purchased and put into operation over the past three years alone.
Meanwhile, the Uzbek motor transport system demonstrates tremendous capacity and reserves for dynamic development of transportation services both in urban and in rural areas, as repeatedly mentioned by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. In particular, the Action Strategy and certain other acts envisage scaled measures to further improve urban and rural transport support, enhance passenger safety, strengthen the role of road transport services in the economic growth of Uzbekistan. All the measures are called to most optimally meet consumer demand for bus transportation through the renovation of the rolling stock with modern, comfortable and safe buses.
The plans for the next five years envisage opening of nearly 300 new passenger routes, 240 of which will cover suburban and long-distance destinations. By the end of 2021, the number of passenger bus services is anticipated to increase by 11.8% and amount to about 2,000 routes, including almost 1,600 suburban and long-distance routes. In this context, it is planned to upgrade of rolling stock in stages. In 2017-2021, more than 8,600 passenger transport units, including 5,700 new public minibuses will be purchased through leasing companies on the basis of preferential bank loans.
The targeted use of funds for projects on the upgrade and renewal of bus fleets imply the increase of the charter capital of Uzavtosanoat-Leasing Company in 2017-2020.
In order to support leasing companies and motor carriers, it is proposed to release them from several mandatory fees and charges by January 1, 2022. In particular, those who are engaged in rural passenger transportation by buses and minibuses will not pay single tax for carriers in the next five years.
Scaled measures will also include the renovation of bus terminals and stations. It is planned to build 37 new bus stations and reconstruct 37 current ones. A radical improvement in the quality of public services is one of major anticipated outcomes.
The Uzbek Agency for Automobile and River Transport is entrusted with carrier coordination, development and approval of standard contracts for the right to serve urban, suburban, intercity and international passenger road routes, providing optimal conditions for quality and safe transportation of passengers.
The Agency is currently developing a new system of centralized monitoring of route operation. Each of the public buses and minibuses will be equipped with a GPS-navigator for online tracking the time, speed and route.
This will ensure a system-based monitoring of compliance with the terms of licenses for road haulage and passenger service contracts. A cashless fare system will be introduced gradually. It is will come to purchasing specialized travel cards. The innovation will allow controlling the quality of passenger services, the carriers to comply with the rights of passengers and tariffs settled, and guarantee free travel for certain categories of passengers.
New routes require the construction of final stops, so their standard design is currently drafting. They will be built of lightweight structures and affordable materials in accordance with all construction standards. It is also planned to install information boards displaying the traffic timetable, routes, and arrival time in all regions of the country.
The document will ensure safety of passenger transport, raise the culture and quality of passenger service, and ensure adherence to established schedules and intervals of public transport traffic.”
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
Hotel business in Uzbekistan might gain access to long-term loans for construction and modernization of real estate assets
The proposal is currently developed in the framework of discussions over the draft Concept of Tourism Development in the Republic of Uzbekistan in the medium term.
According to the document, the Central Bank will be assigned with implementation of a flexible system of hotel business lending, under which the funds will be allocated for a period of 15 to 20 years for the construction of modern hotels and upgrade of existing ones. The draft decree stipulates that the loan repayment and interest terms are build with an eye to the capital intensity and seasonal occupancy of hotels.
By January 1, 2022, hotels will be released from single social payment from the payroll budget for foreign specialists engaged in managerial functions, from personal income tax, and from foreign expert income tax in relation of hotel management staff.
The document envisages other interesting measures like increase of the number of ATM and international payment system terminals in hotels and other tourist facilities, as well as the creation of facilities for businesses to receive payments in foreign currency.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
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