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INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 174

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INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 174

September 5, 2017

POLITICS
On the state visit of the President of Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan

Foreign Ministers of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan hold talks

OFFICIAL
Pulat Bobojonov heads Interior Ministry, Abdusalom Azizov becomes Minister of Defense

FINANCE
Central Bank of Uzbekistan sets US dollar rate at 8100 soums

INVESTMENTS
The launch of the country’s largest pulp and paper mill is scheduled by the end of 2019 in the Tashkent region

EXPORT
Uzbekistan is considering the opportunity of introducing a single export brand for its ‘Best in Uzbekistan’ products

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Uzbekistan expresses concern over North Korea’s nuclear tests

SOCIETY
Uzbekistan: Optimism and Confidence in the Future

CULTURE
Festival “Magic of Dance” to be held in Khorezm in September

POLITICS

On the state visit of the President of Uzbekistan to Kyrgyzstan
On September 5-6, 2017, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev will pay a state visit to the Kyrgyz Republic at the invitation of President Almazbek Atambayev.
During the meetings and negotiations at the highest level, the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will discuss key issues in development of bilateral relations, prospects of further expansion and deepening of cooperation in political, trade, economic, transport, communication, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres, intensification of cooperation between the border regions of the two countries, as well as current regional and international problems of mutual interest.
As a result of negotiations, it is planned to sign a Joint Statement of the heads of states, an Agreement on Uzbek-Kyrgyz state border, and a number of other bilateral documents aimed at further development of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in various fields.
(Source: UzA)

Foreign Ministers of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan hold talks
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov held a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Erlan Abdyldaev in Bishkek.
According to the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry, Abdulaziz Kamilov arrived in Kyrgyzstan on a working visit.
The foreign ministers of two countries discussed practical issues of preparation for 5 September state visit of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Kyrgyzstan, exchanged views on regional issues.
Following the meeting, the ministers initialed a draft agreement between Uzbekistan and the Kyrgyz Republic on the Uzbek-Kyrgyz state border, which defines an interstate border with a length of 1,170.53 kilometers, which is 80 percent of its total length.
(Source: UzDaily.com)

OFFICIAL

Pulat Bobojonov heads Interior Ministry, Abdusalom Azizov becomes Minister of Defense
President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev appointed a new interior minister on 4 September.
According to the decree of the President, Pulat Bobojonov was appointed to the post of Minister of Interior Affairs of Uzbekistan.
Prior to this appointment, he worked as a khokim of Khorezm region. In this post he replaced Abdusalom Azizov.
The head of Uzbekistan appointed Abdusalom Azizov to the post of the Minister of Defense of Uzbekistan.
Former chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan (in 2006-2015) Ilgizar Sobirov became the acting khokim of Khorezm region.
(Source: UzDaily.com)

FINANCE

Central Bank of Uzbekistan sets US dollar rate at 8100 soums
Starting from September 5, 2017, the exchange rate of the Central Bank is set at 8100 soums per 1 US dollar.
The CBU rate, as previously, will be set every Monday as average value of rates recorded at trades of foreign currency exchange for the previous week, and will be used for accounting purposes, statistical and other reporting on currency operations, as well as for the calculation of customs and other compulsory payments on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Interbank trading sessions on purchase and sale of foreign currency on the Uzbek Republican currency exchange will be held every day, where the exchange rate will be determined based on the current ratio of supply and demand for foreign exchange and published on the website of the currency exchange.
(Source: UzReport.news)

INVESTMENTS

The launch of the country’s largest pulp and paper mill is scheduled by the end of 2019 in the Tashkent region
The new capacities, according to experts, will sustain the republic’s needs in pulp and paper products, reduce their imports, and trigger up-to-date manufactures of a wide range of high-quality products based on advanced technologies and rational use of local raw materials.
The enterprise, the construction of which will be launched this year, will be engaged in deep processing of long-term (poplar and others) and one-year (cotton stalks, Jerusalem artichoke, rice and wheat straw) plant stock. The project is initiated by Eso Paper Industry, and the National Bank of Uzbekistan is a financial donor.
It is estimated that after the launch the plant will produce 16,500 tons of pulp and paper products per year. The total cost of the project exceeds $10.3 million, $3.1 million of which will be allocated by the initiator, and the remaining $7.2 million – by the National Bank in the form of a loan.
The Tashkent Region Municipality will allocate two sites for the project implementation by the end of September. The manufacture will be located on the first site of 20 hectares, and another site of 900 hectares will be used as a raw material base for the creation of wood plantations, in particular poplar.
The authorities approached the establishment of the raw material base of the enterprise with an optimal scale. The head of state assigned municipalities of all regions to allocate a site for the organization of wood plantations of fast-growing breeds in each forestry sector by the end of October.
Moreover, the company has received an impressive list of benefits and preferences. It is exempt from land tax, property tax in the part of fixed production assets, and by January 1, 2025, from customs fees for imported technological equipment and spare parts for it, as well as for raw materials and components.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

EXPORT

Uzbekistan is considering the opportunity of introducing a single export brand for its ‘Best in Uzbekistan’ products
The measure is envisaged within the framework of the draft government decree on fundamental improvement of support for business development and business environment.
Many countries have long used the well-established practice of promoting high-quality products under a single country brand. It has been actively introduced by the CIS countries, for example, Russia. This approach allows minimizing manufacturers’ costs for marketing and advertising their goods in foreign markets through the partial transfer of this function to the state. As studies show, such steps will remarkably enhance the recognition and demand for Uzbek goods.
It is planned to involve the top domestic and foreign designers in the development of a new brand. An open bidding will be announced for all comers free of charge under the condition that the products meet high quality standards. The introduction of the brand creates certain risks, as unscrupulous manufacturers can deliver their products abroad. For this purpose, it is envisaged to introduce a certain certification procedure for the goods under a new brand, or require compliance with international standards or certificates.
In late July, Uzbekistan already launched a new unified brand UzAgro for exports of all domestically produced fruit and vegetable products.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION

Uzbekistan expresses concern over North Korea’s nuclear tests
Uzbekistan expressed concern over nuclear test of North Korea, the statement of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.
The North Korea’s nuclear tests, conducted on 3 September 2017, violate the resolutions of the UN Security Council, the statement said.
The foreign policy department of Uzbekistan noted that the Uzbek side considers these actions of the North Korean side as going against the efforts to establish peace and trust on the Korean Peninsula.
“Uzbekistan strongly urges Pyongyang to listen to the opinion of the world community, to refrain from provocative actions leading to an escalation of tension and being a direct threat to security in the region and the world as a whole,” the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said in its statement.
“As the initiator of the establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, Uzbekistan strongly supports strict observance of the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and attaches great importance to reducing the threat of its use,” the Uzbek foreign ministry said.
The Republic of Uzbekistan supports the measures being taken by the world community aimed at resolving the situation on the Korean peninsula, and expresses hope that it will be resolved only political and diplomatic means.
(Source: UzDaily.com)

SOCIETY

Uzbekistan: Optimism and Confidence in the Future
Uzbekistan is making the 26th anniversary of its independence these days. This is the most important holiday for our people! It fills everyone’s heart with bright feelings, pride, joy, and is celebrated in all corners of our beloved homeland. The hardworking people of the republic welcome the holiday with its achievements in all areas, beautified towns and villages, with optimism and confidence in the future of all our compatriots.
These days remind of tremendous progresses achieved by the country in a period of historically short independent development, the time when ambitious plans and dreams have come true. Year by year, we increasingly realize independence as a great and life-affirming force that unites all people living in our country, regardless of nationality, language and religion, on its constructive way toward free and happy life that inspires for great achievements. Despite all the difficulties, at a decisive historic moment, our people have managed to unite into a single fist, showing firm will and unbending character. 26 years have passed since they have taken responsibility for their future, working tirelessly in the name of a new life.
Personality as Key Priority
The key idea of the course chosen after gaining independence implied the transition to natural civilized and evolutionary development, avoiding pseudo-revolutionary jumps, tragic consequences and social upheavals. The mentality that had been implanted in the people’s minds for decades was changed by convincing people of the need for change and renewal. Our independent way was based, on the one hand, on the national and historical way of life of the population, on the way of thinking, on people’s traditions and customs, and on the other hand, on such achievements of world civilization as freedom, democracy, social justice.
The well-known five principles of the ‘Uzbek development model’ have completely justified themselves, having determined the constitutional status of our Motherland as a humanistic, democratic state with the rule of law, which turned its face toward a strong civil society. A person, his interests, well-being, family welfare and the happy future of children are seen as a heart of everything.
The idea that, having gained sovereignty, our country has taken a worthy place in the world community as a member of the United Nations, gives a tremendous feeling of pride.
Independence has helped to restore the rich spiritual and cultural heritage of our ancestors. Cultural values, customs and traditions of the people, the names of eminent commanders, poets thinkers, scholars like Mirzo Ulugbek Amir Temur, Alisher Navoi, and many others who left an indelible mark in the history of mankind but were exposed to oblivion, were returned to the people. The people have become true owners of their destiny, creators of their own history, and possessors of a distinctive national culture.
Historical experience and continuity of traditions have become the values on which the posterity is brought up. It stands to reason that our culture has become the center of attraction for the entire mankind. Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva and other cities are visited not just by scholars and amateurs of art, but by people from different parts of the world, who take interest in historical values.
With this in mind, the contemporaries, especially the youth, are proud for being the sons of this sacred land. National identity has been strengthened, the younger generation is being brought up on the basis of national and universal values, the ideological perception and spiritual world of our society is changing, the noble qualities inherent in the Uzbek people cause recognition and respect in the world.
Reformation and renewal of social life, development of spirituality in our society have opened up powerful layers of spiritual culture, owing to which the national psychology has tended towards national pride and openness to the whole world. This suggests the highest spirit of the people, who are not afraid of integration, but naturally strives to be an organic part of the world community. At the same time, the revival of the nation, the formation of its moral ideals is inextricably linked with exposure to universal human values.
Establishment of the Rule of Law
The rule of law, the formation of a legal state that guarantees the legal equality of all citizens before the law, and priority of the Constitution has been a priority strategy of independent development of Uzbekistan from the first days of independence. As a product of political wisdom of the people, the Basic Law of the country absorbed the entire positive of human rights and freedoms.
Uzbekistan has built one of the most perfect electoral systems in the world. Elections are conducted in accordance with the principles of openness, transparency and fairness, in the conditions of competition among political parties and candidates. The establishment of a bicameral parliament has brought the national statehood of our country to a drastically new stage. In the follow up, the Oliy Majlis has gained ample weight in the hierarchy of state institutions. Strengthening of the influence of regions on legislative activity has empowered all citizens to express their will in enacting laws.
Proclaiming the transition of the republic to the market economy in 1996, Uzbekistan, unlike most countries of the post-Soviet space, managed to ensure the resumption of economic growth. Uzbekistan achieved grain and fuel-energy independence.
The first years of independence have entailed the advent of absolutely new branches like automobile industry, pulp and paper industry, electronics. Specialists handled the manufacture of hundreds of new products. ‘Made in Uzbekistan’ branded products have been growing popular and communicable on the global market. Large-scale initiatives on enhancement of agricultural reforms, further improvement of efficiency of the farm movement are bearing generous fruits.
Social Sector: Positive Changes
Analyzing economic and statistical indicators, it becomes obvious that the implementation of the well-considered program of the country’s reformation and upgrade in the years of independence has paved the way for positive changes in the social sector and, most importantly, the quality of life of the population has significantly improved.
The real incomes per capita for this period have considerably grown too. This fact has entailed remarkable changes in the structure of consumer expenditures in our country. In particular, the consumption of basic foodstuffs has appreciably grown, the availability of household appliances, computers and cars has increased.
Nearly 60% of the state budget is annually channeled to the development of health care, education, municipal services and other sectors interrelated with the social protection of the population.
The revival of the values of the family and family relations, undertaken since the first years of independence, presupposed the economic, cultural and professional emancipation of each family, its adaptation to the values of the contemporary world. The far-sighted policy is bearing generous fruits today. Nowadays, an Uzbek family is the embodiment of kindness and light, love for children, respect for elders, and attentive attitude towards the close ones.
All the ongoing initiatives in the republic serve human interests, and reforms are carried out not for the sake of reforms, but for their precise purposes. Independence has fundamentally changed people’s attitude to work, and to life in general, has awakened in every person the confidence that this land, this street, this house, this Homeland belongs to all of us. This is the key to further prosperity throughout the country. The idea that with his or her work he contributes not just to the prosperity of the state, but also improves his family’s well-being and builds the future of his children, has well asserted in everyone’s minds.
In recent years, unprecedented measures have been taken in our country to renew the appearance of our villages, taking into account the requirements of modern architecture, housing construction, social and communal facilities, and communications. They are aimed at raising the living standards of people, further improvement of social, economic and spiritual life of the people.
From time immemorial, our people treated the younger generation with peculiar love and affection. Since the first days of independence, the care for young citizens, their upbringing and education has been a state policy priority. The Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the Parliament back in 1992, was among the first international documents Uzbekistan acceded.
Huge funds have been invested in the protection of reproductive health of the population, mother and child protection. The widely accepted slogan ‘Healthy Mother Bears a Healthy Child’ was raised to the state priority level, and turned into a nationwide movement. The protection of health of women as transmitters of life and children implies the concern for the health of the nation. Over the years of independent development, Uzbekistan has built a strong foundation for the construction and renewal of healthcare system. Measures on protection of people’s health raise of medical culture in families, and strengthening of the gene pool of the nation have been consistently implemented.
Healthcare reforms will be continued, because medicine is constantly evolving, and should be reflected in the national health model, which will keep focusing on the improvement of health of the population, so that the residents of our fertile land could live a long, healthy and happy life.
The national education system has been streamlined as well toward the level of world standards.
Educational institutions, whether it is a school in a mountain village, a college in a remote rural district, or a university in a regional center, apply advanced pedagogical and information technologies, interactive methods of teaching. An information and resource center and computer classes are available everywhere. Overall, that offers the younger generation profound and diverse knowledge.
Tremendous efforts have been taken in the years of independence in the field of physical education and sports, particularly in the development of children’s sports. Well-equipped sports facilities have been built in each city and settlement in line with modern requirements. Children’s sport is regarded as a basis of the future of Uzbek sports and plays an important role in raising the country’s authority in the international arena. Therefore, its development has turned into a national movement. It is worth to admire the scaled involvement of children and young people in Uzbekistan in active sports, which not just strengthens health, but also shapes nature, will, and ability to overcome difficulties. Uzbekistan has built a three-stage system of annual youth competitions that has no counterparts in the world.
The measures have had an impact on the progress in world-class sports, in numerous victories of domestic athletes at the Olympic Games, world and continent championships. The chess player Rustam Kasimjanov, judoka Rishod Sobirov, football referee Ravshan Irmatov and many others who have raised the prestige of Uzbek sports are the true pride of our people.
Uzbekistan is the common homeland for representatives of different nations and nationalities, different religions, who live in peace and harmony. The atmosphere of kindness and mercy, generosity, interethnic accord, interreligious tolerance reigns in every community, every corner of our land. The peoples living in Uzbekistan acquire a common mentality, a common philosophy of behavior, values and ideals, retaining their identity. Overall, they make up a common moral pillar, which has been the source of interethnic harmony through the years of independence. This can be seen at every step, and this is our priceless asset!
A New Stage of Development
The Action Strategy for Five Priority Development Areas of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021, put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and approved in early February, is a follow up of ongoing reforms in our country at a new stage of development. It has marked a drastically new approach to the system of strategic planning of state and social development of the country. The key objective of the document is to make our life yet better, and the state – yet stronger.
The Strategy reflects priority areas that are widely supported by the people. The document outlines the conceptual tasks for socio-political, socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. It has become a ‘road map’ for stable development of our country in the next five years and ahead.
The program is aimed at the future, providing for the intensification of ongoing reforms, while attaching importance to the principle of phasing as a logical continuation of the ‘Uzbek development model’.
It is envisaged to implement the Action Strategy in five stages, while corresponding state programs will be adopted in accordance with the declared names of the years. For example, the current year has been declared the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests. The State Program, which covers five priority areas and consists of 320 items, sets objectives to improve the state and public construction, ensure the rule of law and reformation of the judicial and legal system, develop social sector, sustain security and implementation of constructive foreign policy. These directions are interrelated.
Much has been done in the framework of implementation of the policy document. In pursuance of the Action Strategy, 15 laws and more than 700 other regulatory and legal acts have been adopted to develop all areas of state and public life.
In particular, the structure, missions and functions of 16 ministries, departments and other organizations have been revised with an eye to modern requirements in the framework of improvement of the state and public construction system, and 20 state and economic management bodies and other organizations have been reorganized.
The judicial and legal system has been radically revised. A unified supreme judiciary body - the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the administrative courts, which consider administrative disputes arising from public legal relations, as well as administrative offenses, have been created.
Tax system has been reformed as part of development and liberalization of the economy. From now and on, diligent taxpayers are entitled to tax holidays.
13,339 projects have been carried out within the framework of regional programs of social and economic development, 2.1 trillion soums of loans have been disbursed, a dozen of free economic zones and five small industrial zones have been created, and a light commercial Peugeot and Citroen branded vehicles plant has been built (currency rates of CB RU from 05.09.2017, 1$= 8100.00 soums).
In social sector, over 2,700 km of roads have been built and repaired in the first half of this year alone, over 84,000 jobs were created.
The Program on urban construction and reconstruction of energy-efficient affordable apartment buildings for 2017-2020’ has been underway, within the framework of which it is planned to build 1,136 multi-storey houses of 50,286 apartments and 75,000 residential buildings in rural areas on the basis of standard design projects.
The Action Strategy implies the dynamic development of political, economic, social and all other areas of society, an increase in the spiritual world and culture of people.
The document initiates the issues of targeted development of regions, integrated and balanced social and economic development of regions, districts and cities, investment in idle industrial enterprises and their rehabilitation, reduction of the unemployment level and ensuring of employment.
The methods of work of state structures undergo radical changes. The people’s confidence in the state has grown dramatically. People openly express their approval of reforms and transformations. Many residents eagerly await the release of television news programs, comparing the progresses achieved by our country with those of other states.
A humanistic approach is the priority requirement in the management system. The dialogue with the people has been streamlined; specialized workers visit people at home, listen and address their problems, offer cooperation and real help. People’s Receptions and a President’s Virtual Reception have been organized to make the work with citizens’ appeals more effective, hear their concerns and problems, hopes and aspirations. Today, each new day marks actions on ensuring human interests, guaranteeing the protection of citizens’ rights, and creation of optimal conditions for their life and work.
A system-based and large-scale policy pursues the development and industrialization of rural areas, organization of services in each region.
People’s aspiration to improve their life, their confidence in the future of society and the Motherland, the feeling of the inextricability of their future with the development of the country has strengthened.
The people are the force that creates history. It is built from the dedicated and selfless work of the people, their life, endeavor and efforts towards this goal. The people and their interests make up the theoretical platform of the Action Strategy.
Uzbekistan is a country where kindness and mercy, humanism and creation are valued. The Action Strategy reflects this very policy priority.
Our country is moving confidently toward its bright future, setting clear goals to rank among the developed democratic countries, ensure decent living conditions for people and an authoritative place in the world community.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

CULTURE

Festival “Magic of Dance” to be held in Khorezm in September
An International Festival “Magic of Dance” will be held from 7 to 9 September 2017 in the complex “Ichan Kala” in Khiva.
According to the press service of the State Tourism Committee, the festival will be organized in order to develop art tourism in Uzbekistan, demonstrating the uniqueness and beauty of national dances.
The event will involve popular local and foreign dance groups. The organizers prepared a rich program full of exciting events.
The visitors will be able to familiarize themselves with the diversity of national dances, participate in master classes and conferences, watch performances of folk groups and ensembles, etc.
(Source: UzDaily.com)

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