American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
Business Newsletter

 

Week in Review:


March 16, 2012 - March 23, 2012  

 

In this issue
AUCC in Brief
Statement by the U.S. at the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA)
Construction of the third line of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline
Uzbekistan can join the CIS Free Trade Zone
Contact Us
AUCC Members
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AUCC in Brief 

Established in 1993, the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) is a private, non-profit trade association representing interests of U.S. businesses ranging in size from small private enterprises to large, multinational corporations conducting business in Uzbekistan.

Our Mission: To advocate the views of the business community to ensure that private sector positions are considered during the development of key policies that impact American businesses and the future of U.S.-Uzbekistan relations.

Our Objective: To serve the needs of its members by strengthening commercial relations between the United States and Uzbekistan. 

Statement by the U.S. at the 5th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA)

http://www.state.gov of 3/23/2012      

   

Remarks
Robert O. Blake, Jr.
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Dushanbe, Tajikistan 
March 26, 2012


It is an honor to be here today in Dushanbe to represent the United States Government for the fifth gathering of the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA). The Tajik government has done an outstanding job organizing this large international meeting, and I want to acknowledge their superb efforts and thank them for their role in hosting this important forum.

This year's RECCA represents the latest stepping stone in the process of improving regional economic cooperation between Afghanistan and its neighbors in South and Central Asia and unlocking the potential for greater private sector-led growth. Each new gathering yields understandings small and large that, taken as a whole, reinforce the considerable and hard-earned progress already achieved in Afghanistan. The region's wealth of natural resources, nascent trade agreements, and a burgeoning network of transport and energy connections underscore the great economic promise of a more integrated South and Central Asia.

But achieving greater economic cooperation - the essence of the New Silk Road vision - will not be easy or happen overnight. It will require strong buy-in and coordination by governments in the region, its international partners, and investment from the private sector. Without exception, every country in the region has an interest in an increasingly prosperous Afghanistan, as well as the new markets and job opportunities that will accompany that economic stability.

Afghanistan and Tajikistan have undertaken a great deal of constructive preparatory work to identify the infrastructure, investment, and policy priorities to achieve practical progress towards regional integration. Roads, railways, electricity, grids, gas and oil pipelines are all of critical importance. But in the end it will be investor-friendly policies, trade agreements and cooperation, accelerated border crossing procedures, and transparent governance that will spur efficient, regional economic growth and unlock the vast potential in the markets of the region. Indeed, the World Bank has estimated that reducing regulatory barriers would add as much as two per cent per year to the growth rates of South and Central Asia.

The regional economic confidence-building measures and commitments reached in Istanbul last November, and endorsed by the international community at the Bonn Conference last December, offer a strong foundation to build upon. The United States views RECCA as an opportunity to further advance regional consensus on projects and reform initiatives that can help unlock the region's potential for private investment and increased economic growth. Building on these efforts now will help accelerate momentum heading into the G-8 Summit this May and the Tokyo Development Conference on Afghanistan later this summer.

As we look ahead, we understand the geopolitical realities of the 21st century require cooperation and collaboration among states and economies as never before. That is especially true in South and Central Asia, where regional trade accounts for only 15% of total trade. But we believe prospects for regional economic cooperation among the countries of this region are better than they have been in years. It is critical to maintain this momentum because as Afghanistan increasingly assumes responsibility for its own security, we must ensure that we are helping it transition to a stable and sustainable situation.

The United States again congratulates and thanks the Government of Tajikistan for its leadership and world-class hospitality, and pledges to continue working with Afghanistan and its neighbors to expand cooperation, prosperity and opportunity in this vital region of the world.

Thank you.

Construction of the third line of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline

http://pipelinesinternational.com of 3/2012      

  

Ceremonies have marked the commencement of construction of Line C of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline's Uzbekistan section.

A commencement ceremony was held in Gazli, Uzbekistan, to celebrate the start of construction for Line C of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) Vice President Wang Dongjin and Uzbekneftegaz First Deputy Chairman Shavkat Mazhitov cut the ribbon and delivered speeches at the ceremony.

Line C of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline covers a distance of 529 km in Uzbekistan and plays an important role in diversifying Uzbekistan's gas exports.

Running 1,840 km in parallel with Lines A and B which have already become operational, Line C is designed to deliver 25 Bcm/a of natural gas from Turkme-nistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to China.

It is estimated that gas supply will commence from January 2014, and reach the designed throughput in December 2015, enhancing the total transmission capacity of the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline to 55 Bcm/a.

The Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline will start at Gedaim on the border of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, running through central Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan before ending at Horgos in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where it will be connected to the Second West-East Gas Pipeline.

Line C will add to the Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline's existing dual parallel lines, each running for 1,833 km. Line A became operational in December 2009, and Line B became operational in 2010.

In July 2007, CNPC signed a production-sharing contract to explore and develop gas fields on the right bank of the Amu-Darya River with the Turkmen State Agency, and a natural gas purchase and sales agreement with Turkmengazi State Concern.

CNPC then signed two basic principle agreements on gas pipeline construction and operation with KazMunayGaz and Uzbekneftegaz respectively, under the framework agreements on pipeline construction and operation between the Chinese government and the Kazakh and Uzbek governments. Under the agreements, CNPC would invest in a cross-border gas pipeline in central Asia, through which Turkmenistan would supply China with 30 Bcm/a of natural gas for 30 years.

Aside from fostering economic co-operation between China and central Asian countries, the pipeline is also expected to be a source of prosperity for the region, promoting the development of, and investment, in local natural gas resources, stimulating the growth of local equipment manufacturing and construction industries, and creating employment opportunities.

Safety a top priority

CNPC said "We believe in health, safety and environment management, and emphasize the health and safety of our overseas contractors.

In 2008, there were no accidents during the 5.89 million man hours of production, and no traffic accidents for vehicles traveling a total of 9.95 million kilometres."

The company has implemented a number of safety and environmental measures on the project including:

  • Forbidding project vehicles to travel outside the operating zone.
  • Excavating pipe trenches on farmland strictly in accordance with rules on stripping of mature soil, piling immature and mature soil separately from each other, and backfilling the soil to restore the original environment.
  • Welding the pipeline in a way that ensured there was a crossing every 2 km for cattle, sheep, and wild animals.
  • Ensuring all engineering projects had passed local governments' environmental assessments.
  • Strictly observing local environmental laws and regulations.
Uzbekistan can join the CIS Free Trade Zone

http://uzdaily.com of 3/23/2012      

  

The Economic Council of the CIS supported Uzbekistan's plan to join the CIS Free Trade Zone Agreement.  The CIS free trade zone is an international union with no customs duties, taxes and dues for its members.  The agreement on free trade zone in the CIS was signed in October 2011 and Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine are signees of the document.
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Contact Information

 

The American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
1300 I Street, N.W., Suite 720W
Washington, DC 20005
phone: 202.509.3744
[email protected]
www.aucconline.com  

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