American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
Business Newsletter


Week in Review:

May 18, 2012 - May 25, 2012  


In this issue
AUCC in Brief
PetroChina to boost Central Asia gas imports by half
Uzbekistan to begin reconstruction of road worth $211 mln
U.S. Defense Secretary thanks Central Asian nations for cooperation on Afghanistan
The IMF mission visits State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan to build more facilities to ensure security in Afghanistan
Contact Us
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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. 

PetroChina to boost Central Asia gas imports by half of 5/23/2012


PetroChina will boost its natural gas purchases from Central Asia by as much as half this year even as it is unable to fully pass on import costs to consumers due to state price controls, the country's largest energy company said.

The Hong Kong-listed unit of state-owned China National Petroleum Corp is tasked to import natural gas via pipeline from Central Asia to help the government achieve its goal of doubling the share of the less polluting fuel in the country's overall energy mix by 2020.

PetroChina, Asia's biggest company by market value, will raise imports to as much as 25 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year from 15.9 bcm in 2011, Chairman Jiang Jiemin said at an annual company gathering in Beijing on Wednesday.

Imports will reach the full capacity of China's cross-border pipeline of 30 bcm next year, he said.

The Chinese government controls prices of natural gas, oil and electricity to tame inflation, and selling Central Asian gas below cost has eroded PetroChina's earnings.

"Natural gas posted heavy losses in the first quarter compared with last year. The reason is clear -- the increased natural gas imports from Central Asia," said Jiang.

Like the situation in oil refining, the outlook for the natural gas segment will largely remain unchanged in the second quarter, he said.

Construction of a third cross-country gas pipeline may begin this year and the project may be completed in two to three years, Jiang told a media briefing in Beijing.

PetroChina, in its efforts to extract gas from unconventional sources, will prioritise development of gas trapped in hard rock and between layers of coal over gas locked in shale formations, Vice Chairman Zhou Jiping told reporters.

PetroChina has developed its own technology to extract so-called tight gas and coal-bed methane, while the key technology to develop shale gas is still in the United States, Zhou said.

Also, China's geology is different from America's, so technological innovation is needed to spur China's shale gas development, Zhou added.

PetroChina is also studying refinery projects in the Caribbean and opportunities in South America and North America, Jiang said, without elaborating.

Sources told Reuters that PetroChina was in talks to buy Valero Energy's 235,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Aruba, an island in the southern Caribbean Sea. (Editing by Ryan Woo)

Uzbekistan to begin reconstruction of road worth $211 mln of 5/23/2012


Uzbekistan in 2012 will begin reconstruction of a section of Tashkent - Osh road, passing through the Kamchik pass and connecting the center of the country with the Ferghana Valley, the head of the project implementation unit (PIU) for the development of regional roads of the Republican Road Fund of Uzbekistan, Sherzod Yakubov, told reporters on Wednesday.

"In June, a contractor will be named to carry out road construction works on the section of the Tashkent - Osh road (A-373), and in July reconstruction will begin," Yakubov said.

As previously reported, last year the Republican Road Fund under the Ministry of Finance of Uzbekistan announced a tender for reconstruction of the 74-kilometer section of highway (from 116 to 190 km) with the replacement of two-lane asphalt pavement with a four-lane cement and concrete pavement.

The project worth $211 million will be funded through a loan of Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the amount of $130 million from funds of the Bank's second multitranche loan in the amount of $500 million.

The Road Fund will allocate $81 million for the project.

As previously reported, in April 2010, ADB approved the first multitranche loan at $600 million for the construction of national highway in Uzbekistan, in August 2011 - second multitranche financing program for the same purpose in the amount of $500 million.

The multitranche financing program is provided within the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation's (CAREC) program "Development of regional roads. Phase 2".

ADB funds under this program will be allocated in three tranches during 2011-2013. Funds in the amount of $320 million will be allocated out of the ordinary resources of the bank, a loan for $180 million will be provided from the Asian Development Fund.

ADB funds will be directed at reconstruction of individual sections of Guzar - Bukhara - Nukus - Beineu (A-380) and Tashkent - Osh (A-373) roads with a total length of about 230 kilometers.

The first tranche of $130 million was provided for 24 years, including a four-year grace period.

Earlier it was reported that Uzbekistan refused to transport goods to the Ferghana Valley by train through the territory of Tajikistan. Since January 2010 the carriage of cargo to the region has been carried out via A-373 road, which is of strategic importance for the country.

Financing of the construction, designed for 2011 - 2015 years, is carried out by the Republican Road Fund - $1.79 billion, the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan - $ 68 million, loans of international financial institutions - $1, 432 billion.

In total, in 2011-2015 Uzbekistan plans to direct for the development of road transport system $3.29 billion, including from the Republican Road Fund - $1.79 billion, international financial institutions - $1.432 billion, Fund for reconstruction and development of Uzbekistan - $68 million.

The share of road transport in Uzbekistan accounts for 87.6 per cent of freight and 98.1 per cent of passenger traffic.

The total length of highways is 183,600 kilometers. Some 20 international transport routes and directions cross the territory of Uzbekistan now.

U.S. Defense Secretary thanks Central Asian nations for cooperation on Afghanistan of 5/22/2012


U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta expressed his appreciation to several Central Asian nations for allowing the transit of troops and goods through their territory to supply the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, U.S. Forces Press Service reported.

"Panetta met with senior ministers from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and expressed his deep appreciation for their support of the Northern Distribution Network, which is key to supplying ISAF forces in Afghanistan," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said.

The meeting occurred at the NATO summit in Chicago.

The Northern Distribution Network took on added importance in supplying ISAF troops in Afghanistan after Pakistan closed cross-border supply routes into the country in November. The closure followed the accidental deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers killed in a NATO airstrike along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

"Panetta also provided assurances that the United States is committed to an enduring security relationship, including after 2014, with Afghanistan and the region to ensure Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists," Little said in a written statement.

In addition, the Pentagon spokesman said Panetta and his NATO counterparts emphasized the need to step up cooperation on economic development in Afghanistan and the Central Asian region.

The IMF mission visits State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan of 5/22/2012      


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission paid a visit to the State Committee of Uzbekistan on Statistics on 22 May 2012.

The State Statistics Committee informed the IMF mission on recent achievements in improving methodology of calculation of statistics on national accounts and prices.

In particular, the Uzbek side briefed the mission on developing additional accounts for tourism, national accounts for healthcare system and improving works on calculation of consumer prices, etc.

The IMF mission highly rated the work and achievements by the State Statistics Committee in recent years.

The IMF mission also received answers to their questions.

Uzbekistan to build more facilities to ensure security in Afghanistan of 5/21/2012      


Uzbekistan Railways will construct buildings and facilities worth $3.672 million to ensure the security of personnel and the property of the Hairatan-Mazar-i-Sharif railway, a government source told Trend on Monday.

A relevant decree was signed by Uzbek President Islam Karimov, the source said.

In late last year, the Afghan Public Works Ministry and Uzbekistan Railways signed an additional agreement to the contract dated November 27, 2009 to build these facilities. The customer is the Afghan side.

Under the project fencing around the perimeter of the stations, freight yards and sidings will be installed.

As reported, in November 2010 Uzbekistan Railways completed the construction of the Hairatan - Mazar-i-Sharif railway in Afghanistan worth $129 million.

The total length of the railway line, built by Uzbek specialists, is 106 km, including the length of the main ways is 75 km. The capacity of the road is eight pairs of trains per day, or more than nine million tons of cargo per year.

The project has been implemented due to grant of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) at $165 million and own resources of Afghanistan Government at $5 million.

In 2011, Uzbekistan Railways signed a contract with the Afghan government to operate the railway for a period of three years.

In accordance with the contract, an Uzbek company carries out maintenance of the road by Uzbek specialists and performs freight transportation by its rolling stock.

The Uzbek side will receive for operation of the railway each year from Afghanistan $32 million.

Funding for operational works at Mazar-i-Sharif railway will be carried out due to ADB funds provided to Afghanistan.

The Afghan side also provided adequate safeguards to ensure security.

Uzbekistan Railways was formed in 1994 after the withdrawal from the Central Asian Railway, and is fully owned by the state.

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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]  





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