American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
Week in Review:
July 20, 2012 - July 27, 2012

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In This Issue:
Tashkent, Washington to hold a third round of political consultations
U.S National Security Council representative holds consultations in Tashkent
U.S. engagement in Central Asia
Special representative for Central Asia to visit Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan to invest US$211m to reconstruction of Tashkent-Osh road
Uzbek trains carry more passengers, freight
Sasol announces Uzbekistan brand launch Oltin YO'L GTL

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.  

The next, the third round of Uzbek-US political consultations will be held in August this year in Tashkent, government source of Uzbekistan told Trend.

According to the source, issues of bilateral cooperation in political, economic, trade, investment, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres are scheduled to discuss in the third round of consultations. In addition, the two sides will exchange views on international and regional security issues of mutual interest.
As previously reported, the first round of Uzbek-US political consultations was held in December 2009 in Washington.
At the second round, held in February 2011 in Tashkent, the sides held a substantive dialogue about the current state and prospects of developing relations between Uzbekistan and the United States on a wide range of areas of political and economic cooperation.
The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the provisions and principles of the Declaration on Strategic Partnership and the basis of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the United States for 2002, as well as the development of constructive and multifaceted cooperation in political, economic, trade and investment areas, security issues, strengthening the foundations of civil society.  

Senior director for Russia and Eurasia at the U.S. National Security Council Alice Wells has today (July 23, 2012) met with the Uzbek Foreign Minister and discussed the urgent issues of bilateral relations, the Foreign Ministry said today.

Welles arrived in Tashkent on July 20 during her Central Asian tour. She discusses the issues of increasing cooperation and integration with representatives of the governments of Central Asian republics.

The constructive nature of the Uzbek-U.S dialogue aimed at intensifying the cooperation in various fields of mutual interest was stressed at a meeting at the Uzbek Foreign Ministry.

The two sides exchanged the views on the situation in the region, the development of Afghanistan's position and other international issues.
Robert O. Blake, Jr.

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
House Foreign Affairs Committee, Subcommittee on Europe and Eurasia 
Washington, DC
July 24, 2012

Chairman Burton, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to speak today on the status of U.S. engagement in Central Asia. I would particularly like to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for all you have done to support our efforts, including your leadership of one of the largest Congressional delegations ever to Central Asia earlier this month. The high level reception you received testifies to the desire of our Central Asian partners to strengthen relations with the United States and your visit was a major step in that direction. So, thanks to you and the other members of your delegation for making this grueling but very productive trip.

In my testimony today, I would like to review our regional priorities with Central Asia, and then discuss briefly each country.

Central Asia is an increasingly important region to the United States, and we work with each country on a broad range of policy priorities. The Obama Administration's review of Central Asia policy identified a number of key strategic priorities, ranging from enhanced support for Afghanistan to economic development, including the economic empowerment of women, energy cooperation, promotion of democracy and human rights, and working together to combat transnational threats such as narcotics trafficking and violent extremism. The countries of Central Asia are an important part of our vision of a secure and stable Afghanistan integrated into a stable, secure, and prosperous region. The drawdown of forces from Afghanistan between now and 2014 makes our engagement with Central Asia even more critical. Through our annual bilateral consultation mechanism, or in the case of Kazakhstan, a strategic partnership dialogue, we seek to achieve increased cooperation on regional security and support for Afghanistan; greater economic and commercial ties; progress on democracy and human rights issues such as preventing trafficking in persons, freedom of religion, greater space for political expression, and support for civil society; and enhanced scientific, cultural and educational cooperation.
Full text is here. 

EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Patricia Flor will visit Uzbekistan on July 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Trend on Wednesday.

"The purpose of the visit is the discussion of the status and prospects of cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU on a bilateral and inter-regional format," the foreign ministry official said.

According to the MFA, Uzbekistan's relations with European countries are developing both at a bilateral level and within the framework of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the Republic and the European Communities and their member states which came into force on the first of July 1999.

Dialogue between the European Union and Uzbekistan is carried out in the framework of five joint bodies: the Cooperation Council, Cooperation Committee, the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, Subcommittee on Trade as well as the Investment Sub-Committee on Justice and Home Affairs.

Patricia Flor was appointed Special Representative for Central Asia on June 25, 2012 by the EU Council. She took office on July 1. Her mandate runs until June 30, 2013.

Earlier Flor served as the German Foreign Ministry special envoy for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.

According to the European Foreign Service, currently the EU Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the European Union endorsed a strategy for a new and expanded partnership with the Central Asian states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Human rights, rule of law, proper governance, democratisation, youth and education, economic development, trade and investment, energy and transport, environment and water resources have been observed as priority areas of strategy.

At the same time, the region faces new challenges, particularly related to the situation in Afghanistan and security issues have come to occupy an important place in the relations of these countries with the EU.

An enlarged EU presence in the region will facilitate the implementation of projects aimed at strengthening security and stability.

Enlarged EU presence in the region will facilitate the implementation of projects aimed at strengthening security and stability.  

Uzbekistan will invest US$211 million to reconstruction of automobile road A-373 "Tashkent-Osh" at the area of 116-190 km.

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov approved feasibility study of the project on reconstruction of road, which passes through Qamshiq pass, said.

According to the document, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued US$167.2 million to project implementation and the Government of Uzbekistan - US$44.1 million. The project will be implemented in 2012-2014.

The ADB and Uzbekistan signed loan agreement on the first tranche for US$130 million to implement the project on 1 December 2011.

The government of Uzbekistan will allocate US$44.1 million, of which US$30.2 million are tax and customs preferences and US$13.9 million - resources of Uzbekistan Road Fund under Finance Ministry.  

Uzbekistan Railways (UR) recorded a doubling of freight and passenger loads in the first half of 2012 compared to one year earlier, UR told Central Asia Online July 24.

UR carried almost 29.9m tonnes of freight, 104% more than in the same period last year, Lyudmila Dolmatova, UR's chief of economic analysis and prognosis, said. She credited much of the growth to the new railway service to Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, UR carried 8.6m passengers, 109% more than in the same period last year, she said. Passengers can ride new high-speed trains (between Tashkent and Samarkand) and take the new line to the Afghan border, she added.

Trade between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan reached US $798.6m (1.52 trillion UZS) in 2011, compared to US $655.8m (1.25 trillion UZS) in 2010, UR said, according to Uzbekistan exports food and construction services to Afghanistan.
The Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) project in Uzbekistan will be called OLTIN YO'L GTL.
The project was named at a formal ceremony in Tashkent involving representatives from the three companies who make up the joint venture: Uzbekneftegaz, Sasol and PETRONAS.
In English, Oltin Yo'L translates as 'golden road' and is a reference to the centuries-old trade routes which passed through Uzbekistan and specifically through Samarkand, the country's second city.
The naming of the joint venture project followed a ceremony to mark the start of infrastructure development by the Government of Uzbekistan at the proposed GTL plant site at Shurtan in the south of Uzbekistan, aimed at supporting the project schedule to enable a final investment decision (FID), which is expected during the second half of 2013.
When commissioned, OLTIN YO'L GTL, a 38,000 bpd plant, will produce a combination of GTL diesel and GTL naphtha and, in an important development in the application of GTL fuels, GTL kerosene for the aviation sector.
Mr David Constable, CEO of Sasol said:
Sasol is proud to be part of this strategic project, which will provide Uzbekistan with world class environmentally friendly fuel, contribute to the country's energy security, and diversify the utilisation of its domestic gas resources.
This project will significantly contribute to the economic growth of Uzbekistan by bringing billions of dollars of foreign direct investment into the country, thereby creating hundreds of skilled jobs, and additional indirect employment opportunities for the country's population.

The American-Uzbekistan
Chamber of Commerce
1300 I Street, N.W.,
Suite 720W
Washington, DC 20005
phone: 202.509.3744
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