American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
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Week in Review:
September 28, 2012 - October 5, 2012

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In This Issue:
AUCC IN BRIEF
ADB, Uzbekistan to Focus on Inclusive Growth and Regional Cooperation
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan take interest in Baku-Tbilisi-Kars transport corridor project
In UN speech, Uzbek Foreign Minister stresses water conservation as key to regional security.
Participation of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia in Kyrgyz Kambarata-1 HPP to be discussed
Uzbekneftegaz plans to start development of shale oil field in 2013
Uzbekistan, Iran railway administrations ink cooperation memorandum

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.

http://www.adb.org   

 

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Government of Uzbekistan have agreed on a new five-year country partnership strategy (CPS) for 2012-2016 that will focus on promoting inclusive growth through diversifying the economy and expanding regional cooperation.

"Uzbekistan is one of the fastest-growing economies in Central Asia, and aspires to become an upper middle-income country by 2020. Its main priority is to sustain its remarkable economic growth, create more jobs and improve the welfare of its citizens," said Kazuhiko Higuchi, Country Director of ADB's Uzbekistan Resident Mission.

The new strategy will focus on transport, energy, municipal services, water, and access to finance. The CPS will also prioritize governance, regional cooperation and integration, private sector development, knowledge management, gender equity, and climate change.

Uzbekistan has made major welfare gains, with the percentage of the population below the poverty line decreasing from more than 25% in 2005 to 16% in 2011. Per capita income has nearly trebled in the last seven years to $1,580, on the back of prudent macroeconomic management and a favorable external environment.

Strategic assistance under the CPS will promote industrial development, accelerate economic diversification, and support the private sector. ADB will also support improvements in infrastructure and promote small and medium-sized enterprises, both essential to job creation.

The CPS also supports Uzbekistan's commitment to regional connectivity and trade through the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programs.

http://en.trend.az   

 

Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are interested in the implementation of the transport project "Navoi-Turkmenbashi-Baku-Tbilisi-Kars", a joint statement of presidents of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov and Islam Karimov, signed during Uzbek leader's visit to Ashgabat, says.

The document was published by all local media outlets on Wednesday.

"The sides expressed willingness to activate cooperation in the field of transport communication. The parties also highlighted the importance of implementation of the Navoi-Turkmenbashi-Baku-Tbilisi-Kars transport project, use of which will provide wide access to international markets," the statement says.

The importance of mutual support and increase of the two countries' transit potential within international transport corridors was stressed.

The presidents also announced their intention jointly with other interested parties to promote the implementation of projects of regional and inter-regional cooperation, particularly in the field of transport and transit, telecommunications, energy, use of natural resources and environmental protection.

Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are constructing the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line to transport goods from China and Central Asia. As is expected, the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars, which will have direct access to the European rail network, will annually transport about 30 million tons of cargo.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line will allow increasing the flow of container, bulk and other types of cargo from Asia to Europe. At the same time implementation of the "Marmaris" project on the construction of a railway tunnel under the Bosphorus, which will allow opening direct communication to Europe, is nearing completion.

http://www.un.org/News   

 

In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan, Abdulaziz Kamilov, today underlined the commitment of his country - a landlocked nation in Central Asia - to a United Nations convention protecting water resources in his water-scarce region as part of a larger effort to ensure regional peace and stability.

"In the modern world, given climate change and the worsening ecological situation on a global scale, ensuring reasonable and rational use of water resources becomes the most acute problem," Mr. Kamilov told the 67th Assembly on the fourth day of its annual General Debate, at UN Headquarters in New York.

A report released last year by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) noted how boosting cooperation between countries sharing the waters of the Amu Darya, Central Asia's longest river, could be key to the future peace and security of the region and urged the four main nations involved - Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan - to ratify the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

The report further notes that water resources in the region are already depleted by decades of often-unsustainable development dating back to the Soviet era, when large-scale engineering projects diverted flows from the river into cotton, wheat and fodder farming in arid and desert regions.

In reference to plans by neighbouring Tajikistan to build a major dam - the Rogun hydropower station - Mr. Kamilov urged that the region's limited water resources be used "first, to meet potable and sanitary needs, and only after that to ensure food security, ecological needs and the needs of industry."

In addition, he stressed that all construction projects of hydropower facilities in the upper stream basins of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers be subjected to international authoritative appraisal under UN auspices, and be in line with the Convention.

Located on the Vakhsh River in the country's south, the Rogun project has reportedly caused some regional tensions. According to media reports, Uzbekistan has opposed construction on the basis that it will negatively impact the region's environment, as well as adversely impact its agricultural sector.

The Uzbek Foreign Minister is one of scores of world leaders and other high-level officials presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly's General Debate, which ends on 1 October.

http://en.trend.az   

 

Kazakh city of Almaty hosts a meeting on water and energy cooperation between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Russia on October 5.
Within the meeting the parties will discuss the issue of possible participation of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia in construction of Kambarata-1 HPP in Kyrgyzstan, the Kyrgyz government reported.
Moreover, within the meeting the officials and invited experts in the field of energy and water resources are going to discuss a range of other issues on water and energy cooperation between the countries of the region.
Earlier Kyrgyzstan signed agreements on construction of Kambarata with Russia.
Currently Uzbekistan opposes the construction of Kambarata hydropower plant on the Naryn River in Kyrgyzstan. This PHH will reduce flow of the Naryn river and thus result in a lack of water in Uzbek Ferghana Valley - the most densely populated territory not only in Uzbekistan, but the whole Central Asia.
Moreover, according to Uzbekistan, there is a great risk of dam break due to seismicity of the region which can result in flood in tens of Uzbek cities and villages.

Uzbekneftegaz national holding company plans to start to develop shale oil field "Sangrantau" in Navoi region of Uzbekistan by the end of 2013.

Prime agency reported quoting source in the Government of Uzbekistan that preliminary feasibility study passed expertise. In the beginning of 2013, it is planned to protect the project at the government. The agency reported that the project financing will kick off in the second half of 2013.

In line with the preliminary parameters, the processing plant will produce 1 million tonnes of oil products a year. The project will be implemented within three years.

The project with the cost of US$600 million will be financed due to own resources of Uzbekneftegaz, loan of the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan, as well as foreign loans.

The source said that the project is developed with Japan Oil, Gas & Metals National Corp (JOGMEC), Russia's Atomenergoproject Institue and several Korean companies.

The perspective reserves of oil shales in Uzbekistan have been estimated at the volume of 47 billion tonnes.


Railway administrations of Uzbekistan and Iran signed a memorandum of cooperation in railway transportation after negotiation in Tehran, Iranian mass media reported.

The head of Iran Railways Abdol Ali Saheb Mohammadi said that both sides are for speeding up construction of railway Chabahar-Haf-Mazar-i-Sharif. He said that the Uzbek side takes obligation to speed up railway to China and after its implementation, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and China will be linked with railway.

He said that the Uzbek side is interested in studying experience of Iran in electrification of railways and construction of railway locomotives.

Abdol Ali Saheb Mohammadi said that representatives of Uzbekistan will visit locomotive construction plants. The sides also agreed to increase transit of the Uzbek cotton through territory of Iran, he added.

He said that Iran wants to participate in activities of the CIS structures as observer and the Uzbek side wants to support Iran on this issue, ISNA reported.

Chairperson of the board of Uzbekistan Temir Yollari (Uzbekistan Railways) Achilbay Ramatov said at the meeting with Abdol Ali Saheb Mohammadi that Uzbekistan will invest over US$4 billion to railway infrastructure by 2015, Irib News reported.

According to Ramatov, currently, Uzbekistan is constructing 230 km of railway, which will link Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran.

Ramatov stated that last year, 2.5 million tonnes of freight were delivered to Afghanistan in 2011 and the figure should double in 2012.

Ramatov underlined that 120 km railway has been constructed will Mazar-i-Sharif. He said that after completion of railway Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran, Uzbekistan will be linked with Iran.

Speaking about construction of railway to Osh, Ramatov stated that this railway will link Central Asian states to China and its launch will unite China and Iran.

Uzbekistan Temir Yollari's chief said that the volume of transit through Uzbekistan grew by 25% in 2011. Uzbekistan is interested in strengthening relations with Iran to expend cargo transportation to Bender-Abbas port.


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