American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
 
Week in Review:
November 9, 2012 - November 16, 2012

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In This Issue:
AUCC IN BRIEF
Uzbek Oil Company re-issues wastewater treatment tender at Fergana Oil Refinery
Uzbekistan, World Bank discuss water supply, sanitation
Japan presents scanning equipment for customs checkpoints to Uzbekistan
Economic growth projected at eight per cent in Uzbekistan in 2013
IDB provides loan to Uzbekistan to upgrade oncological institutions
Japan to spend $700 million in Central Asia

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.ooskanews.com   

 

Uzbekistan's National Holding Company and main oil refinery, Uzbekneftgaz, has announced a new tender for reconstruction of the industrial effluent treatment facilities at Fergana Oil Refinery.

Bids for the $14.35 million USD tender, which Uzbekneftgaz is financing by itself, will be accepted until December 2, 2012, the company said. It will announce the winner of the turnkey contract at the beginning of 2013, and the project is then expected to be completed within a year.

The treatment plant currently has a capacity of 16 million cubic meters of treated water a year. The reconstruction work will allow it to treat the effluent to a level where oil product outflow in the wastewater is no more than 1 milligram per liter.

The first tender for the project, worth $12.6 million USD, was announced in May 2011. It was annulled -- after numerous deadline extensions -- because none of the bidders could meet the tender conditions.

The Fergana Oil Refinery has a capacity of 5.5 million tons of oil a year and produces over 60 types of oil products.

The total capacity of Uzbekistan's three refineries - Bukhara, Ferghana and Altyarik Refinery - is 11.12 million tons.

http://www.ooskanews.com   

 

A delegation headed by World Bank Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist Pier Francesco Mantovani traveled to Uzbekistan in early November to discuss possibilities for improving water supply and wastewater networks in the Central Asian country.

Members of the mission met with representatives of the Tashkent-based Center for Economic Research for talks on water and wastewater supply, urban development and cooperation in the area of disaster risk management. 

The visit came as Uzbekistan was waiting for World Bank approval for $82 million USD in funding for the $113.5 million USD Alat and Karakul Water Supply project. Mantovani is team leader for the project, which aims to improve coverage, quality and efficiency of public water supply services in the Alat and Karakul districts of Bukhara province.

The bank's Board of Directors has not yet given approval for the project; it was expected to do so last week.

Mantovani previously served as team leader on the $62.33 million USD Bukhara and Samarkand Water Supply project, which was completed in 2010. The World Bank allocated $40 million USD and the government of Switzerland $9 million USD for the project.

The UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization's (UNESCO) Tashkent office and the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan organized a seminar on sustainable water supply during the World Bank delegation's visit.

Participants examined freshwater supply for urban communities, protection of springs and other freshwater sources, and promotion and introduction of technical innovations, among other issues, during the seminar.

They said existingregulatory and legal frameworks must be studied to determine specific approaches for freshwater supply in cities and other communities.

The seminar recommended establishing information an exchange system between the Uzbek government and local authorities, businesses and NGOs.

It also offered suggestions on amendments to the country's current legislation concerning water use.

http://en.trend.az   

 

The Japanese government has presented X-ray scanning equipment worth 360 million yen ($4.5 million) to Uzbekistan for screening freight trains at customs checkpoints on the border of Uzbekistan and neighbouring countries, Azerbaijani State Customs Committee (SCC) told Trend on Thursday.

The equipment is being presented as free assistance from the Japanese government and will be installed at Galaba railway station in the Surkhandarya region (south of Uzbekistan), where the risk of an influx of drugs and other illegal goods from Afghanistan and Tajikistan is high.

Installation of the new equipment will allow a quick and reliable system of customs control of freight wagons that will ensure better protection of the economic interests of the country, the State Customs Committee believes.

Earlier x-ray scanning equipment for the inspection of cars at the Ayriton customs post in the Surkhandarya region and the Oybek customs post in Tashkent region was presented as part of this cooperation.

http://en.trend.az   

 

The forecasted GDP growth in Uzbekistan for 2013 amounted to eight per cent, industrial production - 8.4 per cent, agricultural production - six per cent and capital investments - 9.3 per cent.

This was reported in a statement of the legislative (lower) House of Parliament of the Republic following a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Budget and Economic Reforms which considered the main directions of tax and budget policy and the draft state budget for 2013.

According to the information it is proposed in the main tax policy for 2013 to maintain the current tax rate, improve and develop the social infrastructure, the single tax payment for micro and small enterprises, value added tax and other mandatory payments.

Currently, the basic rate of income tax for legal entities is nine per cent, for banks - 15 per cent, a single tax payment for micro and small businesses instead of the total tax payment - five per cent and value-added tax rate of 20 per cent.

A one per cent decrease of the minimum tax rate on personal income which will reduce the tax burden for all categories of taxpayers, especially low income groups is expected in 2013.

'By further harmonisation of indirect taxes and resource payments it is expected to increase their share in the income of the state budget from 65.5 per cent to 66.8 per cent. As a result of the measures contained in the concept of tax policy, the tax burden on the economy will decrease by 0.3 per cent', a statement said.

The focus of the concept of fiscal policy for 2013 is given to social support and implementation of measures on a consistent increase of budgetary institutions employees' salaries, pensions, stipends and social allowances.

The report does not present the main parameters of the state budget, or the amount of its income and expenditure.

As previously reported, the government plans to spend more than 59 per cent of the expenditure budget to finance the social sphere.

It is planned to direct 22 per cent more budget funds for the financial support of the government compared to this year. The amount of the costs of centralised investments will increase by 23 per cent.

As previously reported, the state budget of Uzbekistan for 2012 was approved with a deficit of one per cent of the projected GDP, or 966.5 billion soum. The revenue to the amount of 21.1 per cent of the GDP (20 trillion 393.9 billion soum) and expenses are to the amount of 22.1 per cent of GDP (21 trillion 360.4 billion soum).

Official exchange rate on Nov 13 is 1960.00 soum / $1

http://en.trend.az   

 

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has provided a loan amounting to $37.04 million to the Uzbek government for the project on modernization of oncological institutions of the country, a representative of the Minisrty Of Health told Trend today.

IDB funds granted for a period of 14 years including a four-year grace period. They will be used to purchase modern medical equipment.

Total project cost - $83.2 million. The government will provide $46.18 million for its implementation, including 8.37 million - in the form of tax and other mandatory payments exemptions.

In the frame of the project the leading cancer centers in the country - the National Cancer Research Center and the Tashkent City Cancer Center will receive one linear accelerator, and the remaining dispensaries - computerized radiotherapy plants using cobalt, and simulators and planning systems needed to prepare patients for treatment.

In addition, the institutions will receive a set of diagnostic equipment, which will include the bronchoscope, duodenofibroskop, colonoscopy, computed tomography, ultrasound scanners with a resolution capability in 3D, as well as coagulating agents used in bloodless techniques during operations.

It is planned to allocate $32 million for the purchase of diagnostic and radiological equipment, and $7.3 million for the construction of a cancer center at Navoi and Tashkent, and $23.8 million for reconstruction and capital repairs of 13 cancer centers.

Uzbekistan joined the IDB in 2003. During this time the bank allocated about $300 million to the country for the implementation of 15 projects in the field of health, education, agriculture, energy, transport and support for private entrepreneurship.

Currently, IDB and the Uzbek government jointly implemented 10 projects with a total cost of $186.4 million with five projects worth $277.4 million underway.


Japan pledged Saturday to launch projects worth $700 million in Central Asia to help the resource-rich region promote trade, energy-saving and regional cooperation in stabilising nearby Afghanistan.

The commitment followed a meeting in Tokyo between foreign ministers from Japan and five Central Asian nations -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.


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