American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
  
Week in Review:
March 15, 2013 - March 22, 2013
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2013 Marks AUCC 20th Anniversary

Since 1993 the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce has been at the forefront of advancing trade and business relations between the US and the Republic of Uzbekistan. AUCC prides itself in catering to the needs of our members, providing them with a platform to interact with policy makers in the US and the Republic of Uzbekistan and ensuring that bilateral commercial relations continue to be on the governments' top agenda.   

 

For the last twenty years AUCC has been a vigorous advocate of the views of the business community to ensure that private sector positions are considered during the development of policies that impact American businesses and the future of U.S.-Uzbekistan relations.    

 

We are delighted that today AUCC is a well-known organization that is recognized for its strength and ability to work closely with a great number of partner organizations. AUCC enjoys excellent working relations with the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Washington, D.C., the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzbek ministries, associations and organizations as well as the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. AUCC also coordinates its efforts with a great number of international financial institutions, business councils and other professional organizations.

If your company is interested in joining AUCC, please contact our office at 202-509-3744 or [email protected]  We invite you to be part of our organization and participate in our activities and events.   

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In This Issue:
AUCC IN BRIEF
South Korea/Uzbekistan: Hyundai E&C-led consortium bags US$ 819 mln deal from Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan to build Afghan railway
Uzbekistan and EU discuss cooperation
Uzbek company completes constructing new clinker production line

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.

Hyundai Engineering & Construction, South Korea's top builder, said Wednesday a consortium led by the company has clinched a US$ 819 million contract to build two power plants in Uzbekistan.

Under the contract with state-owned power generation company Uzbekenergo, Hyundai E&C will build two 450-megawatt combined cycle power plants in Talimarjan, about 440 kilometers southwest of the Uzbek capital Tashkent.

The builder said it plans to complete the turnkey project in 37.5 months after work begins.

Hyundai E&C said the project will be financed by the Asian Development Bank, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Uzbek government.

Hyundai E&C said its consortium partner, Daewoo International Corp., a leading South Korean trading company, has played the role of a coordinator in securing the contract.

Daewoo International said it is set to be paid money worth 208.6 billion won (US$ 186 million) from Hyundai E&C, though no decision has been made on which currency it will receive. - PNA

Uzbekistan envisions a transportation project that could have big payoffs for it and its neighbour Afghanistan.

Uzbekistan Railways (Uzbekiston Temir Yullari or UTY) is conducting feasibility studies regarding plans to build an extension of the existing 75km Hairatan−Mazar-i-Sharif railway in Afghanistan. The project, slated to be done between 2013 and 2015, would boost economic ties with Afghanistan, analysts say.

In January, the company announced plans for a US $450m (914 billion UZS) 230km-long track extension that would connect Sher Khan Bandar - a Tajik-Afghan border checkpoint on the Panj River - with the existing track in Mazar-i-Sharif. From there, the track would go to Herat, where it would link to a still-incomplete track that should one day lead to the country's western border, UTY planning centre chief Navruz Erkinov told Central Asia Online.

The project would be developed and financed under the Central Asia Regional Economic Co-operation (CAREC) Programme and would pass through the Afghan cities of Kunduz, Kholm and Naibabad, he said.

Northern Afghanistan's 1st railway

"Uzbekistan has always helped, and will continue helping Afghanistan in restoring its economy," Erkinov said. "Transport projects are of particular importance for the two countries."

Uzbek workers helped restore the Mazar-i-Sharif−Kabul highway and restored 10 bridges on that route. In 2010, Uzbekistan started building the Hairatan−Mazar-i-Sharif railway - the first ever in northern Afghanistan - with the first trains running in late 2011.

"The most ambitious and strategically important project in the history of our bilateral relations, the Hairatan−Mazar-i-Sharif railway, has taken on the burden of freight transport on a vital route," Erkinov said. Once put into operation, the extended railway would become the "northern railway corridor," securing the uninterrupted transportation of Uzbek, Tajik, Afghan and international cargo across Afghan territory.

Track will stimulate economy

Such a corridor would be of great benefit to Afghanistan and surrounding countries, analysts agree.

"The economic and strategic expediency of such a railway has long been evident," Uzbek political scientist Valery Khan said. "It will open up more opportunities for Afghanistan to develop economically, logistically and otherwise, including the promotion of the country's regional ties."

"Railway construction should change Afghanistan considerably by boosting its imports, exports and industry," he added. "Transport network expansion will stimulate Afghan business, and Afghan goods will appear in the neighbouring countries' markets."

Logistical challenges

Those advantages notwithstanding, Afghanistan would have to overcome some technical hurdles, UTY engineer Pavel Sychev told Central Asia Online.

"Apart from building up its rolling stock and training the railway staff, Afghanistan will have to solve the problem of the difference in railway gauge," he said. "The situation is fairly complex, because direct train transit is impeded by the different track widths used by the neighbouring countries."

Pakistan's railway gauge (1,676mm), for example, is wider than that of the Central Asian countries, he said, adding that the new railway, even in Afghanistan, will have standard Uzbek gauge of 1,524mm throughout for the sake of consistency and operational simplicity. "Switching from one track width to another would require building special switch stations," he said.

Once officials solve all their logistical problems, their efforts should pay off, Dmitry Verkhoturov, an analyst with the Centre for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, told Central Asia Online.

"There isn't a single country around Afghanistan that would not benefit from the development of Afghan domestic railways," he said. "The prospects are great: Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan will get the shortest access to the sea, and transit of ... Pakistani goods to Europe will be enabled."

Erkinov agreed, saying that UTY already is seeking more projects, such as a potential Kunduz-Kabul-Jalalabad railway.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan and the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Patricia Flor discussed the state and prospects for the development of cooperation in the political, trade, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian fields, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan on Monday said.

As reported, Patricia Flor heads the EU delegation, which arrived in Tashkent yesterday.

During a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, the sides discussed the implementation of the EU strategy in Central Asia, joint programs and projects.

As noted, at present, Uzbekistan and the EU have established a solid institutional framework in the form of joint bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies.

Uzbekistan's relations with the European states develop at the bilateral level and within the framework of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the Republic and European Communities and their Member States, which entered into force on July 1, 1999.

The dialogue between Uzbekistan and the European Union is conducted within the five joint bodies: the Cooperation Council, the Cooperation Committee, the Parliamentary Cooperation Committee, the Subcommittee on Trade and Investment, the Subcommittee on Justice, Home Affairs and other related issues.

Total trade of Uzbekistan and the countries - members of the European Union in 2012 exceeded $ 2.3 billion. There are 875 enterprises established in the republic in various sectors of the economy with European capital.

Uzbekistan and the EU hold regular dialogue between government agencies and civil society institutions within the reform of the judicial system and liberalization of the criminal law.

The sides exchanged views on certain international and regional issues.

The meeting was attended by the Head of the EU delegation in Uzbekistan Ambassador Yuri Sterk.

Uzbek "Bekabadcement" company has completed a new clinker production line worth $ 62 million, a representative at the Uzbek Construction Materials company told Trend on Wednesday.

The source said that the design capacity of the new line is 850,000 tons of cement clinker per year, which will increase Uzbek cement production capacity by one million tons per year.

Cement clinkers will be produced with a "dry" method, ensuring a higher energy efficient level.

Chinese China CFMC Engineering Co. Ltd is the general contractor of the project.

The project was financed by the enterprise's own funds.

"Bekabadcement", one of the oldest enterprises in the Uzbek cement industry, was commissioned in 1926. Currently, the design capacity of the plant is 818,000 tons, clinker - 654,000 tons per year.

The Uzbek State Committee on State Property Management began controlling Bekabadcement last July.

There are six cement plants with a total capacity of about seven million tons in Uzbekistan now; including the largest ones - "Kizilkumcement" - 3.15 million tons, "Akhangarancement" - 1.74 million tons, "Kuvasaycement" - 1.107 million tons.

According to the official statistics, cement production in Uzbekistan increased by 1.5 percent to 6.8 million tons in 2012 compared to 2011.


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