American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
  
Week in Review:

April 26, 2013 - May 3, 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
Uzbekistan, U.S. intend to enhance legal framework of cooperation
Uzbekistan has high potential for investment cooperation
Uzbekistan to improve energy, agriculture sector
Uzbekistan: The Economics of Efficiency
S. Koreans to build energy plants in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan

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.

en.trend.az  

 

Representatives of the Foreign Ministry of Uzbekistan and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matthew Murray on Thursday discussed the practical aspects of enhancing the legal framework of the Uzbek-American cooperation, the Foreign Ministry said.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on cooperation in trade, economic and investment spheres.

Currently, 200 enterprises with the participation of the U.S. capital operate in Uzbekistan. Representatives of business circles of Uzbekistan and the United States are interested in the implementation of new mutually beneficial projects, including the establishment of joint high-tech production in various sectors of the economy.

The meeting was attended by U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Uzbekistan, Philip Kosnett.

www.timesca.com  

 

On April 24th-28th, the 6th International Investment Financial Forum took place in Tashkent. As part of the forum the 6th International Conference on Insurance and Reinsurance and the 2nd International Conference on Banking, Leasing and Portfolio Investments were held.
Over 600 representatives of domestic and foreign insurance companies, leasing, accounting and investment companies, banks, and rating agencies, from 40 countries, participated in the forum.
Besides issues related to the investment and financial sector, the social and economic development of Uzbekistan in industries such as oil and gas, petrochemical and chemical, energy, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, information technology and telecommunications, metallurgy and mining, producing construction materials, textiles , leather and food, the pharmaceutical and medical equipment industries, portfolio investment and tourism, were considered at the forum.
As Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov stated at the government meeting on the results of 2012 and the priority areas of the country's development for 2013, $11.7 billion of domestic and foreign investment were raised in 2012, which is 14 percent more than in 2011.
Additionally, about 10 legislative acts were passed to create a favorable investment climate and to improve the business environment, including Presidential Decrees on the comprehensive reduction of statistical, financial and tax reporting, licensable types of activity, as well as further improvement of the business environment and providing greater freedom of entrepreneurship.
Increased tax benefits are now provided for investors and exporters.
Unprecedented conditions are now provided for the development of industries in the free industrial economic zone Navoi, the special industrial zone Angren, and the newly created special industrial zone Jizak.
Measures taken to improve the investment climate have generated a significant increase in the amount of foreign direct investment. The annual growth rate in the volume of foreign investment is more than 20%.
Minister of Economy Galina Saidova in her speech at the forum said: "Uzbekistan is among only five countries which during the past five years have shown high rates of economic growth, about 8% a year on the average. The program for industrial development is being implemented, which includes more than 500 large scale investment projects worth nearly $50 billion. In addition, Uzbekistan is characterized by macroeconomic stability: the country has a budget surplus, а surplus of foreign trade balance and a surplus of payment balance. The foreign debt of Uzbekistan in recent years ranges from 11% to 16%, which is one of the lowest in the world according to international standards. Uzbekistan's domestic debt is equal to zero."
Structural reforms in the economy are impossible without a radical improvement of the entire infrastructure of the country. As it was stated at the forum, Uzbekistan has been gradually implementing the program of constructing the national highways, which includes 2,300 km of roads.
Great importance is attached to the development and modernization of the railway industry. Today more than 1,000 km of railways are under rehabilitation and over 80 km of new railway lines are under construction.
It was decided that a new railway will be built that will link the center of Uzbekistan and the Fergana valley. The Angren-Pap railway is in the design stage with an estimated cost of about $2 billion.
According to Kazem Kakher, a regional manager of General Motors in Uzbekistan: "Active work of numerous joint ventures in Uzbekistan, established together with U.S. partners, in particular GM Power Train Uzbekistan JV for engine manufacturing, is a vivid example of the consistent development of bilateral relations. It is facilitated by the favorable investment environment in Uzbekistan and broad benefits and preferences provided for foreign investors."

Elyor Ganiev, the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan, emphasized the high interest of foreign partners in the development of relations with Uzbekistan and their readiness to establish mutually beneficial investment cooperation. "The opportunities for expanding investment cooperation with Uzbekistan are unlimited," he said.

centralasiaonline.com 

 

Uzbekistan is calling for soil improvement and a new power station, media reported.

President Islam Karimov signed an April 19 resolution approving a 2013-2017 plan to improve the condition of irrigated soil and to manage water resources, Norma.uz reported April 29.

Among its provisions, starting May 1, land rental agreements for new orchards, vineyards and melon plantations must include arrangements for drip irrigation and other water conservation methods.

The resolution also calls for arestoration of the Department for Managing the Foundation for Improving Irrigated Soil.

Meanwhile, Karimov April 26 said Uzbekistan would build a new US $1 billion (2 trillion UZS) heating and power station in Turakurgan District, Namangan Oblast, 12news.uz reported April 27. The plant will have a capacity of 900MW and will help guarantee adequate electricity for Fergana, Namangan and Andijan oblasts, he told the Andijan Oblast parliament.

http://www.worldbank.org

 

Uzbekistan is scaling up an ongoing energy efficiency project, investing an additional $100 million in the country's industrial sector. This new loan is expected to save more than 200,000 MWhs and reduce CO2 emissions in the country by 400,000 tons. Energy efficiency measures being introduced by the Energy Efficiency for Industrial Enterprises Project are expected to save the country more than $2 billion in coming years.

Over the last two decades countries throughout the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region have been making great strides in decreasing their overall energy intensity, improving energy efficiency, and reducing the economic, environmental, and social costs of their energy sectors. Between 1990 and 2007 energy intensity in ECA declined by 32% overall and ongoing measures throughout the region continue to contribute to these efforts.

One key area of improvement which has led to these reductions in both cost and energy usage in countries throughout ECA is energy efficiency. Aging equipment, outdated technology, and continuing problems such as gas flaring all contribute to significant inefficiencies in the energy sectors of many countries throughout the ECA region, including Uzbekistan.

Policy makers in Uzbekistan have made reductions in energy consumption and conservation of energy key economic priorities for the country. The energy sector is a pivotal area for economic growth in the country - accounting for nearly 50% of capital investments in Uzbekistan, contributing 7% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and generating more export revenue than any other sector - and energy efficiency is a key area of improvement to stimulate this growth. 

Uzbekistan is one of the most energy intensive countries in the world, meaning that improvements in efficiency can have large economic benefits. Outdated equipment and technology throughout the country results in more than 60% of the primary energy mobilized to provide energy services being lost in processing and delivery systems. Gas flaring is also a pervasive problem in Uzbekistan - resulting in losses of $500 million (3% of GDP) in 2011.

As part of its efforts to address these issues, the government is working with the World Bank Group to introduce a series of energy efficiency measures designed to save the country more than $2 billion over the coming years through the implementation of the Energy Efficiency for Industrial Enterprises Project and a recently approved additional credit for this project. Introduced in 2010, this Project is already having a tangible impact on the energy sector in the country. When this initial phase of the Project is completed at the end of 2014 - one year earlier than previously projected - the country will have saved 50,000 MWhs and will reduce its carbon emissions by 150,000 metric tons, through the rehabilitation of distribution stations, the replacement of boilers and other outdated equipment, and the implementation of other energy efficiency measures.  Read more here.   

http://centralasiaonline.com 

 

The Uzbek government and South Korean company Kogas have signed an agreement to build the Ustyurt Gas Chemical Plant in northwestern Uzbekistan, the Times of Central Asia reported April 29.

Construction, estimated to cost US $3.9 billion (8 trillion UZS), began in 2012, with the plant's commissioning expected in late 2016. It is expected to process 4.5 billion cu. metres of natural gas annually and also to produce tank gas, polyethylene and polypropylene.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev April 30 signed an agreement for South Korean companies to build a 1,320MW thermal power station in Balkhash, Novosti-Kazakhstan reported April 30, citing the presidential press office.

The hydro-power plant is expected to cost US $4 billion (600 billion KZT) and be operational by 2018. The Korean contractors are Korea Electric Power Corp. and Samsung. Samsung announced it had won the contract in a press release last June.


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The American-Uzbekistan
Chamber of Commerce
 
1300 I Street, N.W.,
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phone: 202.509.3744
 
[email protected]

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