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

October 11, 2013 - October 18, 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
US Senate Confirms Nisha Desai Biswal to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs
Several Multifaceted Documents Signed Following Uzbek President's Visit to Latvia
Uzbekistan to Announce Tender to Modernize Two Hydro Plants for $165m
Prime Minister: Uzbekistan Plans to Provide Mechanized Harvest of up to 90 per cent of Cotton by 2016
World Bank: Emerging Europe and Central Asia is on the Rebound

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.

senate.gov  

 

October 16, 2013

 

NOMINATIONS CONFIRMED (CIVILIAN) The following civilian Executive Nominations were confirmed by the Senate during the current congress. Nominations flagged with an asterisk were approved subject to the nominee's commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate. The nominations are listed to reverse chronological order based on the date of confirmation. 

 

[Extract.  Full list can be found here]

 

October 16, 2013 PN688 * DEPARTMENT OF STATE Nisha Desai Biswal, of the District of Columbia, to be Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs. 

en.trend.az  

 

October 18, 2013

 

Uzbekistan and Latvia have signed several agreements following talks between the Uzbek and Latvian Presidents Islam Karimov and Andris Berzins, the Uzbek National Information Agency (UzA) said on Friday.

President Karimov paid a state visit to Latvia at the invitation of President Berzins on October 16-17.

During the talks, the two presidents discussed the prospects of bilateral relations and analysed the main areas of cooperation in the political, financial-economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres and exchanged views on important regional and international issues.

It was stressed that Uzbekistan and Latvia are important and reliable partners. The main document was signed following the talks was the presidents' joint statement.

Moreover, an intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in the field of health and medical science was signed.

The Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade and the Latvian Ministry of Transport and Communications signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the field of transport and transit and a memorandum of understanding on measures promoting bilateral trade relations.

The Uzbek and Latvian Foreign Ministries signed a cooperation programme for 2014-2016.
The Uzbek State Committee for Nature Protection and the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development signed an agreement on environmental cooperation.
National company Uzbektourism and the Latvian Tourism Development Agency (TAVA) signed a memorandum on cooperation in the field of tourism.

During the visit, Karimov got the Latvian highest state award the 'Cross of appreciation' of the first degree, while the Latvian president received one of Uzbek's highest awards the 'Buyuk xizmatlari uchun' ('For great merit').

Cooperation has been established in the fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking.

The sides stressed the similarity of approaches and positions of Uzbekistan and Latvia on all discussed issues.

The Uzbek and Latvian presidents have focused on issues of trade-economic, investment and humanitarian cooperation.

timesca.com  

 

October 18, 2013

 

Uzbekistan's state energy company Uzbekenergo in November will announce a tender for modernization of two hydro power plants in the Tashkent region, the company said.

"Prequalification selection has been extended until the end of October, and a tender to select general contractors will be announced in the first half of November," a company representative said. 
A project to modernize the Farkhad HPP and HPP #14 of the Lower Bozsui Cascade provides for replacement of generators and turbines, electrical and communication equipment. The project will increase the total generating capacity of both plants by 17.3 MW. The project is to be completed in three years. 
The $165.7 million project will be financed by the Islamic Development Bank ($100 million) and funds from Uzbekenergo. 
Uzbekenergo is currently considering six projects worth $215 million to modernize hydro power plants. In particular, modernization of HPP cascades in the Samarkand, Tashkent, and Fergana regions will replace their technological equipment in two years and increase their total generating capacity by 15 MW. The projects will be financed through loans from international financial institutions and money from the Uzbek side. 
Uzbekistan now has 45 power plants with a total generating capacity of 12.4 thousand MW. Their electricity generation potential is 57 billion kWh a year.

en.trend.az  

 

October 16, 2013

Uzbekistan plans to provide mechanized harvesting of 80-90 per cent of cotton by 2016, Uzbek Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at the International Uzbek Cotton and Textile Fair, which kicked off on Wednesday in Tashkent.

Over 1,000 cotton-picking machines manufactured at the Tashkent Tractor Plant (TTP) are participating in this year's cotton harvest, Prime Minister said.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev underlined that the Uzbek machine builders have created fundamentally new cotton picking machines, which for technical specifications, pricing and service options meet the needs of farmers.

The TTP is scheduled to manufacture some 3,000 cotton-picker machines in 2014. New machines were for the first time presented at the Cotton and Textile Fair.

"We continue to work to improve the cotton harvesting machinery. At the moment six more modifications of the cotton harvesting equipments, where modern technical solutions were used, are being tested," Mirziyoyev said.

Up to 50,000 cotton harvesting machines were working at Uzbeksitan's cotton fields till 1991, some 70 per cent of the harvests were carried out by the mechanized means.

Tashselmash plant, specializing in the production of cotton harvesting machinery, was annually producing up to 7,000 machines, a part of which were exported.

Uzselkhozmash-holding, which united enterprises of agricultural engineering was liquidated in 2008 by Uzbek President's decree. Tashselmash plant was also liquidated and production of cotton pickers was discontinued.

Uzbekistan holds sixth place in the world on cotton fibre production and third place in the export. Uzbekistan annually produces around 3.5 million tons of raw cotton and 1-1.2 million tons of cotton fibre. Over 95 per cent of the cotton account for medium fibre bred varieties with a fibre length of 32-33 millimetres, and the rest account for long fibre at 36-39 millimetres. 

worldbank.org  

 

October 11, 2013

 

[Abstract.  Full text is here]

 

Economic growth in the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region suffered during the global financial and Eurozone crises but has started to rebound, with projected modest growth rates of 2.2. percent in 2013 and 3.1 percent in 2014, World Bank officials said at a press briefing during the 2013 World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. However, compared to other regions in the world, the ECA region has had the slowest recovery of growth and remains vulnerable to risks in a dynamic global economy. 

"Today we have both good news and bad news", said Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice-President for the Europe and Central Asia region. "The good news is that the risk of a crisis in the Euro Area has receded and Europe is slowly coming out of recession, which is having a ripple effect on the Emerging Europe and Central Asia region. The bad news is that new financial risks, including from the United States, are emerging, hindering the already timid recovery."

The Good News

There are signs of a rebound, especially in Central and Southeastern Europe (CSEE), which will materialize in stronger growth in 2014, when growth is expected to double from its anemic pace in 2012 and 2013. Growth in the CSEE countries was only 0.8 percent in 2012, and is projected to be 0.9 percent in 2013. For 2014, it is expected to accelerate to 2.0 percent of GDP.

On the other hand, the economies of Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which are less dependent on the Euro Area, have seen stronger growth (4.4 percent average annual growth for the period 2009-2012, compared to 1.9 percent in CSEE). For 2013, growth for the CIS economies is projected to reach 2.4 percent of GDP, despite a slowdown of the Russian economy to 1.8 percent. Turkey's economy is projected to grow by 3.6 percent this year. For 2014, the Bank projects 3.5 percent growth for CIS economies (3.1 percent for Russia) and 3.5 percent for Turkey.

The Bad News

Still, emerging financial risks, including those from the United States, are hindering the recovery in the ECA region. After the US Federal Reserve's suggestion of tapering off in May of this year, capital flows into Emerging Europe and Central Asia dried up, yields moved up, stock markets fell sharply, and currencies weakened. These factors affected those ECA countries with large current account deficits that are vulnerable to inflows, including countries of the Western Balkans, Armenia, and Belarus.

The Tough Reality

"The tough reality is that the central problems in the economies of Emerging Europe and Central Asia are of structural nature and require domestic, structural solutions," added Laura Tuck. "Governments in the region need to take action on key challenges such as creating new jobs, addressing issue related to the aging population, and managing their natural resources."

Unemployment has remained persistently high - more than 10 percent in Central Europe and it keeps rising in the Western Balkans, where more than one out of 5 workers is now looking for a job. Policy-makers are tasked with creating more and better jobs, which will require a multi-sectoral approach that goes beyond traditional labor market measures and regulations.

"Better incentives are needed for people to move into formal jobs, especially for low-wage earners and part-time workers," said Hans Timmer, World Bank Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia region. "In particular, tax systems have to become progressive and designed in a way to allow this move into the formal sector. Additionally, countries should undertake reforms and policies to improve the environment for existing and new firms to thrive and create jobs, and to support workers to be more adaptable, ready-to-work, and mobile so they can tap into new job opportunities."

Managing natural resources in a sustainable and responsible way is a challenge that affects resource-rich countries of Eurasia, such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. A forthcoming World Bank report to be launched next month in Moscow says the resource-rich economies in Eurasia will need to build better institutions to be successful in the long run. The report calls on resource-rich countries to diversify their asset base with investments in human capital, institutions and infrastructure.
The World Bank is helping its ECA client countries address these and other challenges to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity through policy dialogue, analytical work, project funding, and reimbursable assistance services.

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