American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
Week in Review:
February 7, 2014 - February 14, 2014
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2014 Opens a New Era for the Chamber

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.  While 2013 concluded our celebrations for the 20th anniversary it also opened a new era for the chamber and our members.


We are delighted that today AUCC continues to be 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.


We thank you all for your support and engagement and look forward to another year of progress and business successes.  


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


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In This Issue:
Landmark Victory for Uzbekistan in World Bank Dispute
World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia Visits Uzbekistan
Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Environmental Conditions for Rural Residents in Eight Regions
Trade turnover between Uzbekistan and China exceeds US$4bn
Trade turnover of Uzbekistan and Iran exceeds US$350m in 2013

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.  


The Republic of Uzbekistan achieved  a major victory in Metal-Tech Ltd. v. The Republic of Uzbekistan, an investment arbitration before the World Bank's International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

In a unanimous award dated October 4, 2013, an arbitral tribunal comprising Gabrielle Kaufmann-Kohler, John Townsend, and Claus von Wobeser refused jurisdiction over Metal-Tech's request for more than US$170 million for alleged treaty violations, finding that Metal-Tech made corrupt payments to obtain its alleged investment in the Uzbek molybdenum industry. The claim, which Metal-Tech brought pursuant to the Israel-Uzbekistan bilateral investment treaty (BIT), is the first investment treaty case ever to be dismissed on corruption grounds; the only other ICSID case to be dismissed on that basis is World Duty Free v. Kenya, which was brought pursuant to a contract rather than a BIT.
Uzbekistan proved its allegations of corruption through the oral testimony of a key Metal-Tech witness and other circumstantial evidence of corruption. At the hearing on jurisdiction and the merits, Metal-Tech's witness admitted that Metal-Tech paid approximately US$4 million to three alleged consultants pursuant to agreements that predated Metal-Tech's investment. The tribunal thus concluded that Metal-Tech made its investment in violation of Uzbek law and the legality requirement in the BIT.
In another important ruling, the tribunal also agreed with Uzbekistan that Article 10 of its Foreign Investment Law on Guarantees does not entitle an investor to commence arbitral proceedings before ICSID. Several investors recently have raised ICSID claims against Uzbekistan based on this provision. Uzbekistan intends to rely on the tribunal's decision in Metal-Tech to defend against these claims.
This landmark award is a complete victory for Uzbekistan and a vindication of its investment framework, which has contributed to investment inflows while reasonably expecting investors to follow the rulesThis is an important decision which demonstrates that the conduct of investors matters in the investment treaty context. An investor whose investment is tainted by corruption cannot present claims to an international tribunal about alleged State misconduct.  


February 10, 2014


Laura Tuck, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, visited Uzbekistan on February 7-8. This was Ms. Tuck's first visit to Uzbekistan since becoming regional Vice President in September last year. The visit focused on the World Bank's ongoing partnership with Uzbekistan as well as priorities going forward. During the visit, Ms. Tuck held discussions with high-level government officials and visited a health project supported by the World Bank.

"We are pleased to see that Uzbekistan has demonstrated strong growth in the last several years, and that living standards of people in the country have clearly improved," said Laura Tuck. "We appreciate our long-term cooperation with Uzbekistan, which aims to ensure that the growth is sustainable and its benefits are shared across the population."

During the meetings with high-level government officials, Ms. Tuck reviewed the World Bank Group's current Country Partnership Strategy with Uzbekistan for 2012-2015, and noted that its implementation is largely on track, including provision of analytical and advisory services and delivery of projects. She also discussed the World Bank's cooperation with the government on the long-term national development vision "Uzbekistan Vis ion 2030", aimed at helping the country move to upper-middle income country status. Issues of water and energy in Central Asia were also discussed.

While recognizing the government's achievements in maintaining stable economic growth, sound fiscal management, and low level of external debt, Ms. Tuck also discussed issues where further progress is needed. "One of the areas where we would like to continue working with the government is greater openness and transparency, including better access to economic data," said Ms. Tuck.

As part of the trip, Laura Tuck also visited one of the primary healthcare clinics in Tashkent that participated in the World Bank-financed Health II Project. This project, which aimed to improve the quality and overall cost effectiveness of healthcare services in Uzbekistan, helped to deliver new medical equipment to more than 2,000 rural health clinics and provide training for almost 4,000 general health practitioners. One of the most important achievements of the project is its contribution to the introduction of per capita financing for primary healthcare.

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank's mission in the country is to improve people's livelihood by supporting economic reforms, contributing to the modernization of the country's social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan. The World Bank's current commitments to Uzbekistan amount to over US$1 billion.  


February 7, 2014


Today the World Bank and the Government of Uzbekistan signed a US$12.699 million grant agreement provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to finance the Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change Mitigation Project.

On behalf of Global Environment Facility the grant agreement was signed by Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank's Country Director for Central Asia, as the Bank is GEF's implementing agency.. "This Project will promote the introduction of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies of relevance to agribusinesses and farms, and strengthen capacity for improving degraded irrigated land and water conservation in Andijan, Bukhara, Jizzak, Kashkadarya, Samarkand, Syrdarya, Tashkent, and Fergana regions," said Mr. Jha.

According to Uzbekistan's Second National Communication on Climate Change (2010), intensive warming has been observed over the entire country. With further acute water scarcity predicted for extremely warm and dry years, flows in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya River Basins might decrease. The activities envisaged under the new GEF grant would contribute to mitigating and adapting to water scarcity, land degradation, and increased greenhouse gas emission risks.

The project components include: Promoting Renewable Energy Technologies (GEF US$9.0 million), Promoting Technologies and Practices to Mitigate Irrigated Land Degradation (GEF US$1.09 million), and Providing Advisory Services and Project Management (GEF US$2.60 million)

Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. The World Bank's mission in the country is to improve people's livelihood by supporting economic reforms, contributing to the modernization of the country's social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and experience with the government and the people of Uzbekistan. The World Bank's current commitments to Uzbekistan amount to over US$1 billion.  


February 13, 2014


Trade turnover between Uzbekistan and China exceeded US$4 billion in 2013, spokesman of Ministry of Commerce (MOC) of China Yao Jian said.

Xinhua agency reported quoting Yao Jian said that trade turnover between two nations grew by 58.3% year-on-year in 2013.

Yao Jian stated that trade turnover between Uzbekistan and China exceeded US$4 billion for the first time.

He underlined that it is expected that bilateral trade turnover between two states will reach US$5 billion point by 2017.

Chinese official said that China is interested in participation in projects on developing thermal power stations and non-traditional source of energy in the Central Asian states.

Yao Jian said that the Chinese official will adopt necessary measures to simplify trade and investments, spread electronic forms of trade and use of yuan in bilateral trade with Central Asian states.

China is ready to export of high technologic and machinery products to boost investment and technical-economic cooperation with Central Asia, he said.

China is also hopes to develop trade of raw oil and natural gas with the Central Asian states along with imports of agriculture products.  


February 11, 2014


Trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Iran exceeded US$350 million in 2013, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Ali Mardani Fard said on 10 February at the press conference in Tashkent.

Iranian envoy said that the statistic data of Uzbekistan and Iran on trade turnover differ, but summarizing them, it can be said that trade turnover between two states exceeded US$350 million.

Ali Mardani Fard added that the level of economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Iran does not correspond to potential of two nations. He said that Uzbekistan and Iran were planning to increase trade turnover up to US$1 billion, but sanctions against Iran hampered this plans.

Recalling progress in negotiations between Iran and western nations, he said that trade turnover between two nations will grow once sanctions are lifted.

Ambassador Ali Mardani Fard expressed his assurance that trade turnover will be higher this year and in future it will gradually grow up to planned level of US$1 billion.

Envoy underlined that economies of Iran and Uzbekistan always fulfilled each other. He said that two states signed agreements in transporting, trade and economy to develop mutual relations, he said.

Ambassador recalled that Uzbekistan and Iran signed agreements on air transportation, international automobile transportation, transit, railway transportation, etc.

The countries also signed agreement on cooperation of customs bodies, avoiding double taxation, mutual encouragement and protection of investments and others. He said that overall about 50 inter-governmental and inter-department agreements on cooperation in various areas were signed between Uzbekistan and Iran in 22 years.

The American-Uzbekistan
Chamber of Commerce
1300 I Street, N.W.,
Suite 720W
Washington, DC 20005
phone: 202.509.3744