| |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 [email protected] We invite you to be part of our organization and participate in our activities and events.
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.
June 21, 2014
Uzbek government has approved the "road map" for financial and economic recovery of loss-making enterprises, which are part of the "Uzbekneftegaz" National Holding Company (NHC) including Ferghana and Bukhara refineries, the company`s representative told Trend.
The program on the recovery of the Ferghana and Bukhara oil refineries ("Roadmap") envisages the measures on the reduction of cost price of the production, reduction of consumer receivables, as well as increase of production volumes and capacity utilization due to the import of raw materials, the source said.
It is expected that as a result of the program's implementation net profit of the Ferghana oil refinery will amount to 5.2 billion soums on the results in 2014 compared to 224.5 billion soums of net loss in 2013.
The net profit of the Bukhara oil refinery is projected in the amount of 10.2 billion soums compared to the net loss of 226.8 billion soums in 2013.
It is assumed that the measures on the improvement will allow to increase the capacity utilization of the Fergana refinery up to 33.5 percent by end of the year compared to 25.9 percent in 2013, and Bukhara Oil Refinery - up to 64.7 percent compared to 64.4 percent last year.
It is planned to process 500,000 tonnes of imported oil on tolling conditions at Ferghana refinery this year, and some 328,000 tonnes of gasoil on a give-and-take basis.
The export of the Ferghana refinery is planned in the amount to $86 million this year versus $49.4 million in 2013.
At present, oil and gas condensate processing is carried out in Ferghana, Altyaryk and Bukhara refineries. Due to the scarcity of raw materials refineries do not operate at full capacity.
Ferghana and Altyaryk fuel-oil plants have the processing capacity of 5.5 million tonnes and 3.2 million tonnes of oil per year respectively.
High-quality types of gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel are produced at the Bukhara refinery. The projected processing capacity is 2.5 million tonnes of gas condensate per year.
Due to the depletion of the resources in Uzbekistan in the recent years the production of liquid hydrocarbons including oil is reduced . In 2012, oil production decreased by 17.4 percent - up to 1.561 million tonnes.
In January-March 2013, oil production decreased by 19.8 percent compared with the same period in 2012 - up to 345.250 tonnes.
The statistics on the production of hydrocarbons for later periods have not been reported.
"Uznefteproduct" (a part of "Uzbekneftegaz") is the owner of the Ferghana, Altyaryk and Bukhara refineries which implement processing of raw hydrocarbons. The company has a network of oil depots, transshipment terminals, gasoline stations as well as the company also engage in the sale petroleum products.
Uzbekneftegaz NHC is the monopoly operator of the oil and gas sector of Uzbekistan. The company was established in 1998 and comprises six joint stock companies.
The official exchange rate on June 20 is 2308,39 UZS / USD.
June 21, 2014
President Park Geun-hye returned home Saturday from a three-nation trip to Central Asia focused mainly on expanding economic ties and winning support for her vision to tie Eurasian nations together through infrastructure development and trade.
The six-day trip to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan led to the signing of a series of agreements calling for closer cooperation on major economic projects currently under way as well as new projects in areas ranging from energy and power to infrastructure and agriculture.
In Uzbekistan, Park and President Islam Karimov agreed to push for new joint projects in gas development and solar power.
The agreement, if realized, would lead to South Korean participation in a US$4 billion gas development project in the Bukhara region of central Uzbekistan, and in the construction of a 100 megawatt solar power plant in Uzbekistan's second-largest city of Samarkand.
During the visit to Kazakhstan, the two sides signed a contract under which the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company will pay the South Korean side US$18.8 billion to buy all of the electricity generated from a coal-fired power plant to be built jointly in the southern Kazakh city of Balkhash.
In Turkmenistan, two memorandums of understanding (MOU) were signed on the construction of a $2 billion gas-chemical plant in the Seydi District of Lebap Province in northeastern Turkmenistan, and a refinery converting natural gas to liquid fuels such as kerosene and diesel. The gas-to-liquids project is worth $3 billion.
Park's visit to Central Asia came eight months after she proposed the "Eurasia initiative" as a key part of her administration's foreign policy agenda.
The initiative calls for building more infrastructure and freeing up trade between Eurasian nations to create what could become a large single market rivaling the European Union.
Closer economic cooperation could also foster peace on the Korean Peninsula and lay the groundwork for a "Silk Road Express" that connects South Korea to Europe via North Korea, China and Russia, among other nations.
In Kazakhstan, the two sides signed an MOU calling for South Korean participation in the modernization of Kazakhstan's railways, which could lay the foundation for the envisioned Silk Road Express.
June 24, 2014
Starting a business in Uzbekistan now only takes 15 minutes.
Ever since the government launched a business-friendly website at the beginning of the year, small-business people have been able to register a new company without having to wait several months or to collect heaps of various documents.
"Reducing the burden of paperwork and of bureaucracy ... is essential in promoting business, and this is an area where we've made visible progress in the past few years," Justice Ministry spokesman Salimjon Dosmatov told Central Asia Online.
The government has also worked to remove legal barriers that hinder economic activity because "The first thing a would-be entrepreneur considers is the difficulty of keeping documents in order and of passing official inspections," Dosmatov told Central Asia Online.
For example, the government in May imposed legislative restrictions on the passing of new rules and regulations capable of hindering entrepreneurs.
"As of June 1, any bill, act or decree regulating business activity will be screened for clauses potentially complicating entrepreneurship; if any such clauses are found, the document will be forwarded to the Justice Ministry for review," Dosmatov said. "If complications happen to be unavoidable, the new rules will take effect no sooner than three months after they are published on official websites."
Simplifying business owners' lives
Online business registration has been praised for simplifying the process.
"Thanks to this innovation, Uzbekistan ranks 21st in ease of 'Starting a Business' according to the World Bank," Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan official Feruza Zufarova said. "Anyone can register a business online through the Common Portal of Government Services. To become an entrepreneur, you won't have to meet with a single government official."
The system is part of the on-going introduction of e-government. An entrepreneur can file all documents online, sign them electronically and pay with a debit card.
"The procedure takes only 15 minutes!" Zufarova said. "To make registration even simpler, we are planning to reduce the fees for registering your business online and to eliminate many other requirements."
Moving to online options
Businesspeople have been actively using online instruments.
Since January, the number of entrepreneurs' complaints and applications filed through the Common Portal has nearly doubled compared to the number of such documents filed during the same period last year, saving time, money and the environment.
"The State Tax Committee [GNK] this year has been able to save about 5 billion UZS (almost US $2.2m) and about 100 tonnes of paper," GNK spokesman Aleksandr Tsoi told Central Asia Online.
To launch a business in Uzbekistan is relatively inexpensive: an individual entrepreneur has to pay a registration fee of 92,000 UZS (US $40); a limited liability company, the country's most popular form of business, pays 460,000 UZS (US $200).
"When I was starting up my business in 1998 ... it was very difficult and required a lot of documents," Tashkent entrepreneur Muzaffar Nazimov, who sells clothing, said. "Every official demanded money, threatening otherwise to shut down my business."
"Today, the situation is drastically different," Nazimov said. "We feel protected by the state, and the opportunity to file reports and complaints through the Common Portal has truly lightened our load."
"I never even imagined it would be that easy [to work]," Abror Muminov, general director of a Tashkent restaurant, who registered his business online, said. "For the first two years, all the newly established companies, including my own, are exempted from tax audits. So nobody's going to bother me."
The results of legislative innovations also show in the National Business Perception Index of Uzbekistan - a list of rankings compiled by the Tashkent-based Centre for Economic Research based on polls of 700 entrepreneurs from across the country.
"The National Business Perception Index for the first quarter of 2014 recorded the highest figures ever," Zufarova said. "Companies are reporting an increase in product orders and profits."
June 27, 2014
MONDAY, JUNE 30, 2014
GREATER HOUSTON PARTNERSHIP
1200 SMITH, SUITE 700, HOUSTON, TX 77002
OR (202) 509-3744
JUNE 24, 2014
Roundtable Meeting with
Uzbek Ambassador to the
H.E. Bakhtiyar Gulyamov
This event offers excellent opportunities for Texas-based companies in the oil and gas, agriculture, water management, machine building, chemical, engineering and other sectors to develop new foreign market that can increase exports and profits.
Located in Central Asia, Uzbekistan is home to almost 30 million people, has rich natural resources base, and enjoys annual GDP growth of 8%. The country's established infrastructure and well-skilled workforce are an attraction to AUCC members, including Boeing, CNH Industrial, Coca-Cola, FMN International, General Electric, General Motors, Harris Corporation, Honeywell, Indsur Stelcor, Inc., Lockheed Martin, Nukem Inc., Rio Tinto, Solar Turbines, Sustainment Solutions, Inc., White & Case LLP and Zeppelin International AG (authorized Caterpillar's distributor), and many others.
Please join our discussion with H.E. Ambassador Bakhtiyar Gulyamov on commercial opportunities and how to make the first step towards doing business in Uzbekistan.
Networking and Registration
Welcome Remarks by
Genaro Peņa, Vice President
International Investment and Trade
Greater Houston Partnership
Opening Remarks and Overview of Uzbekistan's Economic and Business Potential by
H.E. Bakhtiyar Gulyamov
Presentation on Opportunities in Uzbekistan
by Laziz Kudratov, Trade and Investment Counselor
June 27, 2014
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) would like to announce the launch of the 2014 Tech-I competition. For the first time this year, the competition is open to Central Asian applicants.
This competition is the flagship program of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology Initiative.
The competition, Tech-I, is focused on young scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs, aged between 18-40 years old, who have either an idea or startup in the subject areas of agriculture, energy, health orinformation and communication technologies.
The application is simple, requiring the submission of an executive summary of 750 words and a 90 second video. This year 86 countries are eligible to apply and following an initial expert panel review applications then go to the public vote. The top 30 finalists will then win an all-inclusive paid trip to Morocco to participate in the Finals at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. At the finals, applicants will have the opportunity to win up to $15,000 USD in individual funding, up to $70,000 USD in total prize money, a year membership to AAAS, and every finalist will also receive up to 3 months one-on-one mentorship with top experts in their field or subject of interest.
This is an exceptionally exciting competition and here at AAAS we are extremely excited to ensure that all who are eligible to apply have the opportunity to do so.
Application deadline is July 21, 2014.
For more information regarding the competition, please feel free to visit www.aaas.org/tech-i. Application materials and information is available in Arabic, Russian, French, and Spanish.
For access to promotional materials related to the competition, please visit www.aaas.org/tech-i/outreachtoolkit.
Chamber of Commerce
1300 I Street, N.W.,
Washington, DC 20005