American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
  
Week in Review:
 
August 29, 2014 - September 5, 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 [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
French court supported Uzbekistan's position
IDB approves US$ 987 million for new development projects
On the participation of the delegation of Uzbekistan in the upcoming NATO Summit
Uzbek senate adopts law on commercial secrets

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.

Uzbek Embassy  

 

August 30, 2014

 

The UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and their Property established the principle of state's immunity from foreign jurisdiction. It is based on internationally recognized norms of state sovereignty as well as the recognition of sovereign equality of states provided in the UN Charter.

In accordance with this principle, the immunity is applied to a foreign state, its organs and property. Thus, a foreign state cannot be defendant in courts of another state, subject to its consent. A foreign country, acting as a plaintiff cannot be brought a counterclaim without its consent. It is not allowed to arrest the property of a foreign state to maintain the claim.

Hence the immunity of foreign states from the jurisdiction of courts of another state and executive enforcement action is recognized in national legislation of most countries, including Uzbekistan. In spite of this, in practice there are still illegal attempts to attract the state to civil liability for the obligations of independent legal entities. In particular, the case on confiscating the property of Uzbekistan under liabilities of "Uzdon" company, which is an independent legal entity, was initiated in Paris, France in 2008. Swiss Romak S.A. initiated the case.

Business cooperation, which resulted in judicial proceedings, started in mid 90's when Romak S.A. signing trilateral agreement with "Uzdon" of Uzbekistan and "Adil" of Kazakhstan on supply of wheat. Under the contract, the Kazakh firm had to pay for supplied wheat to "Uzdon" under its debt to the Uzbek side on another contract. But as "Adil" did not deliver a dispute arose between Uzdon and Romak S.A.

In line with provisions of a trilateral agreement "Uzdon" refused payment to the Swiss company which initiated an arbitration against "Uzdon" at Grain and Feed Trade Association (GAFTA) in London. One to lack of experience in such proceedings, "Uzdon" failed to defend its interests at the arbitration and GAFTA awarded decision in favor of Romak S.A.

Swiss company presented this decision to the Paris city court for execution it in line with the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards. The court recognized the award and adopted a decision on its execution in the territory of France.

In violation of the principles of the UN Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property that does not allow arresting the property of a foreign state in maintaining the claim, Romak S.A. initiated the procedure on enforcement of arbitration award against the property of Uzbekistan. Under the Swiss company's demand, court officials arrested banking account of Uzbekistan at HSBC.

The decision was protested by Uzbekistan at the court of the first instance. The Uzbek side presented its argument to the position of Swiss company, which violates international law. In particular, representatives of Uzbekistan proved the independence of "Uzdon" company from state and government. They also pointed that there is no basis neither in international law, nor in national legal systems of France or Uzbekistan, to attract the state to joint liability of independent legal entities.

Irrefutable evidences of legal and financial independence of "Uzdon" from the state were presented by the Uzbek side. It was noted that "Uzdon" has its own detached property, legal status, management that acts directly on behalf of the company.

During consideration of the case, Uzbekistan relied on the principles of international law that provide immunity of state from jurisdiction of foreign courts and do not allow confiscation of state property. It was noted that the banking account, which Swiss company wanted to be arrested had been opened by Uzbekistan to accumulate payments for air navigation services in the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Agreeing with the arguments given by the Uzbek side, the court of the first instance in Paris considered the case and on 18 March 2011 adopted a decision in favor of Uzbekistan. The court stated that a state is may not be responsible for liabilities of independent enterprises.

Expressing dissatisfaction with this decision, Romak S.A. undertook an unsuccessful attempt to appeal to the Court of Appeal of Paris which also recognized the legitimacy of Uzbekistan's position, pointing out that state has immunity and property of the state cannot be confiscated or involved in a commercial transaction, in which the dispute arose.

Another defeat in the court did not affect the determination of the Swiss company and in 2012 it filed a complaint to the Court of Cassation of Paris city. On March 5 2014, the Court of Cassation rejected the claim by Romak S.A. and upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal of Paris, thereby confirming that the state will not be and should not be responsible for the acts of other independent legal entities operating on its territory.

According to experts, decision of the Cassation Court of Paris city indicates the validity of previously adopted decisions in favor of Uzbekistan by other courts and demonstrates the futility of attempts to hold the state accountable for contractual obligations of enterprises established by it. Even if a state has its share in the authorized fund of a company, according to the law, the state, like any other shareholder of an enterprise, is responsible for its obligations only within its share. The state property may not be affected because of a dispute between two business entities.

Furthermore, these judicial decisions once again proved in theory and in practice the principles of state's immunity in terms of being liable, and gave answers to a debate on the boundaries of liability for the obligations of state for the actions of public enterprises or enterprises with state shares in the authorized fund.

D.Ahmedov - Head of Information-Analytical group on International Arbitration of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

M.Rahmanova - Chief Specialist of Information-Analytical Group on International Arbitration of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Islamic Development Bank  

 

August 27, 2014

 

At their 299th meeting, which commenced on Sunday, 24 August, the members of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) have approved US$ 987 million of financing for new socio-economic development projects in member countries and Muslim communities in non-member countries.
The approvals included several major projects such as: US$ 226.8 million for Development of Sharm El-Sheikh International Airport as well as US$ 198 million for the Assiut Oil Refinery Upgrade in Egypt; US$ 179.3 million for the Construction of Olama-Bingambo Section of the Olama-Kribi Road - Cameroon; US$ 176 million to Wadi Dayqah Water Supply Project - Oman, and US$ 100 million for the Construction of Modern Rural Housing Project (Phase-1) - Uzbekistan.
Other approvals were; US$ 50 million Line of Finance for the Africa Finance Corporation (an international institution based in Nigeria), US$ 26.7 million for the Construction of the Southern Coastal Highway Project (Phase V) - Lebanon, US$ 20 million for the Construction of Kushar Washha Road Project - Yemen, US$ 10 million Two-Step Installment Sale Facility in favor of the Government of Uganda to be used by the Uganda Development Bank to finance small and medium size projects as well as US$
550,000 as grant under IDB's Waqf Fund for three educational and vocational projects in Cambodia (US$ 150,000), Italy (US$ 200,000) and Vanuatu Republic (US$ 200,000).
IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, who chaired the meeting, stated that the Board reviewed a report on the administrative and organizational arrangements of the 39th annual meeting of the Board of Governors as well as the IDB 40th anniversary celebrations held in Jeddah, KSA, in late June. 

The Board also expressed appreciation to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, for generous sponsorship of the ceremonies and to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz - for gracing the opening of the event underlining that this greatly impressed the participants, and best displayed the support rendered to the IDB Group by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

The Members of the Board further commended efforts by various departments in the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and by the IDB Group staff that immensely contributed to the success of the events. Implementing the ten year strategic framework of the IDB Group approved by the Board of Governors and the proposed plan of action were discussed at the meeting as well. 

According to IDB President, a report was presented to the Board on the ongoing Strategic Partnership between the Bank and its Member Countries. The Board Members also discussed the action plan and budget outlines for the year 2015 comprising Ordinary Capital Resources as well as the programs within the framework of the Waqf Fund, the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), trust funds, and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD).
On the occasion of the 299th meeting of the Board of Executive Directors, a special ceremony was held to honor the nine Board Members who completed their term of three years and to welcome the new members who were elected for the next three years. The IDB Board of Executive Directors comprises 18 members nine of whom represent groups of member countries for three-year terms while the other nine members are appointed by the major shareholders of the Bank.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan  

 

September 3, 2014

 

On September 4, 2014, at the invitation of the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov to attend the session on Afghanistan in the next Summit of the Alliance in Wales (UK).

Trend  

 

August 29, 2014

 

Uzbekistan's Senate adopted the "Law on Commercial Secrets" at a meeting held Aug. 28, Trend correspondent reported from the meeting.

Introducing the law to senators, Mamazoir Khujamberdiyev, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Sports, said the adoption of the law is due to the need to ensure freedoms and rights in the information sphere in accordance with democratic reforms.

"These concepts, which include such components as freedoms and rights to acquire and disseminate information and own ideas, are a cornerstone for the bases of establishing a democratic society in Uzbekistan," Khujamberdiyev said.

When developing the draft law it was taken into account that the business entities, during their activity, accumulate different amounts of confidential commercial information.

That is why it is important to elaborate on information security in exercising the business entities' rights to protect their property and personal non-property interests by means of preventing unauthorized access to the information on commercial or other secrets.

In particular, the law specifies the wording that explains its goals, gives definition to the concepts of "commercial secret" and "confidential information", "owner", "confidant", "commercial secret regime", "commercial secret protection", "transfer of commercial secret", "access to commercial secret" and others.

The senators, who discussed the law, said during the debates on Khujamberdiyev's speech that this document aims to ensure the legal regulation of issues of considering information as commercial secret, its systematization and delivery.

The draft law's provisions are designed to enhance the protection of the business entities' economic interests in a competitive market.

Realization of the law's norms will create favorable conditions for effective work of business entities, motivate further development of information technologies, manufacturing innovations, know-how and innovations, and will ultimately contribute to economic growth.


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The American-Uzbekistan
Chamber of Commerce
 
1300 I Street, N.W.,
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Washington, DC 20005
 
phone: 202.509.3744
 
[email protected]

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