American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce
BUSINESS NEWSLETTER
  
Week in Review:
 
February 6, 2015 - February 13, 2015
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Dear AUCC Members and Friends:

 

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a prosperous New Year! 

 

We would like to express our gratitude to all AUCC members who, through all these years, have proven to be Uzbekistan's true allies and have been nothing but dedicated, reliable, honest and most conscientious business partners inspired to expand the bilateral relationship, business climate and promote development to enhance the lives of the people of Uzbekistan and the US.  

 

Our companies recognize that despite the global economic slowdown, Uzbekistan has managed to secure successfully greater macroeconomic stability and growth.  We applaud the Government of Uzbekistan for their continuous process to improve the operating business environment that US companies benefit from and fiscal discipline that has enhanced economic growth.  We greatly appreciate our own US Government for their continuous dialogue with their Uzbek counterparts on how to use trade and investment engagement as a pillar of the bilateral relations.

 

We stand ready to use our business acumen to facilitate the Uzbek and US Governments' efforts to attract more American companies and helping those who are already here generate even more success stories for the world to hear. We hope for the US and Uzbek Governments' support in helping us multiply our achievements and generate more projects and contracts that will make our nations achieve greater prosperity, stability and higher rates of development. 

 

Happy Holidays!  May 2015 bring greater prosperity to the American and Uzbek people. 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Carolyn Lamm, AUCC Chairperson

Timothy McGraw, AUCC President

 

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:

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.

AUCC

February 12, 2015 

 

Uzbek Ambassador Bakhtiyar Gulyamov held a meeting with members of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce on February 12, 2015.  During the first meeting of the year, the Ambassador briefed the chamber's companies on the upcoming Presidential elections that will take place on March 29, 2015 and highlighted the importance of the elections to the people of Uzbekistan.  In addition, Ambassador Gulyamov outlined the Uzbek Government views on the US-Uzbekistan business relations and highlighted opportunities for US companies to expand the scope of commercial cooperation between our two countries.

 

Cihan

January 30, 2015 

 

By his decree President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has approved the new composition of the Cabinet of Ministers.

It was previously reported that in accordance with the constitution of Uzbekistan, the Cabinet of Ministers abdicated for the newly elected parliamentary composition, but continued working until the new government formation.

Shavkat Mirziyoev was approved in the position of prime minister in accordance with the resolution of the legislative chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis (upper house of the parliament) of Uzbekistan as of January 23 upon the president's decree.

Thus, the prime minister, the head of the complex on agriculture and water resources, processing of agricultural products and consumer goods - Shavkat Mirziyoev, first deputy prime minister - minister of finance, the head of the complex on macroeconomic development, structural reforms, attracting foreign investments and integrated development of territories - Rustam Azimov were approved by the presidential decree.

Muzraf Ikramov was appointed the justice minister, while Khurshid Mirzakhidov headed the new Ministry for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications.

Currently, the post of the minister for culture and sports affairs is vacant.

Moreover, under the president's decree Galina Saidova was approved as Economy Minister, Elyor Ganiev - Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, Aziz Abdukhakimov - Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Population, Shukhrat Teshaev - Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources, Kabul Berdiyev - Defense Minister, Adham Ahmedbaev - Interior Minister, Abdulaziz Kamilov - Foreign Minister, Anwar Alimov - Health Minister, Alisher Vakhabov - Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Ulugbek Inoyatov - Minister of National Education, Tursinhan Khudaibergenov - Minister of Emergency Situations.

Under the country's constitution, the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Karakalpakstan is included in Uzbekistan's Cabinet of Ministers.

 

Eurofruit

February 12, 2015 

 

Uzbekistan is poised to export more of its fresh produce to Europe after exporters from the country reportedly signed trade deals worth more than US$3m at the recent Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin.

With the backing of a special UN development programme, which is working to improve competitiveness and capacity in the country's horticultural sector, a number of Uzbek companies were able to present their fresh produce to international buyers at the show, introducing products including melons, pomegranates, apples and dried fruit and vegetables.

The country's government recently announced the start of a five-year project aimed at reducing the amount of land used to grow cotton and turning it over to production of fruit, vegetables and potatoes.

The scheme also allows for the building of more than 2,000 coldstorage facilities in Uzbekistan, offering potential capacity for up to 1.3m tonnes of fresh produce - a figure which officials say could eventually increase to 2m tonnes.

"Our companies not only demonstrated Uzbekistan's potential in agricultural sector and showcased their main achievements in this area, but also benefited from the opportunity to establish new contacts and gain valuable knowledge on the demand of the European market for fruits and vegetables," said Akmalhon Olimhonov, deputy director of Uztadbirkoreksport, one of the export companies exhibiting at the show.

Representatives from two other companies, Yaypan Agro Export and Livadia-Bukhara, said that meetings held during the exhibition had provided a good platform to learn more about new methods of processing, storing, packaging and branding fresh fruit and vegetable, information that will be used to expand the country's production and exports further.

According to UN officials involved in the project, encouraging small businesses in Uzbekistan to export their products will help expand domestic production, creating new jobs and improving the wellbeing of people in the country, particularly in rural areas.

Later this month, the inaugural meeting of a new Uzbek-German Business Council - apparently set up at the invitation of German companies impressed with Uzbekistan's potential during the recent International Green Week event - will take place, also in Berlin.

 

Central Asia Online

February 11, 2015 

 

Uzbekistan is striving to promote industry-driven economic growth with an ambitious plan for 2015-2019.

The cabinet plans to increase industrial production 1.5-fold by attracting investment and renovating facilities. It is stressing seven principles for the economy in the next five years, with the top one being far-reaching renovation of all leading industries.

"We'll increase their efficiency," said cabinet spokesperson Bakhtiyer Turabekov. "We'll implement international management standards and modern information technology. It will make our industry competitive overseas."

Other government priorities include eliminating obstacles to private enterprise, reducing the economic role of government, and learning to manufacture goods that Uzbekistan presently has to import, Turabekov said.

Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev runs the project.

"We've set specific goals," said Economy Ministry spokesperson Mamadali Fattakhov. "They include mastering the technology to manufacture about 1,000 new goods, increasing production 1.5-fold, and increasing industry's share of GDP to 27%."

"One indirect result will be the creation of more than 50,000 jobs ... Almost 500 factories will be modernised and about 400 factories will be built from scratch," he said.

Uzbekistan set a promising tempo in 2014, when its gross domestic product (GDP) grew 8.1% and industrial production 8.3%.

Learning from past efforts

The government is trying to benefit from past experience by focusing efforts on manufacturing only competitive goods.

"The main difference between this programme and all previous [ones] is that we drew up a list of goods to manufacture," Fattakhov said. "We'll make only those that can be competitive overseas, like consumer goods, hydrocarbon products, textiles, etc."

Officials are also hoping to continue to lure investors by offering tax breaks and establishing special economic zones.

"We plan to raise US $38 billion (93 trillion UZS) in investments [during the plan]," said Abdullo Kakhkhorov, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade.

"Investment in the Uzbek economy grew 10.9% last year [compared to 2013] and exceeded US $14.6 billion (35.7 trillion UZS) in 2014," he said. "Investors preferred high-tech manufacturing over exports of raw materials. Last year, 154 enterprises built with investors' capital began operation."

The fruits of last year's economic push include an auto assembly plant in Khorezm Province, a cement plant in Jizzakh Province and a textile plant in Karakalpakstan.

"The Angren, Navoi and Jizzakh special industrial zones have become centres of industrial development," Fattakhov said. "We're offering investors there a wide variety of tax breaks. They'll have a ready-made transport and engineering infrastructure waiting for them."

Easing the way for private business

Another top priority is enabling private business to flourish.

"Any unwarranted interference in small businesses' affairs by government agencies will be eliminated," Turabekov, the cabinet spokesperson, said. "We'll lift various restrictions. Small businesses must have easy access to lines of credit and other resources."

The government also intends to reduce the difficulty of obtaining government services, like approval of permits, by opening single-window service centres for business owners in every city and district, he said.

Some business owners already can see the changes.

"I am very satisfied with the way reforms benefitted small business last year," Tashkent furniture factory owner Anton Magai said. "First, we entrepreneurs gained the opportunity to register companies via ... the e-government website. The most important thing is that we can file our taxes electronically. We used to have to do that in person, piling up excess paperwork."

Government officials expect another strong year of growth, forecasting 8% GDP growth in 2015. 

 


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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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