American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce

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In This Issue:
Modernizing Uzbekistan's Water Sector - with Citizen Engagement
February 11, 2016

Uzbekistan has made substantial investments in upgrading its water supply and sanitation (WSS) services over the past decade, amassing the largest public borrowing portfolio for WSS projects of any country in Central Asia.
Despite such progress, the country's citizens continue to face challenges in accessing clean and reliable water services. For instance, the households of more than half the population (roughly 31 million people) remain unconnected to a piped water system.
A recent World Bank study, Social Impact Analysis of Water Supply and Sanitation Services in Central Asia: the Case of Uzbekistan, aims to assist the Uzbekistan government and WSS service providers in designing policies to improve the water sector - by providing information on consumer experiences and readiness for reform in Uzbekistan.
Statistics about access to WSS services tell us little about the quality of those services, and reliable evidence on the continuity of service, water quality and accountability of service providers is scarce in Uzbekistan. The study, therefore, builds upon this evidence base with much-needed citizen feedback and stakeholder views on WSS modernization needs.
In 2014, a team of Uzbekistan-based World Bank researchers conducted 17 focus group discussions with consumers, 19 in-depth interviews with government and WSS utility firm officials, and 10 household case studies across Uzbekistan. Comments and feedback by Uzbek citizens who participated in the focus group discussions are included in the study (read more here).

Uzbekistan, EU to create Council on foreign investments and trade
February 17, 2016

The EU and Uzbekistan plan to create a Council on foreign investments and trade in the first half of 2016, said Yuri Sterk, ambassador, head of the EU Delegation in Uzbekistan.
"Uzbekistan and the EU have huge untapped potential. The sides are negotiating to create a council on investments and trade for the use of this potential," said Sterk adding that it was discussed at the level of ministers for several times.
He noted that the creation of the Council will expand mutual beneficial cooperation between Uzbekistan and the EU in trade-economic, investment and financial-technical cooperation.
"The council could help to solve concrete projects, proposals to improve business climate in Uzbekistan," he added.
The envoy said that it is necessary to establish a mechanism of interaction of private businesses and state bodies of the EU and Uzbekistan to efficiently solve problems of businesses and eliminate barriers.
Uzbekistan and the EU signed an Agreement on partnership and Cooperation in 1996.
In July 2015, the EU approved the amount of aid to Uzbekistan for 2014-2020 in the amount of 168 million euros.

Uzbekistan, ILO outline cooperation for 2016
February 17, 2016

The Federation of Trade Unions of Uzbekistan (FTUU) and the International Labour Organization's (ILO) country office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia discussed the cooperation issues, FTUU said Feb. 16.
A FTUU delegation visited the ILO's country office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a statement said.
The results of implementing the joint action plan on cooperation of the FTUU Council with the ILO on behalf of the ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) and the Bureau for Eastern Europe and Central Asia and in accordance with the Decent Work Country Program of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2014-2016 were discussed during the visit.
The views on the areas of cooperation between FTUU and ILO's Bureau in 2016 were also exchanged during the meetings with the ILO specialists.
In particular, the specific joint activities were outlined for 2016. Among them are strengthening of the social partnership to implement the fundamental principles and labour rights, promoting of the expansion of decent employment opportunities and improving of working conditions and social protection.
Uzbekistan joined ILO in 1992.

Uzbekistan to sell 15% stake in companies to foreign investors
February 17, 2016

Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers by its decree has approved a list of joint stock companies, at least 15 percent of state share in the stock capital of which will be sold to foreign investors, according to the document published in the national media outlets.
The document has been adopted pursuant to the decree of the Uzbek president "On additional measures to attract foreign investors in joint stock companies" (December 2015).
Starting from July 1, 2016, joint stock companies in Uzbekistan will be formed only with at least a 15-percent share of foreign investors, according to the decree of Uzbek president Islam Karimov approved in December 2015.
The document provides for an exception of this requirement for joint-stock companies operating in the sphere of production and primary processing of strategic raw materials, as well as the subjects of natural monopolies and providers of socially significant services at regulated prices, the lists of which are approved by the cabinet of ministers of the country.
The joint stock companies created prior to the announcement, which do not ensure the mentioned 15-percent share of foreign investors, are subjected to transformation into other organizational and legal forms.
The joint-stock companies, where the share of foreign investor varies from 15 percent to 33 percent, will receive differentiated benefits when paying taxes on profits, property, improvement and development of social infrastructure, as well as when making mandatory contributions to the Republican Road Fund, depending on the investments made by a foreign investor.

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 American-Uzbekistan
Chamber of Commerce
1030 15th Street, N.W.,
Suite 555W
Washington, DC 20005
phone: 202.509.3744
[email protected] 

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