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Secretary of State
Benjamin Franklin Room
August 3, 2016
SECRETARY KERRY: Well, good morning, everybody, and welcome to the State Department.
Last fall, we convened the first meeting of the C5+1 - we being the +1 - in Samarkand, which is an ancient crossroads of culture and commerce, where we discussed modern challenges of economic prosperity and global security and how to address them. And the six of us engaged in a very frank and important dialogue about how best to counter violent extremism in each of our countries, how to spur sustainable growth across Central Asia, and how to reverse environmental degradation in the region and combat climate change worldwide.
It was really a precedent-setting meeting and I think the first time we have gathered the five Central Asian countries with the United States in an effort to figure out how we can cooperate more effectively and how we could engage in mutual development enterprises. And in fact, we are now going to be able, in the course of the day, to announce major steps forward in that regard.
What our discussion showed was really how broad our relationships are, and they extend beyond just government cooperation to include partnerships between U.S. businesses and sectors in each of the nations represented here, all of which deal with clean energy, information technology, financial services, and more. And this component of our collaboration is going to continue later today when each of the ministers here will meet with Energy Secretary Ernie Moniz and American executives in order to explore new opportunities for investment.
I think the fact that the six of us are sitting here like this in Washington talking about these issues underscores what President Obama and Prime Minister of Singapore Lee were saying yesterday about the global market and the realities of the global world, the global exchanges that we all are engaged in in today's world. More than anything, our inaugural gathering of this group established the C5+1 as a vital platform for action designed to protect our citizens, build shared prosperity, and strengthen the diplomatic ties between us.
So today, we hope to make further progress through a new regional approach built around initiatives on counterterrorism, trade and investment, economic development, and clean energy. And one program that we will do is initiate a dialogue within the Global Counterterrorism Forum to assist Central Asian states in combating radicalization and reduce the threat that is posed by foreign terrorist fighters. A second project is aimed at increasing trade in key sectors of our economies and making our economies more competitive. A third will center on improving the transportation and logistics sectors that are essential to a healthy and a dynamic marketplace. And finally, the U.S. will partner will each of the countries here to develop cleaner renewable energy sources that can power everybody's future while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
So we intend to support each of your nations as you adapt to the new standards that are needed to head off the threats that are posed by the warming of the planet by global climate change. And to help these efforts get off the ground, I can announce today that the United States intends to invest $15 million in this initiative in order to make sure that we get it off the ground as rapidly and effectively as possible.
The cooperation in each of the areas that I have just talked about is essential, but make no mistake - our work together is not going to prevent us from continuing the dialogue that we've already engaged in on other issues of concern, including the need for transparency and accountability in governance and the importance of such basic human rights as freedom of religion, speech, and association.
What is clear is that all of the measures that we are going to discuss this morning are rooted in mutual interests, and they are focused on the same goal that has been at the forefront of our relationship for these past 25 years, and that is a focus on a region that is secure, prosperous, and well governed. Every one of the steps that we are talking about grows out of a fundamental principle of our foreign policy: that we support without hesitation the sovereignty, the territorial integrity, and the independence of each Central Asian state. And all of the states, I believe, and all of the principles that we are organizing around are intended to help form the foundation of a lasting partnership between the United States and your countries.
Meeting our shared aims is going to demand a common effort. It's going to demand working effectively together. It's going to demand a commitment. It's also going to demand our skill as diplomats. A 11th-century poet, Yusuf Khass Hajib, once wrote, a diplomatic "envoy ought to be the choicest of mankind, wise, intelligent, and courageous" - describing everybody here, right? (Laughter.) Today that's a high standard, obviously. But I think that without any humor I would say that we need at this moment in the world's current trajectory to find all the wisdom that we can and all the strength and courage that we can. There are tough choices, but I am convinced that we can make great progress on all of the challenges that we share together. And I really look forward to working with each and every one of you in that effort [to read more, click here
The operator of Incheon International Airport said Aug. 4 it has completed a feasibility test on building a new passenger terminal in Uzbekistan's Tashkent airport.
Incheon International Airport Corp. launched the study in January after signing a contract with the Korea International Cooperation Agency, which is the country's official development assistance provider.
The project was first outlined in May last year, when South Korea's President Park Geun-hye held a summit with her Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov during his visit to Seoul.
Karimov had asked Seoul to help upgrade the country's international airport.
Following the study result, some US$454 million will be injected into the project, which is slated to open in 2020, according to the IIAC. With the new terminal, the airport is expected to host an estimated 5.7 million users annually.
Moody's Investors Service is maintaining its stable outlook on the Uzbek banking system, reflecting its expectation that operating conditions for Uzbekistan's banks will stay accommodative, Uzbekistan's official information agency Jahon reported citing Moody's.
The outlook expresses Moody's expectation of how bank creditworthiness will evolve in Uzbekistan over the next 12-18 months.
"Uzbekistan's banks continue to benefit from a growing economy with well-diversified export revenues," the agency quotes Olga Ulyanova, a Vice President and Senior Analyst at Moody's. "As a result, banks in Uzbekistan are somewhat shielded from the volatility characteristic of some other countries in the CIS."
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts real GDP growth of 5% for Uzbekistan in 2016, with growth supported by increasing gas exports to China, strong domestic demand from continued public infrastructure spending, and wage increases.
As a result of this benign operating environment, Moody's expects problem loans to remain stable over the outlook period at 4%-5% of total loans. In addition, the rating agency does not expect sector-wide credit losses to exceed 1.5% of banks' average gross loans over the next 12-18 months, in annualised terms.
Uzbek banks' problem loan ratio declined to 3.5% at year-end 2015 from 3.9% a year earlier, owing largely to nearly 25% loan growth over this period.
Funding and liquidity metrics for the country's banks will stay stable, underpinned by domestic customer deposits and long-term government funding.
Profits for Uzbek banks will likely continue to be healthy over the outlook period, according to Moody's, as continued strong borrowing demand boosts net interest income, and fee and commission income also remains solid.
Invitation to Attend
ANNUAL BUSINESS FORUM
8.00 am - 4.00 pm
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Keynote address by:
Deputy Assistant Secretary
Michael A. Lally
U.S. Department of Commerce
U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Uzbekistan
U.S. Embassy Tashkent
(agenda to follow)
Please join us at the 2016 U.S.-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum in Tashkent, which is a signature event by the AUCC member-companies.
The AUCC delegation to Uzbekistan will be led by the chamber's Chairperson Carolyn B. Lamm and President Steven T. Nadherny. We are pleased to announce that Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce Michael A. Lally will travel to Uzbekistan with AUCC member-companies to give stronger boost to our efforts and further promote bilateral trade dialogue. Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, Elyor Ganiev, is expected to represent the Government of Uzbekistan.
"We are delighted to take our signature event to Uzbekistan this year and have DAS Michael Lally's support and participation. Without a doubt, AUCC is the best example of the Private-Public Partnership and the most effective conduit for the US bilateral trade with Uzbekistan. AUCC has successfully channeled our assessment and vision of the country's technological and industrial modernization through the forum and used it as a platform to declare our readiness and will to better serve the interests of the American and Uzbek peoples," said AUCC Chairperson Lamm. "The chamber sincerely hopes that our commercial aspirations will continue to be supported by the Governments of the US and Uzbekistan that have both outlined business and commerce as a pillar of their bilateral agenda. We are grateful to DAS Michael Lally for his leadership and attention to this part of the world," added AUCC President Nadherny.
AUCC is a private, non-governmental, 501 (c)(6) trade association that was established in 1993 in Washington, DC. The chamber is the oldest business group in the US and the Republic of Uzbekistan that exclusively represents commercial interests of the US corporations before the governments of our two countries.
to indicate your interest in the event. Registration deadline is Monday, September 26, 2016.
VISA, HOTEL AND TRANSPORTATION IN TASHKENT:
AUCC will provide assistance with visa, hotel and transportation for AUCC members and guests. Please contact AUCC at [email protected] for details.
Free for AUCC members (will be verified) and US Government representatives.
$1,000 per person for all other guests and participants - The fee is non-refundable.
Click here to make a payment and register for the event.
Chamber of Commerce
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