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Information Digest 12 (January 19, 2014)

THE SESSION OF THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
President Karimov Attends Cabinet Meeting
 
ECONOMY
Domestic Business is Sees Upswing
 
ELECTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
UzLiDeP nominates its candidates to post of President, PM
PDPU will nominate a candidate of Hatamjon Ketmanov at presidential election
The SDPU "Adolat" will nominate a candidate Nariman Umarov for presidential elections
DPU "Milliy Tiklanish" will nominate Akmal Saidov candidate for the post of the President of Uzbekistan
Political parties submit documents to participate in presidential elections
Political parties submit documents to participate in presidential elections
 
TOURISM
Double-decker buses start their operation in Tashkent city
 
SPORT
Uzbekistan beats Saudi Arabia to seal spot in Asian Cup quarterfinals
 
 
THE SESSION OF THE CABINET OF MINISTERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
President Karimov Attends Cabinet Meeting
The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan convened for an extended meeting on January 16 to discuss the outcomes of socio-economic development in the country in 2014 and the crucial priorities of economic program for the year 2015.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov delivered a keynote speech at the session.
The head of our state noted in particular that despite the negative impact of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis, slowdown in the growth rates of world economy and aggravation of processes of stagnation and recession in many countries around the planet, steadily high rates of economic development have been achieved in Uzbekistan owing to the well-directed and systemic implementation of important priorities of the economic program for 2014.
The gross domestic product of the country in 2014 grew by 8.1 percent, production of industrial goods increased by 8.3%, while that of agricultural products swelled by 6.9 percent. Volumes of capital construction grew by 10.9% and that of retail turnover enlarged by 14.3 percent. Ready goods with higher added value accounted for around 70 percent of manufacturing.
The inflation rate was at 6.1 percent, considerably low in comparison with forecast parameters. The national budget was fulfilled with surplus at 0.2 percent of the GDP, with tax burden lowering from 20.5 to 20.0 percent of the GDP and the income tax rate reduced from 9 to 8 percent.
The transformation and consolidation of the banking system created essential prerequisites for the reduction of Central Bank refinancing rate in 2014 from 12 to 10 percent and the corresponding decrease in the interest rate in the loans of commercial banks. Within the last years, leading international rating agencies have been evaluating the activities of Uzbekistan’s banking system as “stable”.
As a result of the implementation of the well-thought-out active investment policy for the wide-ranging modernization, technical and technological upgrading of production capacities, social, transportation and communications infrastructure, the volume of investments into the economy increased by 10.9 percent and reached 14.6 billion U.S. dollars in the equivalent. In this respect, more than 21.2 percent of all capital investments accounted for foreign investments and loans, three fourths of which were direct foreign investments. In excess of 73% of all investments were assigned for production construction. Outfitted with cutting-edge high-tech equipment, 154 major facilities totaling 4.2 billion dollars were commissioned in leading sectors of the economy.
Realization of measures was continued to support and stimulate the domestic exporter manufacturers, to boost the competitiveness of their goods and explore new markets. As a result, the external trade balance closed with surplus at 180 million U.S. dollars, while the gold-currency reserves increased by 1.6 billion dollars.
Systemic measures have been put into action to improve the business environment and create even more favorable conditions for the development of small business and private entrepreneurship, including the introduction of the principle of “one window” in setting up business, maximum simplification of the mechanism of providing statistical and tax reports by small business entities, considerable expansion of access to raw resources for private entrepreneurs. As a result, the share of small business in the GDP grew from 31% in the year 2000 to 56 percent, and from 12.9% to 31.1 percent in industrial production.
The share of services in the GDP enlarged from 53 to 54 percent. Among the high-tech services, the most intensively advancing have been communications and information services, which grew 3.3 times within the last five years, and by 24.5 percent in the previous year.
Dynamic and well-balanced advancement of economy has instituted a robust ground for a steadfast elevation of the living standards of population. The wage of public sector employees, retired pensions and student stipends grew by 23.2 percent last year. Real per capita incomes increased by 10.2%. Some 1 million jobs were created in 2014, 60 percent of which accounted for rural areas, while more than 600 thousand graduates of education institutions were employed.
In his report, President Islam Karimov offered a detailed and comprehensive analysis of the existing unaddressed problems and expounded on the policy tasks directed at executing the most critical priorities and dimensions of socio-economic development of the country for 2015. The government, ministries, other agencies, economic associations and hokimiyats of all levels got tasked with the adoption of necessary measures dedicated to further maintain the high economic growth rates, enhance the structural reforms in the economy, modernize and actively diversify the leading sectors of the manufacturing industry, enhance the production localization, promote transportation and engineering-communication infrastructure. Organizational measures were identified to further reduce the government presence in the economy down to strategically and economically reasonable scopes, to cardinally transform the principles and approaches in the system of corporate governance, remove all the barriers and restrictions, provide for total freedom on the way of development of private property and entrepreneurship, and create an environment conducive for securing the employment of population as well as growth in living standards.
Special significance was attached to ensuring the realization of policy measures to further the goals and tasks for this year determined in connection with its announcement as the Year of Attention and Care for the Senior Generation, including measures to provide for worthwhile attention and comprehensive support for the elderly people, first of all, the veterans of the war and labor front of 1941-1945, uplift the standards and quality of their medical and social services rendered for them, provide the needy with auxiliary and technical means of rehabilitation, bolster the system of organization of work and leisure for the older generation of people.
Heads of Cabinet of Ministers complexes, ministries, other government agencies, organizations and regional hokims spoke to address the issues on the agenda. The discussions at the government meeting produced decision that included practical measures to secure the realization of crucial priorities in the economic program of the country for the year 2015.
 (Source:  Press Service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
 
ECONOMY
Domestic Business is Sees Upswing
It stands to reason that Uzbekistan has focused on small business and private entrepreneurship. The experience of many European countries has shown that the development of this sector makes economic model more flexible and efficient.
The experience of the leading industrial countries of Europe - Germany and Italy – might serve as an example: the share of the so-called ‘small economy’ there accounts for 60-70% of gross domestic product. About 95% of all enterprises there are small and medium; they employ over 50% of the total workforce. 
Uzbekistan has already made some tangible progress on this path. In the first nine months of 2014, small businesses produced 52.9% of GDP, which is 1.7% more YOY. The sector provided jobs to 9.8 million people or 76.5% of all employed in the economy. This is the result of the measures on streamlining of the legislation and creation of effective mechanisms of support small business and private entrepreneurship. Over the past years Uzbekistan has canceled more than 160 licensing procedures, and reduced the number of businesses subject to licensing by 25%. The forms and frequency of submission of the statistical, tax and financial reporting by business entities to state authorities have been reduced by 1.5-2 times. 
The establishment of the Small Business Export Support Fund under at the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan in 2013 is another important step in this direction. In a short term it has turned into an effective mechanism of promoting products of ‘small economy’ in foreign markets. Last year alone, the Fund provided organizational, legal and financial assistance to 2,400 entrepreneurs. As a result, they signed contracts for $1.25 billion. Besides, 699 business entities exported goods and services worth more than $840 million. 
These figures have shown the results of the work of the Fund’s experts on the study of the demand at the global and regional markets, and establishment of cooperation with trade organizations from Europe, CIS, Middle East and Asia. In addition, the Fund supports the domestic manufacturers in participation in major international trade exhibitions, business forums and cooperative exchanges at home and abroad, they expand the geography of export, seek for customers, and conclude contracts. Last year, over eighty entrepreneurs participated in fairs and exhibitions in Germany, China, Turkey and other countries, contracting on export of goods and services worth $67 million.
The promotion of domestic goods for export is anticipated to expand. It largely depends on effective scheme of work with small businesses. If entrepreneurs seek for the Fund’s support they need to provide information about their products, annual production, pricing and range. With regard to the data available, experts send business offers to foreign customers with the subsequent delivery of product samples.
Uzbek entrepreneurs are assisted in exports related marketing research, in drafting contracts, processing of payments, customs registration and shipment. Many enterprises operating in the regions have been studied jointly with the O’zstandard agency in order to introduce quality management systems (QMS). The Fund is currently financing the phased introduction of the QMS at 54 enterprises in compliance with international standards.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
 
ELECTIONS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
UzLiDeP nominates its candidates to post of President, PM
Political Council of the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businessmen - Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP) held a session on 15 January 2015.
The session considered participation of the party in elections to the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan and regional, district and city Councils of People’s Deputies.
It was noted that UzLiDeP won 52 seats in lower house of parliament, 305 seats (38%) in regional Council of People’s Deputies, 1,805 seats (35%) in district (city) Councils. The party formed its faction at Legislative Chamber and MPs Groups at the Councils. The party discussed implementation of pre-election campaign of the party.
The session also discussed participation of UzLiDeP at presidential elections on 29 March 2015. The participants considered nomination of candidate to the post of the President of Uzbekistan. Incumbent President Islam Karimov was nominated as candidate to the post of the President of Uzbekistan from UzLiDeP.
It was noted that Uzbekistan achieved significant growth under the President of Uzbekistan and the party believes that started reforms should be continued. The party adopted decision to nominate Islam Karimov as a candidate to the post of the President.
UzLiDeP also adopted to hold a session of the party on 6 February 2015 to consider issues related to presidential elections. The Political Council of UzLiDeP adopted decision to submit necessary documents to the Central Election Commission to participate in presidential elections.
In line with article 98 of the Constitution of Uzbekistan, the party, which won the most seats in Legislative Chamber, can nominate the candidacy of Prime Minister. UzLiDeP received such right to implement this article for the first time.
The session adopted decision to recommend to the President of Uzbekistan a candidacy of incumbent Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyayev to the post of Prime Minister.
(Source: UzDaily.com)
PDPU will nominate a candidate of Hatamjon Ketmanov at presidential election
The II plenary session of the Central Council of the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan took place on January 15, 2015.
It was attended by members of the Central Council of the PDPU, officials, members of the party in the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, heads of the territorial councils of the party, party activists and media representatives.
The agenda of the plenary session included issues about the tasks to ensure adequate participation of the party in the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan; the nomination of a candidate for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the PDPU; on the organization of the collection of signatures in support of a candidate; the convocation of the IX Congress of the PDPU  and its agenda; the standard of representation and the election of delegates of the Congress.
The Chairman of the Central Council of the PDPU Hatamjon Ketmanov made a speech at the Plenary session.
The party leader Hatamojn Kemtanov drew particular attention to the objectives of ensuring adequate participation of the party in the election of the current year, based on the interests of the electorate, program goals and ideas of the party with full use of the equal rights and opportunities created for political parties in the result of democratic reforms.
In particular, recommendations were given on such important issues as the provision of all polling stations with the election agenda of the candidate and provided by law other literature, establishing the active participation of party organizations during the election campaign period, especially paying attention to quality, effectiveness of promotional activities aimed at raising public awareness about such an important political processes in our country, the selection of the authorized representatives, observers and authorized persons.
The meeting also discussed another issue of the agenda - the nomination of a candidate for the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the PDPU.
In this regard, the Party proposed to nominate a candidate Hatamjon Ketmanov to the post of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, supported by voters, supporters and activists of the party.
The participants paid special attention to the issue of the organization of the collection of signatures of voters supporting the participation of the party in the elections. Opinions were expressed concerning the organization of joint activity of the party organizations and parliamentary groups in this process, the full observance of requirements of legislation in this direction.
The Plenum comprehensively discussed issues about the convocation of the IX Congress of the Party and its agenda, as well as about the standard of representation and the election of delegates of the Congress.
(Source: UzReport.uz)
The SDPU "Adolat" will nominate a candidate Nariman Umarov for presidential elections
The second plenary session of the Political Council of the Social-Democratic party of Uzbekistan "Adolat" was held on January 16, 2015. It was attended by members of the Political Council, the Central auditing Commission, the faction in the Legislative chamber of the Oliy Majlis, veterans and activists of the party, deputies of local councils and the media.
The first issue, discussed at the meeting was participation of the SDPU at presidential elections.
As was stressed by participants, based on the decision of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan on December 26, 2014 - 29 March was declared as a day for elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Political parties, according to article 24 of the Law “On elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan" has the right to put forward their candidate at the elections.
The Plenary participants in depth discussed the issue of adequate participation of the SDPU in the elections.
It was noted that participation in the elections is a kind of school of hardening in the political arena of the country, experience, and together with that, entering a political competition with other political parties in a multiparty environment.
During the discussion, the participants of the plenary session discussed the issues of strengthening the purpose of the preparatory work for the presidential elections, timely submission of relevant documents to the Central Electoral Commission, and the convocation of the Supreme body of the party – Kurultay. 
Upon completion of the discussions, based on the achievement of program goals and objectives the SDPU "Adolat" deemed appropriate the participation of the party in the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
During the plenary session the participants actively discussed the issue of the future presidential candidate of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the party. As a future presidential candidate of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the party was nominated Chairman of the Political Council of the SDPU , the party faction leader Nariman Majidovich Umarov. Magidovich Umarov. This proposal was supported by all participants of the Plenum.
According to the party Charter, a candidate for the post of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is put forward by the Party Kurultay. In this regard, the holding of the VII Kurultai of the SDPU was scheduled for February 10, 2015 in Tashkent.
(Source: UzReport.uz)
DPU "Milliy Tiklanish" will nominate Akmal Saidov candidate for the post of the President of Uzbekistan
The Central Council of the Democratic party of Uzbekistan (DPU) "Milliy Tiklanish" held its regular Plenum on January 16, 2015 in Tashkent.
It was attended by members of the Central Council of the DPU, the party faction in the Legislative chamber, the party groups in the local councils of people's deputies, party activists and the media.
The Plenum discussed the participation of the DPU in the upcoming presidential elections, putting forward its candidate, and convening of the next Congress of the party.
At the Plenum it was noted that the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan announced the beginning of the electoral campaign for the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on December 26, 2014. Additionally, the program of major activities for the preparation and conduct of elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was approved.
The Charter of the DPU defined the participation of the party in the presidential elections. In this regard the session adopted the decision on the participation of parties in elections.
On the basis of expressed by participants opinions and suggestions, nominating the member of the parliamentary faction of the DPU Akmal Kholmatovich to the post of the President of Uzbekistan was considered.
In accordance with the current electoral legislation, the party Congress carries out the nomination of a candidate for President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. At that it was decided to convene the annual fourth party of Congress on February 7 of the current year and to discuss this issue.
Relevant decisions were made on all discussed issues at the end of the Plenum.
(Source: UzReport.uz)
 
Political parties submit documents to participate in presidential elections
Political parties of Uzbekistan submitted documents to participate in the presidential elections, which will be held on 29 March 2015.
In line with the article 24 of the law “On elections of the President of Uzbekistan”, political parties have right to nominate candidates to the President of Uzbekistan. At the same time, the parties can nominate presidential candidates if they registered by the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan six months before announcement of presidential elections campaign.
The movement of entrepreneurs and business people – The Liberal-Democratic party of Uzbekistan (UzLiDeP), Democratic Party of Uzbekistan “Milliy Tiklanish”, People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan and Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan “Adolat” submitted documents to the Central Election Commission to participate in the presidential elections.
Komiljon Adilov, Secretary of the Central Election Commission, said that after receiving documents, the Central Election Commission issues a certificate on registration to authorized person of the party. The CEC adopted decision on allowing party to participate in elections within five days after receiving documents and provides registration certificates and signature blanks. The list of political parties, which received right to participate in the election, will be published in central mass media.
(Source: UzDaily.com)
 
Political parties submit documents to participate in presidential elections
On January 16, the CEC held its regular session. The meeting was attended by members of the CEC, representatives of political parties and the media.
Recall that the CEC on its previous meeting, in accordance with articles 9 and 14 of the Law “On elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” adopted a decision on the formation of electoral districts for elections.
At the passed yesterday meeting, in accordance with article 15 of the Law “On elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan” the CEC adopted a decision on the formation and approval of the composition of district election commissions for presidential elections.
During the meeting it was noted that candidates of district election commissions from a number of reputable members of the public, have previously been discussed at the meetings of Zhokargy Kenes of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent municipal councils of people's deputies, held on January 13-14 of this year, and recommended for approval by the CEC.
Lists of district electoral commissions on elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, their addresses and contact details are published in the local press.
The meeting also discussed other matters related to the implementation of the basic measures for the preparation and conduct of elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
(Source: UzReport.uz)
 
TOURISM
Double-decker buses start their operation in Tashkent city
First excursion double-decker buses started their operation in Tashkent city on 17 January 2015. Tourism company Aznur Travel launched city tours with use double-decker buses.
As reported earlier, Aznur Travel purchased two double-decker buses of Higer brand (China). Higer is one of the largest bus producers in the world.
Two buses with inscription Tashkent city tour and tourism logotype of Uzbekistan will work in Tashkent each day. The buses will leave Uzbekistan Hotel in the center of Tashkent at 9:00, 10:00, 12:00, 13:00, 15:00 and 16:00.
The company said that the length of excursion is 2.5 hours. Within the tour, the tourists will visit historic monuments and sights of Tashkent such as Minor mosque, Hasti Imam, Mustaqillik square and others.
The cost of ticket for children at the age from 7 to 16 is 15,000 soums and for adults – 25,000 soums (currency rates of CB RU from 19.01.2015   1$= 2427.31 soums). The foreign tourists will have to pay US$20 at the exchange rate of Central Bank of Uzbekistan.
Tickets can be purchased at the office of Aznur Travel at Uzbekistan Hotel or at special bus stations along the route.
The ticket is valid for 24 hours. The passengers can stay in any sight and continue their travel with other bus within a day.
The buses are equipped with special audio system. Tourists can listen audio tour in eight languages – English, German, Russia, Uzbek, French, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese. The buses have ramps for people with disabilities.
Aznur Travel is planning to increase number of double-decker buses and open new excursion tours, including in Samarkand and Bukhara. The company plans to receive two more buses in March-April.
(Source: UzDaily.com)
 
SPORT
Uzbekistan beats Saudi Arabia to seal spot in Asian Cup quarterfinals
Uzbekistan claimed a 3-1 victory over Saudi Arabia to advance to the quarterfinals of the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Sardor Rashidov opened the score on 2 minutes. Mohammed Al Sahlawi equalized for the Saudis from the penalty spot in the 60th minute.
Second-half substitute Vokhid Shodiev restored the lead for Uzbekistan on 72 minutes. Rashidov claimed his second goal to put the win beyond doubt on 79 minutes.
Uzbekistan finished on the second place in Group B and advanced to quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup. Uzbekistan will face South Korea, which topped Group A. The match will take place on 22 January with kick off time set at 12:00 Tashkent time.
(Source: UzDaily.com)
 
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