INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 238

economy

Experts Seek New Growth

Uzbekistan is intending to increase cement production by 6 million tons in the next five years, as announced during the recent 13th International Central Asian Conference ‘Cement Industry and Market’ in Tashkent.

It was the sixth time when Tashkent hosted the big expert forum. It plays an important role in the development of the cement industry of the country, in channeling investments in reconstruction and modernization of existing manufactures, in the increase of production volumes. In 2000-2014, the volume of cement production in the country has grown from 3.2 million tons to 7.4 million tons. The average annual growth rate has made up 7%.

Being a platform for exchanging experience in the introduction of new resource-saving, environmentally friendly technologies, for discussion of the prospects of further development of the cement industry, such meetings provide a chance to jointly seek for solutions, promote strengthening of relations between industrial enterprises and create opportunities for expanding the mutually beneficial cooperation.

The economic growth of the republic and neighboring countries has been conditioned by significant growth rates of construction, and consequently the demand for cement. Today, the domestic cement plants operate at full capacity, and therefore will not be able to meet the growing demand in the short term.

The Uzbek government have been attaching importance to the development of production of construction materials, meeting the needs and saturating the consumer market with up-to-date construction materials. It has adopted a ‘Program of measures on reduction of energy consumption, introduction of energy-saving technologies in economy and social sector for 2015-2019’, which envisages a gradual transition to the dry cement production method. Today, the proportion of dry cement exceeds 63%.

The total capacity of eight operating cement plants makes up 8.64 million tons. The capacity will increase by 6 million tons by the end of 2020 through the upgrade of production lines in operating plants Kyzylkumcement, Bekobodcement, Kuvasaycement, and construction of new facilities in Karakalpakstan, Jizzakh, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya and Tashkent regions.

Provided by the government, significant tax and customs privileges would facilitate the establishment of new plants, and expand the scale of technological re-equipment of the industry.

The volume of cement production in the country over the past decade has increased by 1.8 times, reaching a 100 percent engagement of operating capacities, from 2008 onwards. In the first ten months of 2015, the Uzbek cement plants have produced 6.62 million tons with 7.2 percent increase YOY. By the end of the current year, Uzbekistan is planning to export nearly 1.33 million tons of cement.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

INFRASTRUCTURE

Uzbekistan Railways inks documents for US$53m within investment forum

Uzbekistan Temir Yollari (Uzbekistan Railways) inked memorandums of understanding and agreements with foreign investors for almost US$53 million within the International Investment Forum in Tashkent (5-6 November 2015).

In particular, Uzbekistan Temir Yollari and China’s XCMG inked a memorandum of understanding on purchase of 44% stake in Urgench Excavator Plant.

Currently, specialists of Uzbekistan Temir Yollari and the Chinese investors establishment information exchange.

Uzbekistan Temir Yollari also signed a memorandums on organization of production of asynchronous traction motors on the base of Tashkent mechanic plant and on modernization, rehabilitation and production of cargo cranes and mechanisms with Teichmann Group (Germany).

Currently, the working groups on realization of investment projects were created and it is planned to develop project documentation, reconstruct building and connect utilities, as well as prepare agreements on joint ventures in 2016.

Uzbekistan Temir Yollari and Spain’s Talgo signed an agreement on purchase of two Talgo trains, UzA reported. The contract cost is 38 million euros.

Currently, Uzbekistan Temir Yollari uses two locomotives and 16 passenger cars of Talgo. High speed trains Afrosiyob are used on route Tashkent-Samarkand-Qarshi.

Olim Qurbonov, head of department of Uzbekistan Temir Yollari on organization of movement and exploitation of high speed passenger trains, said that the train will have two more cars.

He said that new train will consists of two locomotives, 10 passenger cars and restaurant car, which will be able to transport 287 passengers.

New trains will be used at the high-speed route Tashkent-Bukhara, which will be launched in September 2016. The project cost on construction of railway from Samarkand to Bukhara estimated at over US$400 million.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

TECHNOLOGIES

Uzbekistan implements 9 projects to develop broadband access

Uzbekistan will implement nine large investment projects to expand broadband access to Internet till 2020.

According to the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communication of Uzbekistan, the projects were included to targeted programme of development of information-communication technologies for 2015-2019.

Total cost of these projects is US$883.7 million. In particular, the funds will be used to develop mobile communication, including HSPA+ and 4G LTE technologies, and expanding network of fixed and wireless broadband access.

The programme also includes projects on expanding main and multiservice network of data transfer, construction of optic fibre communication lines, introducing new multimedia services and creating conditions for development of content.

Implementation of these projects will allow to increase number of fixed broadband access by 2.2 times and data transfer speed – 20 times.

It is also planned to introduce 20 new services, including development of IP-TV, IP-telephony and others.

About one third of internet users in Uzbekistan are users of broadband and number is growing. At the same time, major part of broadband users is mobile subscribers.

Currently, mobile operators of Uzbekistan – Coscom, Unitel and Uzmobile – are introducing 4G LTE technology in Tashkent, which allows to reach connection speed at 100 Mbps. It is planned to expand 4G network coverage to all regions of Uzbekistan stage-by-stage.

(Source: UzDaily.com)

senate of Oliy Majlis of republic of Uzbekistan

On the opening of the fourth plenary session of the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan

On 3 December 2015, the fourth plenary session of the Senate of the Republic of Uzbekistan will open in Tashkent.

Senate will consider the state budget of Uzbekistan for 2016 and the programme on creation of jobs and employment of population for 2016.

The plenary session of the Senate will consider several laws of Uzbekistan directed at gradual reforming and liberalizing all spheres of political and social-economic life of the country, implementing amendments to the Constitution.

In particular, Senators will consider laws “On electronic government”, “On approval of Customs Code of Uzbekistan” (new edition), “On introduction of changes and amendments, as well as abolishment of some legislative acts in connection with adoption of the Customs Code of Uzbekistan”, “On veterinary”, “On medicaments and pharmaceutical activities” (new edition), “On introduction of changes and amendments to some legislative acts of Uzbekistan”.

The Senate will discuss a report of the Prosecutor-General on adopted measures on strengthening legality, protection of rights and interests of the citizens and business entities.

The plenary session will also consider other issues, related to the jurisdiction of the Senate.

(Source: Information Service of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

Society

Open and Constructive Dialog

How is election legislation developing in Uzbekistan and foreign countries?  What measures are being taken in Uzbekistan to improve the election system in line with international standards? Answers to the questions were provided at an international roundtable titled “Democratization of the election system and legislation: the experience of Uzbekistan and foreign countries” held in Tashkent.

The gathering was organized by Uzbekistan’s Central Election Commission in conjunction with the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, the Senate and Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan and other partners. The roundtable was attended by experts from A-WEB, France, South Korea, Latvia as well as representatives of ministries, agencies, political parties, NGOs and election law specialists.

At the start of the forum it was emphasized that in the years since its independence Uzbekistan has created a national election system that meets democratic requirements. Democratic principles of staging elections forged in compliance with universal international norms are enshrined in Uzbekistan’s Constitution and laws. This serves as the groundwork on which citizens exercise their right to participate in the management of society and state affairs.

Roundtable participants noted that the principles of freedom of choice and declaration of will and, first of all, citizens’ constitutional right to elect and be elected to bodies of power are at the core of Uzbekistan’s national model of statehood. The reforms in the election system have a systemic, successive and consistent nature and are aimed at ensuring freedom and developing national legislation in this area.

The Concept of Further Deepening Democratic Reforms and Formation of a Civil Society, put forth by the President of Uzbekistan and approved by the Parliament, ushered in a new stage in the improvement of the legal system, including election legislation. The amendments made to election laws have helped to strengthen the principles of transparency of the election process and further develop the mechanisms of voters’ free will.

Giving the status of a constitutional body to the CEC, which has a special place in the system of state power that in practice allows the preparation and holding of elections without interference from other structures, has become another important guarantee of the comprehensive support of democracy, openness and transparency of the elections. The democratic system of formation of the CEC, the fundamentals of its operations and its financial independence has been enshrined as a constitutional provision.

According to participants, the experience gained during the last elections, as well as the analysis of international practices in this area raises questions about the need for the codification of electoral laws that will strengthen the fundamentals and general rules of conduct of elections at all levels.

During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on various aspects of the electoral system and the law on elections, including campaign-financing, responsibility of the participants in this process, the inter-party competition and increasing the participation of citizens in managing the affairs of society and the state.

The importance of the development and implementation of information and communication technologies has been highlighted, because ICT not only creates an environment for technological modernization of public administration, but also contributes to the democratization and liberalization of society. In this regard, the issues of the functioning of a single electronic register of voters in foreign countries, as well as creating the legal basis for the formation and use of the electronic voter register in our country that will promote the principles of openness and transparency of the electoral process have been discussed.

The participants agreed that the consistently implemented democratic reforms in Uzbekistan, including the one dedicated to the freedom of choice and the development of the electoral legislation, are aimed at strengthening the constitutional rights of citizens to elect and be elected to representative bodies of state power.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

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