EUCBI PRESS CENTRE

Uzbekistan marks the 26th anniversary of the adoption of Constitution

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — On 7 December, a solemn ceremony devoted to the 26th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held at Uzbekistan Palace of International Forums.

The event began with the performance of the National Anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev congratulated people on this bright holiday and delivered a speech on changes in political and legal life of the country.

The deep study and understanding of the Basic Law, the strict observance of its requirements is the sacred duty of each of us, the Head of the state noted.

Article 2 of the Constitution of the country states that the state shall express the will of the people and serve their interests. State bodies and officials shall be accountable to the society and the citizens

From the first days when Shavkat Mirziyoyev took office as President, this constitutional principle became the cornerstone of state policy. The Head of the state defined the most important criterion of activity – to conduct a constant dialogue with people, solve problems concerning them, do everything to meet the needs and requirements of people. All the state governing bodies began to work according to the principle “The people must not serve the Government bodies, rather the Government bodies must serve the people”, UzA reported.

In order to strengthen the provision of human interests, in the past two years, major changes have been made in the judicial-legal sphere. Important measures have been taken to create a system of justice that can ensure justice under any circumstances. The practice of re-considering cases by the courts for many years has been completely discontinued. The powers of lawyers in ensuring the rights and freedoms of citizens have been expanded. Information technologies have been introduced in order to ensure openness and legality, as well as to reduce costs in the judicial-investigative activities.

The Head of the state emphasized the implemented activities and to be carried out to achieve the main goal of our Constitution – creating decent conditions for the prosperous life of people. He noted that taking into account the views of the public and international experts, the Concept for Improving Tax Policy was adopted, according to which tax rates will be reduced, some duties and payments canceled, which will stimulate the development of entrepreneurship and increase employment.

The President outlined a range of upcoming tasks for the full support of entrepreneurship, creation of broad conditions for investors, as well as a decrease in the level of inflation.

“If we want to build a really solid economy in our country, live as richly and safely as people of the developed countries of the world, we, no matter how difficult it is, must implement the mechanisms of a real market economy, and do it not formally, somehow, but deeply thought out. This is the only true way. There is no other alternative. We will resolutely continue the initiated reforms, and they will surely give a positive result”, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

In his address, the Head of the state also informed about important measures taken on implementation of social rights of citizens, educating and training youth, providing jobs and housing, supporting pensioners.

At the meeting it was noted that in order to live well, it is necessary first of all to work well, not only enjoy the rights and freedoms, but also deeply feel the responsibility.

It was emphasized that strengthening the desire of youth to acquire knowledge, supporting entrepreneurial initiatives, developing cooperation with foreign countries in various areas will continue to be in the center of reforms.

“Educated and enlightened generation is the basis of our great future, enterprising people is the basis of a prosperous life, cooperation in the spirit of friendship is the basis of prosperity!”, said the Head of the state.

The event was attended by government and public figures, representatives of science and art, embassies of foreign countries and representative offices of international organizations, the general public.

The festive concert program reflected the changes occurring in the life of people, the prevailing inter-ethnic harmony in the country and the friendship policy with neighboring countries.

Silk industry to get boost

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According to the document, a new system of allowances set to be introduced in 2019 for the grown cocoons of silkworm over the limits. If the harvest exceeds the norm established by the contracts up to 5 kg, the size of the allowance will be 15%, if more than 5 kg-25% of the silkworm purchase price.

The government will provide compensation to cover interest expenses on bank loans allocated in 2019-2021 on projects of member organizations of Uzbekipaksanoat Association.

Compensation will be provided to projects for the purchase of mulberry silkworm grains, the establishment of mulberry plantations, the construction and reconstruction of facilities for the cultivation and processing of silkworm cocoons, as well as the modernization of production facilities.

The amount of compensation will be 50 percent of the interest rate set by commercial banks, but not more than 10 percentage points.

The total amount of compensation will be 100 billion soums per year.

Member organizations of Uzbekipaksanoat Association are exempt from payment of property tax and land tax for a period up to 1 January 2023, with the target direction of released funds towards the modernization of production, including the purchase of technological equipment.

SOURCE: https://uzreport.news/economy/silk-industry-to-get-boost

Uzbekistan to build new hydropower plants until 2025

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — After 2024, Uzbekgidroenergo plans to implement 4 hydroelectric power stations with a capacity of more than 30 MW, 16 new small ones, and to modernize 21 existing hydroelectric power stations. This was stated in the draft Concept of development of the hydropower industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2020-2024.

In order to ensure simultaneous construction of large and small hydropower plants and the modernization of existing hydroelectric power plants, projects are to be financed in the ratio of 69%, 19% and 12%, respectively.

As a result, the increase in annual electricity generation by 2,826 million kW/h will be ensured, while the total number of stations in the structure of Uzbekgidroenergo will reach 57 hydroelectric stations with a total electricity generation of 9.34 billion kWh.

Until 2025, Uzbekistan plans to send US$2.63 billion to implement these projects, of which — $2.04 billion – its own funds and US$643 million — of credit funds.

The document notes that the power industry is the basic industry that determines the development of the country’s economy. The need for electricity in industry and the population of Uzbekistan is determined by the level of civil society culture, energy efficiency and energy saving of the unified energy system. These factors are interconnected and together form possible scenarios of the socio-economic development of the republic.

Electricity generation in Uzbekistan is less diversified and mainly natural gas is used. More than 80% of the installed electrical capacity in Uzbekistan use natural gas, followed by hydropower — more than 10%, and coal — 5%.

Currently, there are two main electricity generating companies in the country, they are Uzbekenergo — they generate about 90% of total electricity production at thermal power plants and Uzbekgidroenergo with 37 hydropower plants provides about 10% of electricity generation with transmission to the unified power grid.

The total installed capacity of generating stations in Uzbekistan is 14,100 MW with an annual electricity generation of more than 70.0 billion kWh. Hydroelectric power plants with a total capacity of 1,854 MW generate about 6.5 billion kWh of electricity, depending on the water content of the year.

The studied hydropower potential of Uzbekistan is estimated at 27.5 billion kWh per year. Currently, the country uses only about 30% of the technical hydropower potential. At the same time, the aforementioned potential was estimated about 30 years ago, which needs to be updated, including consideration of new potential sites studied in recent years, and the expected increase in water volume due to the warming of regional relations with neighboring countries.

The main advantages for the further development of hydropower and increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy system of Uzbekistan are:

— use of natural and environmentally friendly source of renewable energy;

— preservation of hydrocarbon fuel reserves for future generations and ensuring commitments for the supply of energy for export;

— low cost of electricity produced at hydroelectric power plants in comparison with thermal power plants hydroelectric power plants in comparison with thermal power plants;

— simplicity of building solutions and structures, manufacturability of construction, wide use of local building materials, relatively low specific consumption of metal;

— ability to use the seasonal capacity of hydroelectric power plants for repairs at TPPs, as well as high maneuverability and fast power regulation of hydroelectric power stations, allowing them to be effectively used to cover the irregularity of power consumption schedules and maintain the normal current frequency in power systems, that is, ensure not only the production of the required quantity but also quality electricity.

— lack of daily regulation in the power system carried out by the three stations of the Urta-Chirchik cascade (Charvak hydroelectric station, Khodzhikentskaya) in the range of their installed capacity of 905.5 MW. The lack of peak power is covered by the power system due to the limiting operating conditions of thermal power plants.

Together with the above, the existing systemic problems in the structural units limit the existing opportunities for the development of the industry.

During the years of independence, 7 new hydropower plants were put into operation out of 37 operating hydroelectric power plants, the rest of the operated hydroelectric stations were built a long time ago, from 30 to 80 years ago. The equipment on them is heavily worn out and morally obsolete, equipment installed at many sites was dismantled from other stations.

As part of the implementation of projects for the modernization of existing hydropower plants based on technical audits, a phased replacement of worn-out and obsolete equipment with modern, high-tech and energy-efficient equipment is envisaged.

To ensure the fundamental improvement of hydropower and a tangible increase in the share in the balance of the power system, it is necessary to build large generating enterprises with a long construction period (up to 6 years).

In the concept of development of the industry, a list of projects for construction of large hydropower plants with implementation dates and sources of financing is defined.

The document says that, jointly with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, questions are being worked out on organizing a survey of the republic’s territories in order to clarify hydro potential.

The draft concept stresses the need to develop a mechanism for the participation of private entrepreneurs in the construction of micro and small hydropower plants, as well as the procedure for public-private partnership in the implementation of hydropower projects.

The draft concept said that it is necessary to increase the percentage of utilization of generating companies in the industry, utilization rate of installed capacity of hydropower plants depends on dispatch centers, regional power grids that place applications for a particular output capacity per hour or even shorter periods of time at power plants, based on the forecast consumption of electrical energy.

Siemens organizes a training seminar for working group of the Safe City project

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — A delegation of specialists from the interdepartmental working group from the Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the Siemens workshop in London. The event was devoted to the refinement of the concept of the pilot project «Safe City».

London was chosen as the venue for the seminar as a city where the most modern technologies for urban infrastructure are already in place and successfully operating.

In 2012, Siemens opened its first city center for sustainable urban development in London, Crystal, where the world’s largest exhibition dedicated to this topic is located. At the same time, the building is a conference center, a platform for dialogue between cities, as well as a center of advanced technologies and innovations that brings together political figures, infrastructure experts and the public to develop concepts for the future of cities and their infrastructure.

Crystal became the venue for the seminar, which took place over four days and included presentations and meetings with representatives of the administration of London and its districts. The participants also familiarized themselves with the already implemented projects.

Jeff Kao, Head of the International Partnership Department of the City Hall of London, spoke about the introduction of intelligent technologies and public safety systems in order to attract investment and develop the economy of urban areas.

Allan Mayo, head of the Digital Greenwich project, showed how the industrial area of London was transformed into a business center with a modern infrastructure. Mayo also spoke about the volume of investments in intellectual technologies and about the economic effect of their implementation, which was formed by attracting the tourist flow, creating new jobs, and building residential and entertainment complexes.

A delegation from Uzbekistan visited Canary Wharf in London and got acquainted with Siemens solutions for building automation and safety. The delegation also visited the service center and monitoring of the CCTV system in the central area of London “City”, which is serviced by Siemens engineers.

During the seminar, the delegation from Uzbekistan presented the program for the development of the project “Safe City”. Asadjon Khojaev, director of the Center for Information and Public Security, stressed that it is necessary to plan the project with the possibility of its further expansion and to ensure effective interaction with various city operational services.

In turn, Siemens specialists demonstrated the technologies of building automation and safety, as well as innovative solutions in the field of transport and smart grids (Smart Grid) directly for the cities of Uzbekistan. In addition, specific tasks for the application of these technologies were considered.

The seminar was another step in the development of cooperation in the implementation of the Safe City project, the concept of which was presented by Siemens at a seminar in Tashkent in March 2018. It is aimed at introducing modern technologies into the urban infrastructure in order to develop the economy and tourism, as well as to reduce the level of environmental pollution.

Exporters to enjoy new tax benefits, as new presidential decree enters into force

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A presidential decree approved measures to further stimulate the export potential of domestic producers.

Starting January 1, 2019, the tax base of legal entities with a share of exports in the total revenue from the sale of goods (works, services) of more than 15%, including through the commissioner (attorney), will be reduced on:

— income tax of legal entities in terms of profit attributable to the volume of sales of goods (works, services) for export;

— a single tax payment in terms of the volume of sales of goods (works, services) for export.

At the same time, these benefits do not apply to the export of a number of commodities, as well as international transportation services (except for vehicles) and transportation through pipelines and gas pipelines.

SOURCE: https://uzreport.news/economy/exporters-to-enjoy-new-tax-benefits-as-new-presidential-decree-enters-into-force

Tashkent hosts Uzbek-Czech business forum

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The Uzbek-Czech business forum held in Tashkent on November 28 saw bilateral talks between representatives of the business circles of both countries.

The Hungarian delegation included heads and representatives of companies engaged in construction, production of construction materials and equipment, plastic processing, energy, including the introduction of energy-saving technologies and the development of alternative energy sources, transport, agriculture and others.

The participants discussed issues of mutual cooperation and strengthening of cooperation between entrepreneurs of Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic.

The volume of bilateral trade between our countries from January to August this year, amounted to $35.4 million, exports- $3.9 million, imports- $31.5 million.

SOURCE: https://uzreport.news/economy/tashkent-hosts-uzbek-czech-business-forum

President approves measures to develop mechanisms for financing innovative projects

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The document approved a number of measures for the effective development of financing mechanisms for promising projects.

In particular, followings were identified as the main market participants:

Investment company – a commercial organization that carries out activities related to the formation and accumulation of funds of qualified investors attracted by the management company for their further investment in innovative and other promising projects;

Management company – a commercial organization that manages the investment deposit of the investment company in accordance with the agreement concluded between them;

Venture Fund – an investment company under the administration of the management company intended for investment of funds accumulated solely within high-risk venture projects;

Qualified investors — legal entities and individuals, including foreign ones, who have made deposits to investment companies in the form of cash in the amount of not less than 500 million UZS in national currency and / or foreign currency in the equivalent at the exchange rate of the Central Bank at the date of deposit;

According to the document, management and investment companies can be established in any legal form, their activities are not subject to licensing.

SOURCE: www.uzreport.news/economy/president-approves-measures-to-develop-mechanisms-for-financing-innovative-projects

European Union to allocate 25 million euro worth projects in Uzbekistan

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The government delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov paid a working visit to Brussels on November 21-23.

The delegation also included the heads of the ministries of justice, foreign trade and the State Investment Committee.

The Uzbek delegation took part in the 14th meeting of the Cooperation Council «Uzbekistan – European Union», the next interregional meeting «European Union – Central Asia», held bilateral talks with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the EU Presidency of Austria Karin Kneisel, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium Didier Reynders.

During their stay in Brussels, the delegation also held other working meetings.

The parties agreed to start intensive work on the preparation and holding of the Uzbek-European summit in Brussels in 2019 and the official visit of the head of Uzbekistan to Belgium, which should open fundamentally new chapters in the history of our relations.

The European Union also confirmed its readiness to assist Uzbekistan in obtaining unilateral tariff preferences within the framework of the» General system of preferences plus», which will facilitate duty-free entry of more than 6,200 types of Uzbek goods into the European market.

The parties agreed to intensify cooperation in the field of education and training, considered the prospects of increasing the network of branches of leading European universities in Uzbekistan to train specialists in the areas in demand today.

The visit of the Uzbek delegation also saw the signing of agreements on the financing of joint projects on «Development of the livestock sector», «Improvement of the quality of public services provided by the justice authorities in the regions of the Republic» with a total budget of 25 million euros.

Uzbek delegation attends ministerial meeting in Brussels

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The delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov attended the interregional ministerial meeting «Central Asia – European Union» in Brussels on November 23.

Foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the European Union discussed in detail the state and prospects of cooperation in the political, economic, investment spheres, in the field of sustainable development, climate change, environment and water resources, as well as security.

Representatives of Central Asian countries welcomed the EU’s decision to develop and adopt a new Strategy for Central Asia by the end of 2019 and made proposals to improve its effectiveness.

SOURCE: www.uzreport.news/politics/uzbek-delegation-attends-ministerial-meeting-in-brussels

EIB may open a regional office in Uzbekistan

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Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) — The European Investment Bank (EIB) may open a representative office in Uzbekistan.

This was announced during a meeting of the Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Investment Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sukhrob Kholmuradov with the Vice-President of the EIB Vazil Hudák.

During the negotiations, the European Investment Bank proposed to establish a regional representative office of the bank in Uzbekistan. Currently, the EIB Regional Office for the Transcaucasian Countries is located in Georgia.

The Vice-President of the Bank noted that the European Investment Bank is ready to cooperate with Uzbekistan in other directions as well, including the areas of environmental protection, support for small and medium-sized businesses and the social sector.

“Uzbekistan, as a country that is developing very dynamically, where great changes are observed, is of interest to us. We would like to intensify our activities in Uzbekistan,” said Vazil Hudák. “In October 2017, we signed an agreement with the government of Uzbekistan, thanks to which the first steps towards cooperation began. During this time, we signed financial agreements for two projects — a project to improve energy efficiency and improve water supply. ”

The energy efficiency project aims to ensure that both private and state-owned companies can take measures to reduce electricity costs, as part of their production, their activities, as well as in public institutions. The reality is that energy costs in Uzbekistan are three times more than in Germany. The European Investment Bank allocated 100 million euros for the project. It is planned to implement it jointly with the World Bank, the national partner of Uzbekistan will be the Ministry of Economy.

The second project is a project to improve water supply, where the partner is the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

During the visit, the vice-president held a meeting with the leadership of the ministry, where it was noted that this sector is very relevant for Uzbekistan. It covers issues of aggregation, introduction of new technologies in water management and water supply. The European Investment Bank will allocate 100 million euros for this project.

It was noted that funding for these projects may be combined with technical assistance.