December 22, 2012
NEWS DIGEST for December 17-21, 2012

Meeting at the Oqsaroy

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met with Russian Federation’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov at the Oqsaroy on December 18.

During the conversation, the two sides discussed the current state and prospects of multilayered Uzbek-Russian cooperation as well as pressing issues of regional and international politics that concern the interests of the two countries.

Greeting the guest, the head of our state stressed the steadfast character of the bilateral relations, their consistent advancement in practically all spheres of interaction.

Today, an essential significance is attached to the implementation of fundamental understandings agreed on during the June 2012 highest-level meeting in Tashkent and the subsequently signed Declaration on the Enhancement of Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Russian Federation.

A priority aspect of further development of the Uzbek-Russian dialogue has been the expansion of mutually advantageous ties in trade-economic and investment sectors.

The regular session of the Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation held a few days ago has reinforced the shared interest in further diversification of bilateral trade and investment relations.

During today’s meeting at the Oqsaroy, a particular emphasis has been placed on issues in regional security and stability and those concerning joint measures in addressing contemporary common threats and challenges.

Sergey Lavrov, in his turn, expressed gratitude for a warm welcome and the opportunity to deliberate scrupulously on the prospects of interaction in bilateral as well as multilateral formats. He also confirmed the Russian leadership’s willingness to build longer-term and constructive relations with Uzbekistan.

Other topics of mutual interest have also been discussed during the meeting.

President signs amendments to election laws

President Karimov signed a law “On introduction of changes and amendments to laws “On elections to Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan” and “On elections to regional, district and city Councils of People’s Deputies” in connection with further ensuring freedom of election and development of election legislation” on 19 December 2012.

Laws, in particular, regulate announcing results of polls on elections. The documents ban to announce results of polls and forecasts, or other researches related to upcoming elections, including placement at internet, within three days of election and on election day.

In particular, “pre-election agitation” is determined as activity in election campaign and directed at motivating to vote for candidate or political party. MPs noted that this is fully corresponds to laws of the most of developed democratic states.

The law also regulates issues of pre-election campaign in non-state media. MPs noted that use of non-state media in election campaigns will ensure transparency and openness of election campaigns. The document said that the payment and terms for publishing agitation materials, set by non-state mass media, should be equal for all.

The law also sets norms, which ban agitation at election days and a day before elections. The document also regulates issues on holding preschedule voting. The preschedule voting starts 10 days before election day and ends on election day. Local election commissions determine the dates of preschedule elections.


FRDU to allocate US$908.45m to investment projects in 2013

Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan (FRDU) will allocate US$809.45 million to implementation of 34 projects in 2013, which were included to investment program of the country for next year. In 2013, the FRDU will direct the largest volume of loans (US$767.45 million) to implementation of projects in fuel-energy, chemistry, petrochemical industries and metallurgy sector.

Complex for communal sector, transport, capital construction and construction will receive US$42 million from FRDU in 2013. FRDU was created in May 2006 in line with the presidential

resolution “On measures on organization activity of the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan” to finance and co-finance important investment projects, included into the state investment program.

President signs law on private banks

President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a law “On private banks and financial institutions and guarantees of their activities” on 17 December 2012.

The law consists of five chapters and 28 articles and is aimed at regulating relations in private banking and other private financial institutions, as well as guarantees of their activities.

Private banks and financial institutions are businesses entities, the law said. Legal entities, in which there are share of the state or state bodies, political parties, professional unions, public funds and religious organizations, cannot be founder of the private banks and financial institutions.

The law stated that the Government guarantees equal rights to private banks and financial institutions and creates opportunities to access material-technical, financial, labour, information and other resources.

The document said that discrimination against banking and financial institutions is not permitted. Property of private banking and financial institutions will not be nationalized and confiscated, commandeered, except in cases, envisages in legislation.

Private banking and financial institutions can distribute income on their own will after payment of taxes and mandatory payments in line with their charter.

The law said that the activities of the private banking and financial institutions can be inspected once in five years on the decision of special authorize body on coordination of controlling bodies.

Inspections cannot exceed 30 days and controlling bodies should notify institutions 30 days before inspection.

Water Balance: Modern technology in the service of public utilities

The Government of Uzbekistan adopted comprehensive measures to improve the efficiency of water and wastewater organizations, as well as program development of drinking water supply and sanitation for the period 2013-2015.

To note, in the republic central water supply covers 119 cities (100%) and 9,060 villages (74.6%). One of the priorities of integrated development and modernization of water supply and sanitation will bring in 2020, the level of availability of piped water in all cities of the country to 100% and in rural areas - up to 85-90%, sewerage systems - up to 70% in urban areas urban centers with sewerage wastewater.

To solve these problems, a monitoring of database utilities for water and sanitation will be conducted in the first phase. Implementation of an automated accounting system users, as well as the creation of customer databases and billing systems for each utility service to the same standards will begin in the next phase.

In addition, the installation of modern water meters for water intakes, individual water meters in the housing stock and common house metering in apartment buildings are envisaged. Thus, a special pilot project Unified Automated Accounting System Utility Customers for Water and Sanitation will be implemented in Tashkent. According to experts, the result of these measures is to identify obsolete and energy-intensive pumping equipment, as well as reduce the cost of water services by reducing the cost of electricity.

A particular emphasis will be placed on improving the legal framework for water and sanitation. Thus, it is planned to develop a terms of use, and technical operation of the public water supply and sewage systems, the procedure for determining consumption rates of electricity for industrial needs for water supply, sewerage and waste water treatment and other documents.

Artel presents five models of mobile phones

Artel trademark presented five models of mobile phones in Tashkent on 17 December 2012, of which two are smartphones.

Artel launched its first mobile handsets line with such smartphones as Artel Adi5 and Artel Komi 3, as well as mobile handsets Artel U30, Artel H20 and Artel D83. The company said it will start to sell handsets on 20 December 2012.

According to Artel, handsets can compete with foreign analogues with their functions, technologies and modern design. At the same time, Artel handsets have special additions, specially created for users of Uzbekistan.

Nodirberk Ibragimov, Artel managing director, said that the capacity of the unit on production of mobile phones makes up 2 million units a year. He said that the company plans to produce 40,000 handsets in 2012 and 500,000 units in 2013.

Artel trademark is planning to cooperate with famous brand as Foxconn in development and production of mobile handsets and tablets. He recalled that Foxconn successfully cooperates with Nokia, Motrolla, Apple and others.

New oil regeneration enterprises created in Angren

New joint ventures - Uz-Ecoprotect and Uz-Prista Recycling – have been created at Angren special industrial zone, UzA reported. The joint ventures will collect, store and process used technical oil.

The venture is founded by Uznefteprodukt (49%) and Prista Recycling (51%, Bulgaria). The charter capital of the venture is US$1 million.

Uz-Prista Recycling is created on the basis of unused premises of Rezinotekhnika and it will specialize on processing used oil. The charter capital of the company is US$15 million. Uznefteprodukt will hold 49% stake in the venture and Prista Recycling – 51%.

The enterprises are created within execution of presidential resolution “On measures on organization of motor oil production” from 22 May 2012.

New enterprises will be part of system on utilization and processing of used technical motor oil, which will improve environment and help to boost economy.

The enterprises will create oil collecting points across Uzbekistan. They will collect and store used oil, which will be later transported for processing. Uz-Prista Recycling will process used oil and produce motor oil.

Uzbekistan will become the first Central Asian country, which organizes system on collecting and processing used motor oil.


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