March 25, 2014
UZBEKISTAN-JAPAN The Rising Sun of Bilateral Relations
Japan is a birthplace of gadgets and high technology, and it is one of the world\'s largest car makers. The country that is first to meet the sunrise, has built a unique model of economic development.

Lacking significant mineral resources, as well as enough area for the agricultural sector, the Japanese economy has consistently ranked among world leaders in terms of GDP for the past two decades. And today, many can learn from this island nation, which has achieved success by working out its own system of development. Therein lies the similarity between our countries: Uzbekistan also builds its future on an economic model of its own, where, like the Japanese, the emphasis is placed on innovative and high-quality finished products oriented for export.

Uzbekistan has an immeasurably greater resource potential in comparison with Japan. But the key, as the example of the Japanese economic miracle shows, is not about a theoretical potential but its practical application. Many countries in the world today \"hooked\" on their resources- gas and oil needle, continuing to spend revenues to increase in raw material extraction. Uzbekistan went the other way.

The country refused from total foreign sales of its natural resources, and opted for the creation of modern facilities, specializing in processing them. In this connection, Bukhara Refinery and Shurtan Gas and Chemical Complex were built, the Kandym GPP and Ustyurt GCC are being constructed. And this is only a small part in a huge number of established and emerging contemporary industrial facilities, some of which are built using Japanese technology.

One of the most notable areas of cooperation is power. Japanese companies are the worldwide leaders in development of innovative technologies in energy generation. This is primarily due to the fact that the country of the rising sun was forced to import natural gas, oil and other resources for its power plants, which provide over 60% of total energy consumption. This in turn forces to apply the most effective and innovative products for energy, the cost of which depends directly on the competitiveness of Japanese goods in foreign markets. Therefore, there is not only a wealth of experience to optimize processes in electric power industry, but also tens of thousands of professionals working to improve existing technologies.

A \"textbook\" example of cooperation -starting the gas turbine cogeneration at the Tashkent heat and power plant, implemented by joint efforts of the State Stock Company Uzbekenergo, Tohoku Bectric Power Co., Inc and the Japanese Organization for Development of New Energy and Industrial Technology (NEDO). The project was implemented at the own expense of Uzbekenergo, as well as technical assistance grant funds provided by NEDO. Its distinguishing feature is the new industry for the country\'s energy cogeneration technology co-production of electricity and heat. It is environmentally friendly and safe, and also meets the highest international standards. Main and auxiliary equipment, which includes a gas turbine, diesel generator and gearbox produced by Hitachi - one of the world\'s largest diversified corporations. Supplier of gas compressor is KOBELCO - a leading Japanese manufacturer of compressor equipment. As noted NEDO representatives at the launch of the turbine, this project has become one of the largest in the history of this organization, which exists for more than 30 years.

Japanese companies have contributed greatly to modernization of NavoiTPP. In 2012, here a combined-cycle plant with 478 MW capacity was completed. Under the project Mitsubishi, well-known Japanese company, provided basic equipment - gas and steam turbine with generators. Thanks to the success of the project it was decided to build a second combined-cycle plant. It will be funded also through a loan from the Japanese side worth 34.8 billion yen. The importance of this project is difficult to overestimate. In Navoi region the FIEZ Navoi continues its development, which became the first investment beacon and a unique experience in use of a new mechanism for attracting foreign investments. Today there are dozens of modern facilities, which ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity.

Enterprises of Uzbekistan no less successfully introduce a system for the introduction and development of modern methods of production control \"Kaizen\". Its main goal is to improving the competitiveness of manufacturers of Uzbekistan in domestic and foreign markets by improving product quality, productivity and efficiency of the organization of production, reduce production costs with minimal investment. The program included seminars, which were attended by representatives of more than 100 domestic enterprises, and also conducted a pilot implementation of the principles of lean production on 13 of them. This year, the work will continue.

Symbolically, the beginning of 2014 marked a new stage in the relations between the two countries in the field of information and communication technologies. The State Committee of Communication, Information and Telecommunication Technologies in Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan signed a memorandum on cooperation in ICT. The document envisions a partnership in development of joint projects, expansion of business contacts between companies and organizations of the two countries, sharing of views and experiences, organization of joint seminars and business conferences, and much more. To note, the countries have considerable experience in telecommunications. For example, Japanese Sumitomo Corporation owns shares in the East Telecom Company, which is the first telecom operator in Uzbekistan, using technology to provide services \"next-generation networks - NGN» (Next Generation Network).

Much the same serious contribution the Japanese side has made to the development of national television. The country continues a gradual transition to digital television, annually put into operation new digital television transmitters, five of which are installed last year in Jizzakh, Tashkent, Farghona and Khorazm regions. One supplier of technological equipment is the Japanese NEC, the world-renowned manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. Companies such as Sony, Canon, Yamaha and others involved in equipping a media centre and broadcast systems of the National TV and Radio Company.

Contacts in agriculture are actively promoted. The Japanese side has a huge experience in growing the maximum yield at minimum areas using modern agricultural technology. The country regularly conducts seminars and projects are being implemented with participation of Japanese breeders and farmers who teach Uzbek colleagues to grow export-oriented products. Uzbekistan has already started trial shipments its products agribusiness to Japan. At the end of 2013 there was a first supply of Uzbek wines produced in Parkent District. For Japanese consumers\' judgement three types of dry red wines are presented. These are Samarqand Sayqali, produced from grapes pinot noir, Khiva - from cabernet sauvignon and Qadimiy Bukhoro - from aleatico.

Car manufacture industry has become an original conductor of the relations between the two countries has become the. The Japanese company Itochu Corporation decided to become a shareholder of the Samarqand Automobile Plant and helps to organize a wide range of assembly machinery. The first trucks under the brand name lsuzu left the assembly line in early 2007. Today here there are manufactured trucks and buses of various modifications, as well as a variety of options of specialized equipment. Just last year, the company produced 3.5 thousand buses and trucks.

One of the promising areas of cooperation is electrical industry, where the Japanese side is considered one of the world leaders. Uzbekistan is also making great strides in the development of this industry.

Production of a wide range of household appliances, as well as modern gadgets mastered for a short time in the country. Today a number of promising projects are jointly worked out, one of which is the creation of a joint venture for production of air conditioners under the Mitsubishi brand.

Experts believe that in the future the two countries have many joint projects. The most important thing in their partnership is similarity of approaches to building a model of economic development based on the technology industry, innovation and export orientation.

(Source: newspaper “Uzbekistan Today”)


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