NEWS AND EVENTS
January 20, 2013
NEWS DIGEST for January 14-18, 2013
President Karimov congratulates the Armed Forces
The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces Islam Karimov congratulated defenders of the Motherland on the occasion of 21st anniversary of the Uzbek Armed Forces, which is marked on 14 January.
In his congratulation message, Islam Karimov said that a new efficient and mobile army, which meets modern requirements, has been set up in Uzbekistan over the years of independence. “In the current difficult circumstances, the international community is particularly concerned about the danger of the spread of nuclear technology and weapons of mass destruction as well as about growing confrontation, political and religious radicalism and extremism, and the ongoing conflicts in the immediate vicinity of our borders; in the first place, tension is growing in connection with the forthcoming withdrawal of ISAF from Afghanistan before and after 2014,” Uzbek President stated.
One should not underestimate the expansion of non-traditional threats to international security such as cybercrime, the negative impact of using information and communication technologies, he added.
The President stated: “The situation is seriously being exacerbated by rivalry of external forces in the region. Serious challenges and threats are emerging due to the intensification of activities by armed gangs and subversive and terrorist groups in border areas, as well as because of social and economic problems, political and interethnic conflicts that could lead to destabilization of the military-political situation.”
“Uzbekistan has made clear its stance on distancing from various military-political blocs and alliances, on its strong position to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and on refusing to deploy in its territory of foreign military bases, as well as on its independent, consistent and active foreign policy,” Uzbek President said.
“The priority task of the command of the Armed Forces is a radical change in the content of training, combat training. The utmost attention should be paid to the issues of improving the planning of tactical, command post exercises, to ensure their match with conditions as close to real fighting. During exercises, it is important to make active use of modelling and simulation, develop various models and versions of combat operations to neutralize militant groups, subversive and terrorist groups trying to enter the country,” Uzbek President stated.
In his message, Islam Karimov underlined that it is necessary to develop highly qualified junior officers, including sergeants. He said that educational work should be significantly improved and education system should reflect modern requirements. He noted that modern recruits use modern information and computer technology and speak foreign languages.
The Cabinet of Ministers’ session on economic development
On 18 January a session of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, devoted to the results of social-economic development of the country in 2012 and main priorities of economic program for 2013, was held in Tashkent. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov delivered a speech at the session.
The head of state pointed out that despite continuing severe problems in global economy last year, the Uzbek economy maintained sustainable high growth rates, steady increase in living standards of the population was ensured and positions of the country in world markets was further strengthened.
It was particularly underlined that effectiveness of the development and reform strategy, the experience of implemeting the anti crisis program received appraisals of international financial and economic institutions, leading think-tanks in the world. In particular, the statement of the mission of the International Monetary Fund, who visited Uzbekistan in November-December 2012, notes that a stable banking system, a low level of state debt and cautious approach to external loans have fenced off the country from negative consequences of the global crisis, the economy of Uzbekistan continues to grow rapidly and its further growth for the coming year is forecasted.
In 2012 the Uzbekistan’s GDP increased by 8,2%, industrial output – 7.7%, agriculture production – 7%, construction works – 11,5%, retail trade turnover – 13.9%, and services – 14,2%. State budget is executed with a surplus of 0,4% of GDP. Inflation has not exceeded forecasted indicators.
The most important source of sustainable high rates of economic growth and diversification of economic structure has been growing volumes of investments, significant part of which consists of investments in modernization, technical and technological renovation of leading economic sectors, development of transport and communications infrastructure. Last year US 0,7 bln. investments were attracted to the country, which is 14% more than a year earlier. 22% of all investments or US 0,5 bln. were foreign investments, 79% of which were foreign direct investments.
Export volumes significantly rose by 11,6%, foreign trade surplus was ensured. The share of non-raw material, manufactured products exceeded 70% in the exports structure.
In his report President Karimov provided a detailed and comprehensive analysis of existing challenges and outlined tasks on executing main priorities and directions of social-economic development of the country for 2013.
ADB may issue US$500m to Uzbekistan GTL
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) can issue a loan and guarantee on commercial risks for US$5000 million to Uzbekistan GTL, which implements project on construction of the plan on production fsynthetic fuel from natural gas in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekneftegaz national holding company, Petronas and Sasol Synfuels International (PTY) Limited signed charter and constituent agreement of joint venture Uzbekistan GTL in November 2009. The project will be implemented within five years on the base of Shortan Gas Chemical Complex in Kashkadarya region. Currently, Sasol and Uzbekneftegaz own 44.5% each in the project and Petronas – 11%. Technip (France) will complete development of the feasibility study of the project in the beginning of 2013.
The plant will process 3.5 billion cubic meters of gas and produce 863,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, 304, tonnes of jet kerosene, 395,000 tonnes of naphtha and 11,200 tonnes of liquefied a gas. The project cost is US$4.1 billion. It will be financed due to own funds of joint venture, loans of consortium of banks and financial institutes.
Uzbekistan to invest US$8.5bn to development of transport infrastructure
Uzbekistan will invest US$8.5 billion to development of transport infrastructure by 2015.
Uzbekistan is planning to increase the volume of cargo transit through its territory and to implement projects to develop transport infrastructure.
According to assessment of experts, the growth of cargo transit in Uzbekistan can reach up to 1 million tonnes a year in 2015-2020. In nine months of 2012, some 985,200 tonnes of cargo were transported in Uzbekistan by all transport types, which rose by 5.1% year-on-year.
At the same time, the freight turnover was 62.2 billion tonnes-km and has exceeded the level of January-September 2011 by 7.9%.
Uzbekistan to direct US$2.515bn to oil and gas industry
Uzbekneftegaz (Uzbek Oil and Gas Industry) national holding company will direct US$2.515 billion to development and modernization of the industry in 2013.
The size of direct foreign investments will make up US$1.724 billion. Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan will allocate US$333.5 million to Uzbekneftegaz. Loans of foreign and local commercial banks will make up US$64.1 million.
In particular, Asia Trans Gas, an Uzbek-Chinese joint venture, will continue to construct third line of Uzbek part of “Central Asia-China” gas pipeline. The project cost is US$2.2 billion. In 2013, some US$260 million will be used within the project.
Russia’s Lukoil will start to implement several projects in Uzbekistan, investing US$678.5 million to realize two product-sharing agreement worth US$4.3 billion. In 2013, Uz-Kor Gas Chemical will invest US$600 million to construction of Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex in Uzbekistan.
Malaysia’s Petronas will invest almost US$170 million into its projects in Uzbekistan. Some US$138.75 million will be directed to project on organization of production of synthetic liquid fuel based on cleaned methane of Shortan Gas Chemical Complex.