January 28, 2016
Ranking among the most effective mechanisms of promoting the development of the domestic ‘small economy’, the Fund for Support of Exports of Small Businesses and Enterprises is getting new opportunities for development this year.

Established in 2013 under the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activities, the unique structure is called to provide legal, financial and organizational services to businesses in promoting their products and services to foreign markets. In a short time, the Fund has demonstrated its effectiveness by helping thousands of entrepreneurs.

This year marks a new stage of its development. As proposed by President Islam Karimov, it is planned to strengthen the Fund’s financial capacity by increasing the size of the share capital at least twice, expand the powers, functions and a list of financial services, and consider the possibility of establishment of its affiliates in the regions.

Last year was very fruitful: the Fund assisted 3,213 businesses in promoting their goods and services to foreign markets. As a result, they exported goods and services totaling more than $1.05 billion.

As the Fund’s representatives commented to Uzbekistan Today, the poor awareness of specifics of foreign markets of certain countries and their demand for particular products ranks among the major problems of the domestic small business today. Therefore, having received the financial support, the majority of the entrepreneurs needed help in studying foreign markets and search for foreign partners.

The arrangement of participation of Uzbek enterprises and companies in the world\'s largest exhibitions was another essential component of the work. Few hundreds domestic enterprises presented their products at the leading forums like Green Week (Germany), FoodEx Japan-2015 (Japan), the National Exhibition of Industrial Products of China, Textillegprom-2015 (Russia), and many others. As a result, they signed agreements at $135 million. Compared to last year, the volume of agreements has increased twice, or by $68 million.

Uzbekistan signed memorandums with two Korean companies on the construction of modern production facilities in Uzbekistan. O2&B CO is planning to build a manufacture of medicines with the focus on the drugs for treatment and prevention of thyroid gland diseases. Young Shin Tech Company is intending to establish the production of automobile gas tanks for the cars running on propane and butane. In the future, the products will be exported to the CIS countries.

The Fund’s research shows the growing global need for new kinds of innovative products, which were manufactured through the deep processing of raw materials. To this end, as well as to expand the country’s export capacity, the Fund held a contest of innovative projects in May – December last year, aiming at enhancement of the competitiveness of Uzbek goods at world markets in five areas: food, chemical, textile, machinery and electrical industries, as well as the construction materials industry. The top projects were allocated grant funds for 230 million soums. (currency rates of CB RU from 28.01.2016, 1$= 2831.49 soums)

The list of good examples includes an innovative project on obtaining pomegranate juice, which opens up new export opportunities of the product. Today, natural pomegranate juice is made solely of sweet species, because it is impossible to make juice from sour pomegranate due to its high acidic aspect. The proposed technology reduces their acidity. Given that the price of sour pomegranate is 50% lower than that of the sweet, the production of natural juice to this technology would reduce production costs and increase its competitiveness on world markets.

Besides, the Fund has been implementing a project on the establishment of a network of agricultural firms jointly with the National Bank and the farms that specialize in horticulture and cultivation of vegetables and fruits. Based on the requirements of the major importers and foreign retail chains, they have been steadily supplying fruits and vegetables throughout the year, getting additional profits and expanding export potential by means making export contracts at more favorable prices.

The Fund regularly holds meetings and discussions in all parts of the country in order to introduce entrepreneurs to favorable conditions in the country, and widely involve manufacturers in export activities and expand exports of their products. Last year the Fund’s representatives attended 3,715 enterprises of the country, studied their problems and provided assistance.

(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)


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