August 1, 2009
THE UZBEK-AMERICAN RELATIONS
The United States of America recognized the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan on December 25, 1991. On February 19, 1992 the diplomatic relations between the countries were established. The US Embassy in Tashkent was opened in March, 1992. The Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the USA began its work in February, 1995 in Washington DC. Core document of bilateral relationship is the Declaration on the Strategic Partnership that was signed in March, 2002.
For the last years the relations between Uzbekistan and the USA have strengthened. The high level of mutual understanding in many directions of cooperation have been achieved, the significant experience of bilateral interaction has been maintained within the framework of the international organizations.
The Uzbek-American relations today cover a wide range of issues and are effectively developing in fields of regional security, fight against transnational threats, deepening of political and economic consultations. Tashkent and Washington carry out active and useful interaction with the purpose of assistance in political and economic revival of Afghanistan.
One of priority spheres of Uzbek-American relations is cooperation on border security. Main focus of cooperation in this field is significant expansion of interaction in the sphere of prevention of narcotraffick and smuggling of radioactive materials.
Uzbekistan productively cooperates with the United States in the field of education. During the years of independence hundreds of representatives of the Uzbek youth under “Iste’dod (formerly Umid)” fund and US government programs have studied in American universities.
Uzbek-American political ties have been steadily developing over the last years. During 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Richard Boucher, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Donald Camp, Ambassador-al-large for International Religious Freedom John Hanford, Director of Office for Central Asia at US Department of State visited Uzbekistan.
In July, 2009 Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns and a high-level American delegation visited Tashkent to discuss wide range of bilateral issues with the leadership of the Government of Uzbekistan.
During the press conference Undersecretary Burns noted: “I am pleased to have the opportunity to visit Tashkent along with a delegation of senior officials of the United States Government representing the White House, the State Department and the Defense Department. Our visit is a reflection of President Obama’s commitment to strong, mutually beneficial relations between our two countries based on mutual respect and common interests. I would like once again to express our appreciation for the important contributions Uzbekistan is making to our common effort in Afghanistan, through its support for the Northern Distribution Network and through the important provision of electricity to Kabul and other Afghan cities”.
“Uzbekistan obviously plays an important leadership role in this region. We have before us an opportunity to expand economic cooperation between our two countries, particularly in trade and investment. We look forward to continuing to work together on important issues like counter narcotics, counterterrorism, and border security,” Undersecretary Burns said.
Trade-Economic and Investment Cooperation
Uzbekistan attaches great importance to trade, economic as well as investment cooperation with the United States. The United States is one of the 10 largest trade partners of Uzbekistan.
According to US Census Bureau, as of the end of 2008 trade turn-over between the United States and the Republic of Uzbekistan made up 592.9 mln. USD; exports - 292.2 mln. USD, imports - 300.7 mln. USD.
Basic items of export are services, clap - fiber, products of inorganic chemistry, machines and equipment, and other. Items of import mainly are machine and equipment, chemical products and plastic food items, services and others.
The American companies take part in realization of a number of the priority investment projects in mining and petrol-oil complex, development of technological base of agriculture, food-processing industry and transport infrastructure.
In October, 2007 the “O’zavtosanoat”, UzDAEWOOauto, General Motors and GM DAT signed an agreement to set up the JV GM-Uzbekistan having chartered capital of US$ 266.7 million. The agreement states that for entering the joint venture’s chartered capital initially the GM purchases the UzDAEWOOauto’s stocks of US$ 66.7 million by issuing its additional stocks sold closely. Terms of establishing the GM-Uzbekistan state that the GM will own 25% stocks of the joint venture with opportunity of making its share to 40%. The rest of 75% belongs to the “O’zavtosanoat” now.
The Resolution of the President of Uzbekistan released the GM-Uzbekistan from all types of taxes for five years and custom tariffs for imported utilities and technologies and Uzbek manufacturers of utilities from VAT and income tax on products sold to the country’s motor car industry.
In Uzbekistan special attention is given to the localization of production of the component parts for the automobiles. and in 2007 it was planned to raise the localization level to 60%. A number of projects are planned envisaging the expansion of local production. Efforts are being made to include these producers into the global network of the GM suppliers, which would provide them an opportunity to export their products to other countries, where the brand\'s automobiles are manufactured.
It is noteworthy that despite the difficulties caused by the world financial and economic crisis, GM Uzbekistan has managed to increase production of vehicle by 0.2% year-on-year to 90,320 in January-June 2009. The venture produced 40,533 Nexia vehicles (-9.8% year-on-year), 29,968 Matiz vehicles (-7.7), 10,465 Damas mini-buses (-5.3%), 8,097 Laccetti cars, 591 Epica (-30.6%) and 666 Captiva (-21.4%). According to the statistics, GM Uzbekistan increased car output by 13.5% in 2008 and produced 195,038 vehicles.