February 7, 2014
America, So Remote Yet Close

The United States of America is far from Uzbekistan, almost halfway round the world, but close economic relations between the two nations have brought them closer together strongly enough.

A number of major U.S. corporations and holding companies are working in Uzbekistan. Many more companies are now considering the promising opportunities for cooperation. General Motors was one of the first big U.S. companies that began the history of the Uzbek-American economic relations.

In March 2007, the Government of Uzbekistan and GM Daewoo Auto & Technology signed a strategic cooperation agreement. One year later the joint venture GM Uzbekistan was created; its vehicles now travels the roads in many CIS countries. New stage of cooperation was the construction of an engines producing plant General Motors Powertrain Uzbekistan. It was the first plant of that kind in Central Asia. The American side owns 52% stake and the remaining 48% belongs to Uzavtosanoat. The new engine plant was rigged with the latest technologies and equipment, just as the company in Asaka city. The technological process is computerized, that allows engineers to constantly monitor the quality of products. The whole process of production fully complies with international environmental standards. It is General Motors’ first plant where foundries and assembly shops are located in one place. This plant is considered to be the most modern and the most advanced plant of this kind in terms of system control, energy consumption and ecology. Regeneration system of the plant provides closed loop production. The commercial production of engines started in November 2011. General Motors Powertrain Uzbekistan can produce 200,000 engines in a year.

The engines are being installed on the cars sold in Uzbekistan and beyond.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who visited this factory, noted that this plant is a vivid proof of close relations between the companies of U.S. and Uzbekistan. “The company has become a symbol of cooperation and friendly relations between our two countries.

It has been designed by American and Uzbek engineers and was built in compliance with environmental principles and accountability to the public. Production operations at General Motors Powertrain Uzbekistan will be done by qualified Uzbek personnel. It will create more than a thousand new jobs,” H.Clinton pointed out.

Another vector of cooperation is also quite heavy. Boeing Corporation is a longtime partner of the national airline company of Uzbekistan regarding the updating of its flight park. Now Uzbekistan Airways has several Boeing 76-300ER and Boeing 757-200 planes. These modern aircrafts are used in more than half of the national airline traffic, including in long-distance flights to the United States and Japan. In 2016 Boeing 787 Dreamliner will land in Tashkent. The plane will join the fleet of the national airline. Another unique joint project is about establishing regional service center for making repair of large composite structural elements of aircrafts. It was decide to open this repair center in Tashkent on the territory of the company Uzbekistan Airways Technics. The new center will provide servicing to the most modern aircrafts belonging to national and foreign air companies.

The two countries also actively cooperate in agricultural sector. With the support that came from USAID a biotechnology laboratory for growing virus-free seedlings was established in the Research Institute of Horticulture, Viticulture and Winemaking named after Mahmoud Mirzaev. Currently, there are only two such laboratories in the world:

one is in Israel and one is in the United States. It is planned that the laboratory will produce about 40 million seedlings in a year. Some seedlings will be exported. U.S. scientists are also interested in the Uzbek developments regarding pest control. For example, a group of American researchers came to Uzbekistan to get acquainted with a biological bait for termites created by our scientists. The experts from the United States noted that this biological agent is one of the best ways in the world to fight termites due to its price and quality characteristics.

The Uzbek-American joint ventures UzCaseMash and UzCaseTractor produce effective, modern agricultural vehicles that are in demand not only in Uzbekistan, but also in other Central Asian countries. The joint ventures already produce the tractors New Holland TL100, TS135 and a number of various tractor parts. The products of these factories are already being sold in the neighboring countries.

Interestingly, but the oil and gas sector which prevails in the relations between Uzbekistan and its other trading partners like Russia and China, plays a less important role in cooperation with the United States. The American company Honeywell operates in Uzbekistan since 1998. By supplying its equipment Honeywell participated in many large industrial and infrastructure projects in Uzbekistan in petroleum and chemical sectors. The company opened its technical and educational centers in Tashkent. The centers provide engineering and maintenance services, and teach staff how to work with modern equipment.

Various projects are now being discussed with several other American companies such as General Electric, Anadarko. The US-Uzbek Chamber of Commerce is an important platform for developing business contacts between the two countries. There are over 190 companies with American investors in Uzbekistan. 52 of these companies are 100% American-owned. The scope of their activities is diverse: automobile industry, petro-chemistry, textile, food, engineering industry, the production of building materials.

The Uzbek-US economic and trade relations have all the chances for further dynamic development. And it is not only due to good economic potential of the two countries, but also due to strong relationships established between the two countries over the past 20 years of cooperation.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


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