On invitation of Nursultan Nazarbaev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Islam Karimov paid an official visit to this country on April 22-23, said the press service of the head of the country.
During the meetings, the Presidents discussed the issues relating to expansion and intensification of the comprehensive cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and Republic of Kazakhstan. They also touched upon the topical regional and international issues of mutual interest.
More than 114 documents have been signed for more than 15-year history of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The Friendship Treaty that was concluded between the Republic of Uzbekistan and Republic of Kazakhstan on October 31, 1998, became the most important document to regulate relationship of the two countries.
Kazakhstan is one of the biggest economic partners of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is exporting there oil products, ferrous metals and products, vehicles, construction materials, mechanical and electrical equipment, glass and glass products, cotton fiber, plastic goods, services. In its turn, Kazakhstan is brining to Uzbekistan crude oil, flour and cereals, ferrous metals and products, construction materials, services, cereal crops (wheat and barley), mechanical and electrical equipment.
In 2007, the shared turnover made more than USD 1 bln. In Uzbekistan, 124 joint ventures with participation of the Kazakh partners are operating. In Kazakhstan, about 100 joint ventures have been established in cooperation with the Uzbek investors.
Uzbek-Kazakh cooperation in the sphere of culture and education is also very fruitful. Educational institutions of the two countries maintain direct contacts and exchange professors and students, and training materials.
At their meeting, the Cabinet of Ministers analyzed the results of the social and economic development of the Republic in the first quarter of the current year and discussed measures for the unconditional implemen-tation of the major economic reforms in 2008.
Shavkat Myrziyoev, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, made a report at the meeting. He mentioned that in January-March 2008 the GDP increased at 8.1%, compared to 9.1% in the first quarter of the last year.
Industrial output increased at 10.6% (compared to 12% in the first quarter of the last year). Amount of construction works grew at 5% (12.8%), retail turnover increased at 12.7% (16.5%), amount of paid services grew at 19.8% (25%).
The total volume of the capital investments increased at 42% during the first three months of the year. The industrial investment grew at 78.2%, and the direct foreign investment rose at 56.8%. Thus, the “General Motors Uzbekistan” JV launched a new version of the Nexia passenger car. In the country, 105 industrial facilities have been commissioned, including a separator pump unit at Pamuk deposit, “Tagus Textile” JV, “Samo Shertex, as well as facilities to produce flour at “Kizirik Zarofshon Un” JV, and to make roofing slate at “Kuvasay Kurilish” LLC.
The budget surplus in the first quarter of the current year makes 1.7% of GDP, and the inflation rate is within the forecasted parameters.
In January-March 2008, the foreign trade surplus of Uzbekistan increased at 1.3 times (up to USD 778 mln) compared with the same period of the last year.
In the first quarter of the year, the foreign trade turnover made USD 4.44 bln (1.6 times growth). Export increased at 56.1% (up to USD 2.609 bln), and import grew at 1.7 times (up to USD 1.831 bln).
The 2008 GDP growth is planned as 8%. It is intended to increase the industrial output at 9.6%, agricultural products at 5%, capital investments - at 16%. The inflation rate supposes to be 6-8%.
In 2007, the GDP grew at 9.5%, industrial output at 12.1%, agricultural products at 6.1%. The foreign trade surplus made USD 3 bln 755.9 mln compared to USD 2 bln in 2006; the inflation rate was 6.8%.
Russia is still the major economic partner of Uzbekistan according to the 2007 results. Goods turnover between Tashkent and Moscow increased at 39.7 per cent and, for the first time, it reached USD 4 bln 040,5 mln. Russia absorbs 28,4 per cent of all the export and import operations of Uzbekistan, informed the State Committee on Statistics. The most significant growth falls upon trade operations between Uzbekistan and the Ukraine (plus 69%), and Kazakhstan (plus 63.3%). In 2007, the Uzbekistan goods turnover rose at 27.4% and made USD 14 bln 227.1 mln. The export share comprises USD 8 bln 991.5 mln (40.7% growth). 40.7%),
The import share equals to USD 5 bln 235.6 mln (9.5%). The surplus makes USD 3 bln 755.9 mln. Energy resources (20.2%) and cotton fiber (12.5%) prevail. Machinery and equipment (46.6%) and foodstuffs (7.9%) occupy the top positions in the import group. In 2007, Uzbekistan was in trade operations with 157 countries of the world, and had the trade surplus with 87 of them.
In its special explanatory note, the US State Department has declared the increase of the visa issuance prices. From January 1, 2008 the tourist visas, as well as the business, student, and working ones will cost $131 instead of $100, and long-term visas (over six months) will cost $355 instead of $335. The State Department has explained such increase of the visa fees “by introduction of new information technologies, inflation, and security-related expenses”.
By the Decrees of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan:
- Mr Ollobergan Ollobergenov is appointed as the khokim of the Khorezm oblast', instead of Mr Islam Aminovich Babadjanov (February 15, 2008)
- Mr Mamatisak Boymatovich Gafurov, previously the head of the fat-and-oil and food industry of the oblast', is appointed as the khokim of the Ferghana oblast', instead of Mr Abdukhashim Abdullaev (March 6, 2008)
- Mr Turobdjon Ikromovich Djuraev, previously the Minister of Public Education of the Republic, is appointed as the khokim of the Surkhandarya oblast', instead of Mr A.H.Eshmuratov (March 23, 2008)
- Mr. Oktam Barnoev, previously the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Management of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is appointed as the khokim of the Samarkand oblast.
(Material from published articles compiled by Uzbek A. Rustamov, General Representative, Interconcepts Inc. Translation to English: Lyubov Belokon)