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Business Connections #11/2008
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President's Letter

Dear Members and Friends,

While the year is almost half over it has been a productive and fruitful period for AmCham.

A few notable achievements include the smooth transition to our new Executive Director, a record number of new members, and a busy schedule for committee meetings, mixers and other AmCham activities.

The year is also shaping up to be a good one in terms of business and economic activity. Foreign direct investment is on the rise and the arrival of new investors such as General Motors is a positive sign that Uzbekistan's investment climate is improving.

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Executive Director Report

Dear AmCham members and friends,

As the new Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan, I have a great pleasure to extend my greetings to AmCham members and friends.

From the beginning of the year, the Chamber is developing new strategies to insure more proactive position of its members and place the economic and trade development of our membership within the regional framework.  For this purpose, we need your valuable participation and inputs.

...read more

A Collection of old Uzbekistan bonds and shares

I collect old bonds and shares of bankrupt countries or companies.

I call my hobby “financial necrophilia”. It's fun and very interesting, and quite different from the usual hobbies.

As there are hundreds of thousands of such financial documents - it's a bit like postage stamps - I concentrate on those that have a particularly interesting history, for example:

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AmCham News Bulletin Board

In January-April 2008 twelve new members joined AmCham Uzbekistan (for details see article “Welcome aboard!”)

Business breakfast of BOD with Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Pamela Spratlen

Uzbekistan and US carmaker General Motors Corp. have launched a joint venture as part of GM's plans for expansion in the region (for details see Business Sector News)

AmCham member, Riza Elibol (Hotel InterContinental Tashkent General Manager) left for Almaty and Omur Aksut became the new General Manager of the hotel.

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Business Mixer on April 25, 2008

Oxus Gold and AmCham in Uzbekistan co-hosted a Business Mixer on April 25, 2008 in an excellent new, romantic restaurant “Steak house El - Mundo”. The event was not only to gather all the AmCham community on a monthly scheduled event but also to celebrate the appointment of Mr. Richard V.L. Wilkins as Chief Executive Officer and to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Oxus Gold being with American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan.

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AmCham Monthly Meeting on February 28, 2008

On February 28, 2008 American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan welcomed the honorable speaker of the month Mr. Mr. Sergio Rocha, Vice President of GM Daewoo Auto and Technology Company. The stellar event gathered together not only Uzbek, American and Korean business community but also senior diplomats from both American and the Korean Embassies and Uzbek officials.

...read more

Business Mixer on March 28, 2008

A long standing member and initially one of the companies who were founders of AmCham in Uzbekistan, Uzbek- American Joint Venture Uz-Texaco has sponsored the March 2008 Business Mixer at the “Berezka” Russian cuisine restaurant.  The host of the event, AmCham Director, General Manager of Uz-Texaco and the happy father of new born baby boy, Robert Horton welcomed all the guests and invited them to enjoy the delicious food and drinks which were abundant that evening.  All AmCham members and guests actively communicated and discussed business issues in the pleasant Russian Palace Chamber interior of the restaurant.

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AmCham Monthly Meeting on March 27, 2008

On March 27th, 2008 participants at the AmCham monthly meeting had the opportunity to meet and hear a presentation by Timur Valitov, Chairman of the Republican Universal Agro Industrial Exchange.

It was an interesting and informative presentation in that the Agro Industrial Exchange is one of four exchanges or “birjas” in Uzbekistan, and is the only one that is entirely private.

Mr. Valitov gave a detailed presentation with a number of slides. Of particular interest were the ways in which local and foreign companies could use the exchange for their commercial dealings taking advantage of the further benefit that the exchange can facilitate foreign exchange.

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Monthly Meeting on April 24, 2008

On April 24, 2008 AmCham in Uzbekistan held April Monthly Meeting at the Hotel InterContinental. Honorable speaker for the event was Consul of the Embassy of the United States of America to Uzbekistan Rafael Perez.

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Trade & Investment Committee

AmCham is happy to report on the work of the Trade and Investment Committee that was resumed early this year after a few year break. The Committee held three meetings during Feb-May period and has already made certain progress in achieving its goals, which were defined during its first meeting as to promote favorable T&I climate in Uzbekistan, facilitate the entrance of potential investors to Uzbekistan, and facilitate the current T&I activities of AmCham members.  The participants of the first two meetings actively discussed how the Committee can achieve its goals and came to important conclusions at these meetings that have put a solid ground for the future work of the Committee.

...read more

Welcome aboard!

12 new members joined AmCham in
Uzbekistan in January – April 2008

•Eurasia Capital Management is the leading alternative investment management group focused on investments in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Mongolia
•Eurasia Capital Management manages five investment funds focused on investing in frontier markets in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Mongolia
•ECM is focused on providing for investors access to investment opportunities across various asset classes (equities, property and private equity) in nine countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia)
•Eurasia Capital International is a newly established advisory firm with subsidiaries in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Mongolia

...read more

Tax and Customs News

The information contained in this publication is for general guidance only.  You should neither act, nor refrain from acting, on the basis of such information.  The application of laws and regulations will vary depending on particular circumstances and may also undergo frequent change.  You should take appropriate professional advice relating to your particular circumstances and the current status of the laws and regulations.  PricewaterhouseCoopers disclaim all responsibility, including in negligence, for all consequences of any person acting on, or refraining from acting in reliance on, information contained in this publication.

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Membership Committee

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
As the Chairman of the newly established Membership Committee it gives me a great pleasure to report on the action plan and first achievements of our Committee’s activity.

AmCham directs its efforts to reinforce and straighten membership from inside and extend the amount of its members by facilitating the services proposed. Amcham Membership Committee was created to accomplish this task and to drive AmCham’s growth to ensure 2X growth. Thus mission of this committee is to increase AmCham corporate membership to 120 members by the end of 2008 and to 300-350 corporate members within next 4 years.

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Who are the members of AmCham in Uzbekistan?

Dear AmCham members and friends, we are pleased to open a new page in our Business Connections edition which recognizes the companies having been with AmCham Uzbekistan for 10 and more years. We would like to convey our congratulations to these companies, and we are confident we will see them in the AmCham Uzbekistan membership for many more years. 

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Tourism and Hospitality Committee

Bukhara truly is the city of poems and tales. Legends here soar above the fillets of streets, minarets here scrape the skies, and each stone of its ancient architecture holds the dust of eternity. Bukhara deserved the fame of being an open air museum. Tourists from all over the world come here attracted to its beauty. While walking on its streets, they feel like they are walking through the roads of History.

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What is New in Legislation of Uzbekistan?

Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan

By Decree of the President (March 5, 2008, # UP-3972), the minimum wages of the employees of the government-financed offices and organizations, as well as scholarships, pensions and social allowances have increased at the average of 1.12 times. The Decree became effective on April 1, 2008. From that date, the minimum sizes of the below should be established in the territory of the Republic: 

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Business Sector News

LUKoil Acquires New Hydrocarbon Assets in the Republic of Uzbekistan

In February 2008, “LUKoil Overseas” (100% subsidiary of “LUKoil” JSC) reached an agreement with “MGNK Neftegaz” CJSC to acquire the control stock of the group of companies, including “SoyuzNeftGaz Vostok Limited”. The latter is a PDA party for the Southwest Gissar deposit and Ustyurt region in the Republic of Uzbekistan.

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Regional News, Events, Facts

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.

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Business Connections #11/2008

Business Connections #11
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