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News: October 2006

PRESIDENT PARTICIPATES IN FERGHANA DEPUTIES’ COUNCIL SESSION, REGIONAL GOVERNOR REPLACED

Extraordinary session of the Ferghana Regional People’s Deputies Council was held on 19 October. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov participated in the session.

The head of the state noted that Ferghana had a special place in the life of the country due to its ancient history and rich economic and intellectual potential.

The share of the region in the country’s GDP makes up 8%, including 9% in industry and more than 9% in agriculture. The region hosts a number of the largest enterprises in Uzbekistan, including Azoth, Quartz, QuvasoyCement, AvtoOyna and Ferghana Mechanical Plant.

Many educational establishments are also located here, namely Ferghana State University, Ferghana Polytechnic Institute, Qoqand State Pedagogical Institute, branches of Tashkent Medical Academy and Tashkent IT University, as well as 93 professional colleges and 8 academic lyceums.

However, the President said, the region has been showing slow progress in a number of spheres in the recent years, which he attributed to lack of responsibility among the regional leadership.

Industrial production fell at 11 enterprises last year and at 10 enterprises this year, Islam Karimov said. Only 35 enterprises and objects of 65 included in the privatization program were sold this year, and no companies or objects were sold to foreign investors.

He also criticized the pace of industrialization of rural areas in the region. There are no industrial enterprises processing local raw materials in a number of districts, the head of the state said.

Attraction of foreign investments was another shortcoming pointed out by the President. Only two projects with attraction of foreign investments out of five planned for 2006 (worth a total of USD 10m) were implemented. The regional FDI attraction program was implemented by a mere 1%.

In agriculture, several districts have not been fulfilling their obligations in sale of grain to the state, with 15,800 tons of grain not delivered as agreed.

The production of cotton has been falling over the past five to six years, making up about 6 centners per hectare. And the region may not fulfill its contractual obligations on cotton purchases this year.

Speaking of the social sphere, Islam Karimov highlighted the problem of employment. 64% of the planned new workplaces were created last year, he said. The plan of women’s employment was fulfilled to 54%. The population is critical of the municipal policy, too.

Many representatives of the local government are indifferent to urgent needs of the people, the President stressed.

At the session, Shermat Nurmatov was relieved of the duties of hokim (governor) of Ferghana region. According to the President’s proposal, Abdukhashim Abdullayev, formerly Margilan city mayor, was appointed new hokim to the region.

V. Luqmonov, M. Sulaymonov

Source: UzA, 19.10.2006

SECOND INTERNATIONAL UZBEK COTTON FAIR ENDS

Representatives of the largest textile enterprises and trading companies from all regions of the planet participated in the Second International Uzbek cotton fair in Tashkent.

The fair was organized by the Ministry for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade at the support of International Cotton Advisory Committee, " Cotton Outlook" magazine.

Minister for Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade of Uzbekistan E.Ganiev pointed out at the closing ceremony, that present fair was logic continuation of the first International Uzbek cotton fair, which was held last year under the initiative of President Islam Karimov to establish long-term partnership relations with consumers of our cotton fiber, to creat transparent mechanism of its realization. The basic purpose of these fair is wide promotion of high brand of Uzbek cotton to world market.

The two day fair resulted in signing export contracts and agreements worth 1 million 700 thousand tonnes of cotton fibre, 600,000 tonnes of which from the crop 2006 and other volume from the crop of next two years, which shows the aspiration of our partners for long-term cooperation. Most large-scale contracts are signed with the companies of such countries, as China, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Bangladesh, Korea and Russian Federation.

This year over 250 companies from 36 countries of the world participate in the fair in comparison with 169 companies from 30 countries in 2005. Particularly from Belarus, Vietnam, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey, Ukraine, France. It is remarkable, that large number of companeis, which intended to cooperate with Uzbekistan , are from Southeast Asia where vector of world textile industry gradually moves. Uzbekistan firmly takes the second place in the world on cotton export.

The participants were provided opportunity to familiarize with positive reforms in cotton complex of Uzbekistan. The experts visisted cotton-cleaning plant named after 5th anniversary of independence of Uzbekistan and cotton terminal " Toshkent-Tola" of Tashkent region, and familiarized with their activity. Besides they participated in indicative trading sessions in Uzbek Republican Commodity exchange.

- We are regular consumers of Uzbek cotton since 2001, - said representative of Singapore company " SinCot (PTE) Ltd " in Uzbekistan Yu.Bannikov. – We agreed on signing the contract for purchasing 10 thousand tonnes of cotton fiber in 2006. Participation in the international fair was very productive, and allowed to establish new communications, to expand opportunities for implentation of beneficial bargains.

Results of the Second International Uzbek cotton fair in Tashkent once again confirmed, that Uzbekistan is one of leaders in world cotton market. High brand of our fiber, which is in high demand, in an evidence of the efficiency of economic reforms held in Uzbekistan under direction of President Islam Karimov.

A. Ivanova, F. Arziyev

Source: UzA, 19.10.2006