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  • 22 Jan 2018 10:29 AM | Anonymous

    More than 20 agreements on cooperation in investment, trade and economy were signed during Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s visit to Washington, his press service said on Wednesday.

    "Within the framework of the head of state’s official visit, more than 20 commercial documents about cooperation in investment, trade and economy were signed, with an aim to carry out projects in aviation and space research, petrochemical and agricultural sectors, as well as infrastructure development projects, worth about $7 billion in total," the press service said in a statement.

    Three intergovernmental agreements were signed during the visit.

    The US Department of State said that as a result of the president’s visit to Washington, Kazakhstan purchased US goods and services worth $2.5 billion in total. The sides also set to develop bilateral trade, which stood at $1.9 billion in 2016.

    "During the visit, numerous commercial contracts and documents were concluded, including new agreements between The Boeing Company, GE Transportation, GE Digital, Chevron, Air Astana, KazTemirZholy, SCAT Airlines, and the Samruk-Kazyna National Wealth Fund for the purchase of US products and services valued at over $2.5 billion," the Department of State said.

    According a fact sheet, released by the US Department of State and the Kazakh president’s press service, the country’s air carriers signed agreements with Boeing worth $1.3 billion. "During their visit, the two leaders celebrated two separate deals between Boeing and Kazakh airlines totaling over $1.3 billion, sustaining an estimated 7,100 direct and indirect US jobs," the statement reads.

    Specifically, Kazakh air carrier SCAT Airlines ordered six Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes. With the first aircraft scheduled for delivery in March 2018, these will be the first 737 MAXs owned and operated in Kazakhstan and Central Asia. In addition, Kazakhstan’s flagship air carrier Air Astana affirmed its commitment, under the terms of an existing contract, to purchase three 787 Dreamliners, which are scheduled for delivery in 2021.

    Nazarbayev’s official visit to the United States began on Tuesday and will last through Thursday. During his visit, the Kazakh leader is expected to visit New York, where he will chair a high-level UN Security Council debate on confidence-building measures in the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons on January 18.

    Kazakh economy minister: inflation rate won’t exceed 7 percent this year

    Astana Times, 13 January 2018

    Kazakh Minister of National Economy Timur Suleimenov said the inflation rate will stay within the projected corridor of 5-7 percent this year. He discussed the preventive measures to curb inflation which the government will take by the end of 2018.

    Suleimenov noted the inflation rate was 7.1 percent in 2017, when it was supposed to stay within the 6-8 percent corridor. He answered journalists’ questions about high prices for some types of fruits and vegetables in winter, saying Kazakhstan still has a problem with seasonal supply and demand.

    “We can’t provide the same volume of offers for vegetables and fruits in December, January, February and March as in July, August and September. Therefore, this particular seasonal surge has been observed in our country at all times,” he said.

    At the same time, he noted the Ministry of National Economy and the Ministry of Agriculture are actively engaged in expanding the supply of fruits and vegetables. In particular, a great deal of work is underway to increase inventories, the number of warehouses and wholesale centres and wholesale distribution and trade in all major cities and towns.

    The Ministry of National Economy has also proposed reducing intermediary links, although Suleimenov emphasised there is no need to categorically dispose of all mediators.

    “Trade intermediation is absolutely a normal economic activity, because not every farmer, not every peasant farm is able to deliver and produce its products on the shelves of bazaars and shopping centres at a distance of 100-200 kilometres. Mediation is just right for this,” he said.

    The main thing, he noted, is that it does not become a dependent situation.

    “Right now, our committee for regulation of natural monopolies and the protection of competition has legal levers: these are turn-over penalties and the withdrawal of monopoly income. While this year we did not stir anything, we will closely monitor the development of the situation,” he added.

    The December inflation rate was 0.7 percent compared to the previous month and 7.1 percent year-on-year compared to 2016, according to the Ministry of National Economy statistics committee.

    “One of the important trends of the past year was the slowdown of inflationary processes. Throughout the year, inflation was within the 6-8 percent target corridor of the National Bank and, as a whole, showed a downward trend. As a result of November, the consumer price growth index was 7.3 percent, which is lower compared to the end of last year – 8.5 percent,” said National Bank chair Daniyar Akishev.

    Prices for confectionery rose 10.7 percent in 2017 and horsemeat and fresh fish prices grew 9.8 and 9.4 percent, respectively. The prices for sugar dropped 19.5 percent and sunflower oil by 9.9 percent.

    Diesel fuel prices rose 31.8 percent last year, gasoline (17.6 percent), coal (17.4 percent) and liquefied gas (8.6 percent). Prices for healthcare services increased 7.9 percent, legal services (7 percent) and entertainment and culture programmes (6.9 percent).

    Green energy to satisfy electricity demand in East Kazakhstan Astana Times, 17 January 2018

    Solar installations, wind generators and a hydroelectric power station will be launched this year in the East Kazakhstan region.

    “These projects are implemented to develop the green economy, one of the main aspects of EXPO 2017. The idea of constructing such power stations is particularly relevant in East Kazakhstan since the region has considerable resource potential and all the necessary prerequisites,” said East Kazakhstan Akim (Governor) Danial Akhmetov.

    Clean energy stations are to be built in the Zharma, Ulan and Zyryanovsk districts.

    The construction of hydroelectric power station on Turgusun River in the Zyryanovsk district is in full swing. The average annual electricity output is estimated to be 79.8 million kilowatt hours and the total cost of the project is 11.6 billion tenge (US$35.4 million).

    Wind generating stations are to be completed in the Shar and Zhangiztobe villages in Zharma district. Another wind power plant is to be constructed in the Tainty village of the Ulan district with a production capacity of 25 megawatts per year.

    In Zhangiztobe village, the construction of a solar power station is also coming to an end. The facility, with a price tag of 17.5 billion tenge (US$53.4 million), is capable of producing 30 megawatts a year. This project is included in the list of energy producing organisations of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

    “The akims (mayors) of Zharma, Zyryanovsk and Ulan districts should monitor the implementation of these projects, hold monthly meetings and provide necessary support,” said Akhmetov.

    This year, renewable energy will meet the electricity needs of the East Kazakhstan region and its neighbouring districts.
  • 17 Jan 2018 1:27 PM | Anonymous

    Ukraine’s IT exports should grow by 25% this year, to $4.5 billion, the IT Ukraine Association predicts. Last year, growth was 20% to $3.6 billion, the industry group says. It says that the sector employs 116,000 specialists and pays about $600 million in taxes.

    Yuzhmash will supply 20 rocket engines to the European Space Agency through 2020, the Dnipro-based company reports. The engines are used in Vega rockets which launch satellites. Since 2013, Ukrainian engines have powered 11 rockets, which placed 26 satellites for 20 customers into orbit.

    Ukraine’s central bank says an investigation by Kroll Inc. confirmed fraud at Privatbank that caused a loss of at least $5.5 billion before the country’s biggest lender was nationalized one year ago. The National Bank of Ukraine hired the American corporate investigations firm to study Privatbank’s operations during the decade before the December 2016 nationalization. The investigation blamed a ‘bank within the bank’ for the fact that more than 95 percent of borrowing was to parties related to the former shareholders and their affiliates. Citing the Kroll study, the central bank charged Tuesday that Privatbank “was subjected to a large, coordinated money-laundering scheme and bank fraud with the characteristics of a pyramid scheme.” Last month, London’s High Court granted a worldwide freeze against $2.5 billion of assets held by Privatbank’s ex-owners, Ukrainian billionaires Igor Kolomoisky and Gennady Bogolyubov.

    Today, lawyers for the new management of PrivatBank will argue in the Economic Court of Dnipropetrovsk for the bank’s $65 million claim against Dniproavia, a bankrupt airline once controlled by Igor Kolomoisky.

    Farm production in Ukraine decreased by 2.7% last year, compared to 2016, reports the State Statistics Service. The decline came after a 6.3% jump in 2016.

    Production of grapes for wine, grew by 7% last year, slowing down after a 31% jump in 2016, the State Statistics Service reports. In southern Ukraine, the big growth regions this year were Odesa with a 24% growth in grape production and Kherson which recorded a 30% jump.

    Ukraine is preparing tenders to sell 20 large state companies, including 68% of Zaporozhye Aluminum Smelter, 99.567% of Odessa Port Plant and 99.995% of Sumykhimprom and five regional energy companies, Vitaly Trubarov, head of the State Property Fund, writes on Facebook. At the same time, Rada, deputies are to start debating a new privatization law this week.

    A 6-hectare site near Chernobyl is about to put for tender for a 30-year-lease, the State Property Fund reports. The Fund says it already has one proposal, from a company that wants to build a 3M solar power plant.

    Ukraine almost cut in half its consumption of anthracite coal last year, a cut prompted by Kyiv’s boycott of coal from secessionist controlled mines Increased nuclear power production saved 2.3 million tons of coal, and a switch to gas coal saved another 1.8 million tons of anthracite, Deputy Prime Minister Volodymyr Kistion said.

    Ukraine has enough proven natural gas reserves to guarantee production at current rates through 2040, reports Yaroslav Klymovych, chair of Nadra Ukrainy, the state geological survey company. Reserves available for production amount to 453 billion cubic meters. However, he said 10 times that volume could be identified if Ukraine undertook a nationwide survey program using modern technology.

    Ukraine nearly doubled exports of scrap metal last year, to 486,500 tons. Most of the scrap goes to Turkey and Moldova for the production of new steel, according to the Ukrainian Association of Secondary Metals.

    Ukraine increased its butter exports to the EU nearly seven times, taking second place after long term supplier New Zealand. The EU imported 2,300 tons of butter from Ukraine. Perhaps pulled along by the export surge, domestic butter prices jumped 27.6% last year, well above Ukraine’s overall inflation rate of 13.6%.

    The Eva drugstore chain expanded by one third last year, opening 154 new stores across Ukraine, according to the owner, Rush LLC of Dnipro. Employing 7,600 people, Rush saw its profit during the first three quarters of last year increase to $6 million.

    As part of the fight against the shadow economy, Ukraine will require that all merchants have point of sale card terminals within two years. Customers will have the option of paying with cash or card. The new rule will extend terminals to 183,000 new businesses, the Economic Development and Trade Ministry calculates.

    The Financial Times reports that Ukraine’s push to regulate cryptocurrencies is prompted by worries “that exploitation of the digital assets by criminals and geopolitical adversaries presents a growing national security risk.” The article quotes a government statement: “The lack of external and internal control over the cryptocurrencies’ turnover, and anonymity of payments, create prerequisites for their use in order to legalize criminal assets [and] to pay for prohibited goods, in particular, drugs and weapons.” This unregulated means of payment could mean, the government said, that cryptocurrencies are being used to “provide for financing of terrorism, in particular, in the occupied territories of Ukraine.”

    As the Ukrainian banking sector stabilized last year, the closing of bank branches slowed to 8%, half the 2016 percent closure rate of 16%. Today, Ukraine has 9,489 bank branches, according to the National Bank of Ukraine. By shuttering 443 branches, Oschadbank accounted for about half of last year’s closings.

    In advance of a visit to Kyiv by Albania’s Foreign Minister next month, Ukraine is ready to discuss a free trade pact with Albania, says Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, deputy prime minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. The western Balkan nation is an official candidate for accession to the EU. Ukraine has 16 free trade agreements, covering 45 countries. Historically wary of Moscow, “Albania is one of the Balkan countries that unquestionably support Ukraine in countering Russian aggression,” Pandeli Majko, Albania’s Minister of State for Diaspora, said after meeting Klympush-Tsintsadze here. About 3,000 Albanians live in Ukraine. Last year, bilateral trade was $22 million.

    New state support will allow the production of over 120 films this year in Ukraine, says President Poroshenko. He writes on Facebook: “A bright future awaits Ukrainian cinema!"

  • 16 Jan 2018 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    President Poroshenko’s office rejects IMF criticism of his draft law to create an anti-corruption court, saying Monday evening: “All discussions about certain norms must be held within the legal framework in the Ukrainian parliament." Earlier in the day, news outlets published a letter to Ihor Rainin, head of the Poroshenko administration, from Ron van Rooden, IMF mission chief for Ukraine. “We have serious concerns about the draft law,” van Rooden wrote June 11, referring to the draft law. “Several provisions are not consistent with the authorities’ commitments under Ukraine’s IMF-supported program.” Analyst Timothy Ash writes: “[Poroshenko] obviously does not think Ukraine needs cheap IMF financing. It always amazed me to read analysis suggesting IMF disbursements in Q1 or earlier. As is, Ukraine will be lucky to get any IMF disbursements this side of elections next year."

    The hryvnia weakened by 1.6% over the first two weeks of January to UAH 28.5 to the dollar. This comes after the national currency only weakened by 3.1% during all of 2017, it’s most stable performance in four years. To prevent exchange rate spikes, the National Bank of Ukraine has injected $53.5 million into the banking system this month. Concorde Capital’s Evgeniya Akhtyrko writes: “By the end of 2018, we expect the hryvnia will touch UAH 29 to the dollar on the back of further current account deficit widening.”

    Rents in upscale Kyiv shopping centers rebounded last year by 23%, to $960 per square meters per year, the highest jump in the history of the local index, reports Jones Lang LaSalle, the real estate consultancy. At the same time, vacancies dropped by 6.5 percentage points, “a record drop in the annual vacancy rate,” JLL reports. Pressing the market, real wages in Kyiv increased last year by 11.3% and, for the first time in recent memory no new shopping centers opened. Due to construction delays, five new shopping centers are to open in 2018, adding 114,000 square meters of new retail space. Also, this year, Kyiv is to see several new international brand stores: De Facto, Decathlon, FLO, H & M, IKEA, Koton, and Zara Home.

    The average sale price for a Kyiv apartment fell 6% last year, to $977/square meter, consulting company SV Development tells UNIAN. While prices fell across the city, the lowest drop was in Podil, where prices fell by 4.4% to $905/square meter.

    Nuclear power production increased by 5.7% in 2017, Energoatom reports. About half of Ukraine’s power comes from its four nuclear power plants, a ratio topped in Europe only by France. Last year, the nation’s 15 nuclear reactors produced 85 billion kWh.

    Despite foreign press reports that imply that Ukraine has a high crime rate, the number of murders is one third the level of 20 years ago, Viacheslav Abroskin, deputy chief of Ukraine's National Police writes on Facebook. In 1997, 4,529 people were murdered in Ukraine, three times as many as the 1,551 murders recorded in 2017. He wrote: "In 2017, culprits were identified in 1,387 out of 1,551 murder cases, while 466 cases were solved that had been dragging over the years." Last November, The Wall Street Journal started a feature story: “Bodies are piling up in Kiev...” Last week, The New York Times published a lengthy story on the murder of Iryna Nozdrovska, the human rights lawyer

  • 16 Jan 2018 9:23 AM | Anonymous

    Xinhua, January 11, 2018

    Crude oil imports from Kazakhstan to China through a transnational pipeline hit a new record high last year, PetroChina West Pipeline Company said Thursday.

    The China-Kazakhstan pipeline carried 12.3 million tonnes of crude oil into the world's second-largest economy in 2017, up 23.2 percent year on year, the pipeline operator said.

    The crude oil production cuts by OPEC members in early 2017 drove up crude prices, and oil producers in Kazakhstan then increased exports, it said.

    The pipeline runs more than 2,800 kilometers from the city of Atyrau to Atasu in Kazakhstan via the Alataw pass in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region to the PetroChina Dushanzi Petrochemical Company, one of China's major petrochemical producers. It became operational in 2006.

  • 16 Jan 2018 9:21 AM | Anonymous

    Anurag Thukral, CEO of Australia's STARIN Investments and Developments, says that the State-of-the-Nation Address of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev "The New Development Opportunities amid the Fourth Industrial Revolution" will pave the way for making Kazakhstan one of the world's industrial and business centers, Kazinform special correspondent in China reports.

    "The priority tasks as outlined in 10 important areas by the President Nazarbayev in his Address is a great vision of a great leader of Kazakhstan. It shows how a strong dream and a powerful vision of a true leader paves a strong foundation to build a strong nation. Going through the priority program one can easily see that this program will benefit and improve the life of an ordinary Kazakh.

    As this program gets implemented Kazakhstan will be a leading country internationally and every citizen will be a proud Kazakh," he said. In sharing the vision of President Nazarbayev, as implementation of the President's priority program unfolds, the Australian businessman noted that it is easy to see Kazakhstan industry and its businesses becoming leaders.

    The program would lead to increased labour productivity, improved quality, would encourage new business start-ups and enhance industrial output through modern and innovative technologies. "This initiative of the President will definitely make Kazakhstan an industrial and business force which is strong competent and market leader.

    Development and smart management of infrastructure and transportation systems as initiated by the President would enhance international confidence, increase connectivity and ensure timely delivery of goods and services. Efficient material handling and lowered transportation costs would increase profitability and export," he underlined.

    According to Anurag Thukral, President Nazarbayev has his eyes on making Kazakhstan a smart nation. A smart nation would use its resources and energy efficiently, reduce operational and management costs and overheads. "A greater connectivity would encourage international and national businesses to have improved confidence. An efficient and reliable connectivity and access to the world financial, economic, political and latest technological systems would keep Kazakh businesses in line with the world trends. The vision of President Nazarbayev for a smart nation would place Kazakhstan on the world map in gold," he said.

    Mr. Thukral highlighted that the President is asking Kazakh administration and public bodies to effectively participate in nation building by simplifying administrative procedures. "He is encouraging innovation and development of public policies that would encourage businesses and would improve life of the citizens. An efficient administration would demonstrate national pride, and adopting systems that demonstrate integrity would improve confidence of ordinary citizen when working with public bodies. The President wants administration to be accountable of their actions and prepare for self-governance. This is a great initiative that shows that the President's policies are down to earth and he understands the needs and the difficulties of a citizen," the Australian businessman added.

    He noted that President Nazarbayev has placed a great emphasis on health and welfare of citizens of Kazakhstan as a healthy nation is a strong nation. "When the top leader of the nation has his focus on improving the life and living standard of its citizens, the citizens would have greater pride and passion, the citizen would give back to the nation by staying within the country. An improved healthy environment, greater employment opportunities, improved medical systems, healthy living and enhanced possibilities of growth and satisfaction of achieving professionally and financially will encourage the young generation to stay in Kazakhstan. The retained young talented workforce would be the biggest and most valuable national asset Kazakhstan will have for all times. I can clearly see that the implementation of the President's program will make every Kazakh patriotic," Anurag Thukral summarized.

  • 12 Jan 2018 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Canadian exporters with long histories of doing business in Russia are urging the federal government to help them compete with foreign rivals that they insist are profiting from Ottawa’s particularly rigid approach to international sanctions.

    Companies say they’re losing ground because, unlike other countries that have imposed sanctions directed at Moscow, Canada went a step further by removing its export credit agency from the Russian market in 2014.

    The absence of Export Development Canada’s services, which include important supports like trade insurance, has led to a retreat of Canadian business from Russia.

    Canadian firms say the vacuum has helped open up new opportunities for competitors from places like the United States, Europe and Japan, where export credit agencies continue to support local businesses with interests in Russia, despite similar sanctions by their governments.

    While in most cases the issue is overshadowed by apprehension over NAFTA, it remains a key worry for some Canadian sectors. Canada’s exports to Russia — $600 million in 2016 — pale when compared to bigger partnerships like the U.S.

    But for some Canadians, Russia was a top market until the federal government called on EDC to withdraw its services.

    Industry associations call it an uneven playing field for Canadian firms that export products to Russia — everything from toasters to construction material to agricultural equipment.

    The president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada discussed the issue this week with some of her members at a major farm show in Saskatoon. Leah Olson said Russia was a significant market for Canadian farming equipment, particularly since the countries share similar harsh climates.

    “With Canadian firms having to pull back … they’ve been seeing lots of their competitors now in the region,” said Olson, whose group represents nearly 300 manufacturers and suppliers.

    Ben Voss, president and CEO of a Saskatchewan-based agricultural manufacturer, said up until 2014, there were years when more than half of the sales from his company, Morris Industries Ltd., were in Russia.

    The country remains important to his firm because it still has 1,000 customers there, but sales to Russia now represent less than 10 per cent of his business.

    “The European countries and even the Americans, ironically, are imposing sanctions — very strict sanctions — but then they’re still allowing lots of their domestic, economic activity to continue unprohibited,” Voss said in an interview.

    “Whereas Canada seems to think that it was necessary to say, ‘We’re putting sanctions in and then we’re going to go one step further.”‘

    Voss, who has raised the issue directly with International Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, said he has the impression the government is open to finding a solution.

    “It’s just a very delicate issue,” Voss said. “I think the previous government was much more hardlined on this.”

    Champagne is aware of industry concerns about the uneven application of sanctions and how firms have been stung by the discrepancies, according to a recently released briefing note.

    The document, obtained by The Canadian Press through the Access to Information Act, was prepared for Champagne last spring ahead of a meeting with the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association, which promotes trade and investment in the region.

    “Canada is working in close co-ordination with its partners in order to maintain sanctions against Russia in response to illegal actions in Ukraine and Syria,” read suggested speaking points for Champagne in the memo.

    “We don’t intend to put sticks in the spokes of legitimate businesses, although we recognize that sometimes sanctions have this involuntary effect…. Unfortunately, there have been some involuntary negative repercussions on Canadian companies. This was not our objective.”

    If pressed on why EDC pulled its services for the Russian market, the document recommended Champagne respond by saying he didn’t know when they would be reinstated. The note also suggested he explain that Canada is continually speaking with its G7 and European partners to ensure, as much as possible, that they have a co-ordinated approach when it comes the sanctions.

    “However, individual export credit agencies are taking directions from their respective governments and we are aware that they are allowing these business transactions to continue,” the document said.

    Phil Taylor, a spokesman for EDC, said the agency was instructed in 2014 to stop conducting business in Russia — and any change to this position would come at the direction of the trade minister.

    Sebastien Dakin, the Canada Eurasia Russia Business Association’s director for Ottawa and Montreal, said in an email that some companies have worked for many years developing their business relationships in Russia.

    “In many cases, the business is threatened if not already lost, and will not come back easily,” Dakin wrote.

    “This service is really helpful for companies, mainly when you do not have permanent representation on the ground. At the moment, Canadian trade commissioners are confined to a reactive role and companies are pretty much on their own, which is far from ideal on a far and challenging market such as Russia.”

  • 05 Jan 2018 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    Uzbekistan will purchase 5,778 units of equipment for agricultural needs of the country in the first half of 2018.

    Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree “On additional measures to further improve the technical equipment of agriculture” on January 4.

    The document notes that the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources jointly with Uzagrotehsanoatholding JSC determined the primary need for the supply of modern arable and tilled tractors, combine harvesters, plows, seeders and other agricultural equipment for the spring agrotechnical work in 2018 in the amount of only 5,778 units, including 758 arable tractors, 1,500 tilled tractors, 330 horticultural tractors.

    In addition, 2,790 units of hinged and trailed agricultural machinery, as well as 400 combine harvesters will be also purchased, according to the decree.

    In particular, it is planned to purchase John Deere, Belarus, T-7060, T-6070 tractors, CASE, Vector, Dominator 130 grain harvesters, plows, seeders, sprayers, cultivators, etc.

    The delivery of agricultural equipment is carried out at the expense of credits of Agrobank, own funds of farms and machine and tractor parks, as well as loans provided to machine and tractor parks from Uzagrotehsanoatholding and Uzagroservis.

    The Uzbek leader recommended Agrobank to issue loans to farms and machine and tractor parks that are part of Uzagroservis JSC for a period of 10 years at a rate of 5 percent per annum under security (guarantee, pledge of property) of Uzagrotehsanoatholding and organizations in its composition.

    Uzbekistan's economy depends heavily on agricultural production. Last year the volume of gross agricultural production in Uzbekistan reached 47.4 trillion soums. As of January 1, 2017, the number of operating farms exceeded 132,000 and dekhkan farms - 4.7 million.

    In total, 8.2 million tons of grain, 2.9 million tons of potatoes, 11.2 million tons of vegetables, over 3 million tons of fruits and berries, 1.7 million tons of grapes, 2 million tons of melons and 2.9 million tons of raw cotton were produced in the country last year.

    Because of the risks associated with a one-crop economy as well as from considerations of food security for the population, Uzbekistan has been trying to diversify its production of other agricultural products, while reducing cotton production.

    The Central Asian nation intends to decrease production and public procurement of raw cotton up to 3 million tons by 2020.

    Thus, Uzbekistan aims to increase production of grain crops up to 8.5 million tons with the growth rate of 16.4 percent by 2020 due to optimization of lands and introduction of modern agriculture technologies. It is also planned to increase production of potatoes by 35 percent, other vegetables by 30 percent, fruits and grapes 21.5 percent, meat by 26.2 percent, milk by 47.3 percent, eggs by 74.5 percent and fish by 2.5 times.

  • 22 Dec 2017 3:42 PM | Anonymous

    Forbes has compiled ranking of the best countries for doing business. In the ranking, which assessed 53 countries on 15 criteria, Uzbekistan was ranked the 99th, between Lebanon and Iran.

    Uzbekistan is the world's fifth largest exporter of cotton and the seventh largest producer.

    Growth in Uzbekistan is mainly driven by public investment, while the export of natural gas, gold and cotton provide a significant share of foreign exchange earnings. Given the need to improve the investment climate, the government is taking additional steps to reform the business sector and remove obstacles to foreign investment in the country, experts note.

    The rating of the best countries for doing business evaluates the countries by various factors, which include: property rights, the degree of innovation, the level of taxation, technology, the level of corruption, freedom (personal, commercial and financial), bureaucracy and investor protection. All categories are equal in importance.

  • 16 Dec 2017 1:38 PM | Anonymous

    The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved US$ 15 million in additional financing to support the ongoing Agriculture Commercialization Project in Tajikistan. The project aims to expand opportunities for Tajik farmers and enterprises to increase productivity and access to domestic and international markets.

    “Taking advantage of the considerable export opportunities for agricultural and food products made in Tajikistan, the project supports entrepreneurial efforts to increase productivity and employment opportunities in rural regions of Tajikistan,” said Jan-Peter Olters, World Bank Country Manager in Tajikistan. “Rural business development, including with programs to expand access to finance, support new startups, and provide rural entrepreneurs with relevant business skills, is a key instrument to foster innovation, facilitate trade, support domestic job creation in emerging rural economies.”

    The original Tajikistan Agriculture Commercialization Project, financed by a grant of US$ 22 million from the International Development Association (IDA), has been supporting the commercialization of farm and agri-business products, by improving the performance of selected value chains, increasing access to finance and strengthening the capacity of small farmers, medium-scale agribusinesses, and producer associations.

    To date, the project has supported over 1,000 individual farmers and small- and medium-sized enterprises with a total of US$ 3.3 million. The project is also providing support to value chains for fresh and dried apricot and dairy, having trained over 3,000 farmers on improved (post)-production technologies and market access. The first ten grants that have been approved have allowed groups of small-holder farmers to connect to the project-supported value chains. Institutional capacity building is under way to support agricultural education establishments, the project’s participating financial institutions, and the National Statistics Agency of Tajikistan.

    “The agricultural sector plays a major role in economic growth and poverty reduction in Tajikistan,” said Sandra Broka, Team Leader for the Agriculture Commercialization Project. “With additional financing, the project’s approach—access to knowledge coupled with financing—will be expanded beyond agriculture and agribusiness to other types of rural sub-sectors and businesses, so that there are more opportunities for income generation and job creation.”

    With additional financing approved, the project will also support activities aimed at increasing the amount of credit line available for agribusinesses, making a matching grant program available to support the entrance of new and young enterprises to the market and supporting capacity building for existing microcredit institutions on rural business financing, as well as for selected smaller micro-finance institutions with good potential to grow.  

    The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tajikistan includes 19 projects, with a net commitment of US$ 615.9 million. The World Bank Group remains committed to supporting Tajikistan as it strives to improve the lives of its people and meet the aspirations of its young and growing population. 

  • 15 Dec 2017 5:14 PM | Anonymous

    Chinese Wanbang will invest $500 million to implement projects in the agriculture sector of Uzbekistan.

    To this end, the sides signed an agreement within the framework of the visit of the Chinese delegation to the republic held recently.

    The document was signed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources and Uzbekkozovaktovholding company.

    The agreements envisage the joint implementation of more than 15 projects in such areas as the production, processing and packaging of agricultural products, including livestock products, as well as the export, import and re-export of finished products.

    The parties plan to create logistics centers and facilities for processing agricultural products in the free economic zones of Uzbekistan on an area of 10,000 hectares. In addition, it is planned to supply 100,000 tons of Uzbek masha to the Middle Kingdom.

    During the visit, representatives of the company visited Tashkent, Samarkand, Djizzak, Syrdarya regions and expressed a desire to develop long-term partnership with the country.

    China is a key investor in Central Asian region. Today, Wanbang cooperates with more than 50 countries of the world and occupies 37 percent of the total food market of China.

    Uzbekistan's economy depends heavily on agricultural production. Last year the volume of gross agricultural production in Uzbekistan reached 47.4 trillion soums. As of January 1, 2017, the number of operating farms exceeded 132,000 and dekhkan farms - 4.7 million.

    In total, 8.2 million tons of grain, 2.9 million tons of potatoes, 11.2 million tons of vegetables, over 3 million tons of fruits and berries, 1.7 million tons of grapes, 2 million tons of melons and 2.9 million tons of raw cotton were produced in the country last year.

    Because of the risks associated with a one-crop economy as well as from considerations of food security for the population, Uzbekistan has been trying to diversify its production of other agricultural products, while reducing cotton production.

    The Central Asian nation intends to decrease production and public procurement of raw cotton up to 3 million tons by 2020.

    Thus, Uzbekistan aims to increase production of grain crops up to 8.5 million tons with the growth rate of 16.4 percent by 2020 due to optimization of lands and introduction of modern agriculture technologies. It is also planned to increase production of potatoes by 35 percent, other vegetables by 30 percent, fruits and grapes 21.5 percent, meat by 26.2 percent, milk by 47.3 percent, eggs by 74.5 percent and fish by 2.5 times.