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  • 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.

  • 15 Dec 2017 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a new loan to Uzbekistan for $450 million.

    These funds will be used to install additional generating equipment with a capacity of 850 to 950 MW at the Talimarjan thermal power plant in Kashkadarya region of Uzbekistan. Such attention to the modernization of one of the largest TPPs of the country is explained by the fact that the demand for electricity in the republic is constantly growing.

    The project provides for the expansion of the station by installing additional combined cycle gas turbines with generation of heat. The supplier for the new combined cycle generating unit is Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation. The new turbines will also increase the total capacity of the facility up to 2600 MW and raise the heat efficiency from 48 to 52 percent. The project will also reduce the cost of electricity produced at the plant by 30 percent.

    In October 2016, the first combined-cycle plant with a capacity of 450 megawatts was put into operation at the Talimarjan thermal power plant, and in February 2017 -- the second one. Their work allowed each year to produce an additional 7 billion kWh of electricity. In August, two more combined cycle facilities with a capacity of 450 megawatts each were launched.

    In addition, ADB will provide 2 million dollars for free, which will be used to improve the financial stability of Uzbekenergo and increase the efficiency of the tariff system in the power industry.

    The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $860 million. In March 2013, Daewoo and Hyundai companies - the winners of the tender announced by the Uzbekenergo JSC, signed a contract to modernize the Talimarjan thermal power plant.

    The sources of financing will be funds attracted from ADB, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan.

    Uzbekistan is the largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Total installed capacity of Uzbekistan's power plants exceeds 12.4 GW. Twelve thermal power plants, with a combined capacity of over 10.7 GW, and 31 hydro power plants, with a combined capacity of 1.7 GW, belonging to the Uzbekenergo, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Mining and Metallurgical Company Almalyk and the Uzkhimprom Association, constitute the backbone of the electricity sector.

    Uzbekistan joined the ADB in August 1995. The ADB program in Uzbekistan has provided loans, grants and technical assistance to grow the country's economy and improve the lives of people, particularly the poor, women, children and other vulnerable groups.

  • 15 Dec 2017 5:09 PM | Anonymous

    The United States will assist Uzbekistan in its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Trade reported.

    A meeting with the assistant to the U.S. Trade Representative for Central and South Asia, Mark Linscott, was held at the ministry, during which the parties discussed issues of Uzbekistan's accession to the WTO.

    In addition, the issues related to Uzbekistan's membership in the general system of U.S. tariff preferences and legal protection of intellectual property was considered in detail.

    "Agreements on the assistance of the American side, including the technical one, in the process of Uzbekistan's accession to the WTO were reached. In order to promote these issues in practice, permanent contacts between the responsible officials of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and the office of the U.S. trade mission will be established," the ministry noted.

    During his recent trip to South Korea, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced that Uzbekistan is renewing its work on WTO accession.

    A memorandum and a road map have been signed between the governments of the two countries on Korea's assistance to Uzbekistan in the matters of joining this organization, including by assessing the consequences of entry, examination of national legislation in accordance with the requirements of WTO agreements, as well as technical, consultative and expert support to the ministries and departments concerned.

    There are 164 members of the World Trade Organization. That's 84 percent of the 196 countries in the world.

    They enjoy the privileges that other member-countries give to them and the security that the trading rules provide. In return, they had to make commitments to open their markets and to abide by the rules - those commitments were the result of the membership (or "accession") negotiations.
  • 13 Dec 2017 2:59 PM | Anonymous

    Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced today that Qazaq Air JSC of Kazakhstan has signed a firm purchase agreement for two new Q400 turboprops.

    Based on the list price of the Q400 aircraft, the firm order is valued at approximately $66.8 million US.

    "We are delighted that Qazaq Air will continue to grow its fleet with the Q400 aircraft,"said Ryan DeBrusk, Vice President, Sales, Europe, Russia and CIS at Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. "Since the inauguration of Qazaq Air services within Kazakhstan in 2015, the Q400 has continued to prove itself in their operations and we are excited by this further endorsement of the Q400s superior operating characteristics."

    "We are pleased with the agreements reached on the acquisition of these new aircraft with Bombardier, with whom we have been in partnership since we started the airline," said Blair Treherne Pollock, CEO of Qazaq Air. "It is thanks to the Q400 aircraft, which Qazaq Air has been operating successfully since 2015, that it is now possible for us to fly our passengers to 15 destinations in Kazakhstan. To date, we have flown more than 420,000 passengers, having shown a 50% increase in passenger traffic in 2017 compared to last year. "Adding two new aircraft to our fleet will not only allow us to expand our route network inside the Republic of Kazakhstan, but also to start new flights beyond it, covering nearby cities in the Central Asian region."

    About Qazaq Air

    Qazaq Air is a young, dynamically growing regional airline in Kazakhstan, 100 % of which is owned by "Samruk-Kazyna" Sovereign Welfare Fund. Their fleet currently consists of three new Bombardier Q400 aircraft.

  • 11 Dec 2017 9:45 AM | Alexander Belyasov (Administrator)

    Moscow (Dec. 11) – Gowling WLG has served as the legal adviser on one of the largest new-build nuclear power construction projects in the world: the El Dabaa project in Egypt, worth more than US$30 billion.

    Gowling WLG acted for Rosatom State Corporation and its subsidiaries in successfully concluding the negotiation of the transaction. The project was formally announced in Egypt today at a ceremony attended by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin.

    The El Dabaa project involves the construction of a 4,800MW nuclear power station in Egypt, consisting of four 1,200MW nuclear reactors, along with nuclear fuel, spent fuel, and operations and maintenance related goods and services. The reactors will be owned and operated by Egypt’s Nuclear Power Plants Authority, part of Egypt’s Ministry of Energy.

    As one of the world’s leading nuclear vendors, Rosatom has one of the largest portfolios of international nuclear construction projects, with 34 nuclear power plants in 12 countries. It is also one of the top uranium mining and fuel manufacturing companies in the world.

    “El Dabaa is truly a monumental project for Rosatom, the Republic of Egypt, and for the global nuclear industry as a whole,” said Ahab Abdel-Aziz, Gowling WLG partner, global director of nuclear power generation and Rosatom project director. “It marks the first nuclear power project in a ‘new entrant’ economy since the UAE’s Barakah nuclear power plant in 2009, and entails the most significant vendor financing of its kind at US$25 billion.” 

    Since November 2015, Gowling WLG’s Nuclear Energy Group has played a key role in the transaction, including negotiating the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC), Operations Support and Maintenance (OS&M), Nuclear Fuel Supply (NFS), and Spent Nuclear Fuel (SNFT) contracts. Gowling WLG’s team also provided strategic advice on risk management, project delivery, regulatory and licensing requirements, and nuclear liability.

    “We were delighted to contribute to the success of this highly complex nuclear mandate, and to work alongside other industry-leading experts on the world stage,” added Abdel-Aziz. “We’re confident that this transaction will serve as an important precedent for similarly situated economies, and we hope that it will pave the way for the future development of nuclear power capacity in countries that have the greatest need for such capacity.”

    In addition to Abdel-Aziz, Gowling WLG’s Canada-based Rosatom team included Ted Betts, Paul Harricks, Ian Palm, Paul Murphy, Paul Armitage, Aubrey Lasky and Magda Hanebach.

    The professionals in Gowling WLG’s Nuclear Energy Group have been delivering legal and strategic counsel to leading members of the Canadian and global nuclear industry and governments. They are currently advising on nuclear mandates in Canada, the U.K., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Argentina, South Africa and Finland. They have advised on nuclear mandates in other countries around the world, including the United Arab Emirates, Germany, South Korea, Australia, China, Russia, Jordan, Romania, and the United States.   

  • 07 Dec 2017 8:47 PM | Anonymous

    Eleven agreements and memorandum worth more than $3 billion were signed at the Dec. 5 Kazakhstan Global Investment Round-table, which gathered investors from more than 30 countries in advance of Industrialization Day in the Kazakh capital. 

    In particular, agreements were reached on the Big Almaty Ring Motor Road and public-private partnership (PPP) project establishing the Nur Zholy motor vehicle crossing point within a section of the Western Europe – Western China highway. Memorandum were also signed on constructing an agribusiness complex and fruit processing facility, ceramic tile production and plant protection products. 

    Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev discussed economic trends, investment possibilities and measures to promote foreign direct investments (FDI) with representatives of more than 100 major international companies.

    “The government aims at forming a large-scale and sustainable strategy to stimulate a new generation of investments in Kazakhstan. Today’s meeting is one of the important steps in this direction and we are open to your suggestions and new ideas,” he said to welcome the participants. 

    He outlined measures taken in the country to improve the investment climate and expand investment opportunities. 

    “First, after the difficulties of 2014-2016 linked with world changes, the economy of Kazakhstan has stabilized. Thanks to the adopted measures, the GDP grew 4 percent in the first 10 months of this year. For the first time [since the slowdown], private investments exceeded state ones,” he said. 

    Sagintayev added implementing major new reforms, including constitutional reform, modernization of Kazakhstan’s identity and a strategy on a new model for economic growth implies the country’s entry into a new stage of development and facilitates its ambition to enter the top 30 developed countries of the world. 

    Foreign investors can benefit from the nation’s policy on developing science-intensive production, renewing the basic branches of the economy and the agro-industrial complex, he said. The third stage of modernization opens new opportunities for investors in various sectors of the economy, such as metallurgy, machine building, agro-industrial complex, processing and the food industry, Sagintayev said. 

    “Today, Kazakhstan is one of the world leaders in the production of wheat and flour. We are strengthening this advantage, but we are also carrying out structural reform of the agricultural sector, diversifying crop areas in line with market demand,” he noted. 

    Investors gain access to the largest markets through Kazakhstan’s integration policy within the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). Sagintayev believes it is important to establish effective trade relations with neighbors to raise the country’s attractiveness, especially with China.

    “The remaining trade barriers with China will be regulated and removed as early as 2018. This will open a very large market. Agricultural and organic products manufactured in Kazakhstan are in high demand in China,” he said. 

    According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the World Bank, Kazakhstan is 18th of 189 countries in terms of investment climate favourability, he noted. 

    The nation is also ranked 36th of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2018 Doing Business ranking. In that same ranking, Kazakhstan was rated first among the 190 countries considered in Protecting Minority Investors. In addition to protecting minority investors, the country ranked sixth in enforcing contracts. 

    “Nevertheless, the government is focused to further promote Kazakhstan in the Doing Business rating. Thus, the new seventh package of legislative amendments has been prepared to improve the business environment at national and sub-national levels,” said Sagintayev. 

    “Over the last 10 years, approximately $250 billion of FDI was attracted in various sectors of the economy. We are grateful to every investor who came to Kazakhstan and implements projects here. We hope their example and today’s conversation will inspire you to conquer new business heights in Kazakhstan,” he added.

  • 05 Dec 2017 8:56 PM | Anonymous

    Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Commissioner said that the move would also help in internationalizing the International North-South Transport Corridor, which has been languishing for years. 

    Having acceded to the United Nations' convention on international transport of goods, India will ship its first consignment to Russia or Turkey via Iran on January 15, cutting down the transport cost and time by half. "There is a lot of hope in the industry that this will be quite a game changer as far as Indian exports are concerned particularly to Russia and Central Asia," Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Commissioner Sandeep Kumar told reporter in New Delhi. He added that the move would also help in internationalizing the International North-South Transport Corridor, which has been languishing for years.

    India acceded to the Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR) convention, the global customs transit system for moving goods across international borders, on June 15 this year. The convention would formally come into effect for India six months after the date of accession, on December 16.

    "Maybe around January 15 or 16, given cooperation from some trading intermediaries and logistics partners, we will actually be able to use this convention to export goods to Russia or Turkey via Iran," the CBEC Commissioner (Customs and Export Promotion) said. Mr. Kumar added that as per a dry-run conducted as a proof of concept, exporters would save around 50 per cent in terms of cost of transport as well as in terms of time.

  • 01 Dec 2017 3:08 PM | Yelena Arkhangelskaya

     ESL presents its 2018 Dates and Fees (CAD)

    July Session Options - July 2-27, 2018
    4 weeks incl. Cultural Trip to Ottawa & Montreal: $6150

    4 weeks on campus: $5700

    August Session Options - July 30-August 24, 2018
    4 weeks including Temagami Camping Trip: $6150
    4 weeks on campus: $5700

    Ottawa Cultural Trip VIDEO

    Our ESL Brochure and application forms will be available shortly. Please request brochures here 

    If you have any questions or inquiries in the meantime, please contact us