Monthly Meeting on September 26, 2019
The first monthly meeting after the summer break featured Bobir Karimov, First Deputy Chairman Antimonopoly Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. UK educated, Bobir is an experienced lawyer who worked both in public and private sectors of Uzbekistan. “The task of governments in the developing markets is to balance between development of private property and competition”, started Karimov. “Following the adherence of Uzbekistan to liberal economic path, the State Antimonopoly committee was created and reports directly to the Prime Minister and President.” Inherited from the previous system, today the number of different kinds of monopolies reached 217. Over 80 percent of the state subsidies from the budget went to support state monopolies. I addition, market participants are burdened with bureaucratic procedures that consume time and energy. For example, currently 75 types of licenses exist in the market. In addition, over 200 permissions require obtaining those licenses. Therefore, objectives of the committee are designed to create equal conditions for all participants of the market, reduce state participation in the economic ent...
Monthly Meeting on May 17, 2019
Mr. Akram Mukhamatkulov, Deputy Director, Investment Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan was honorable speaker of the May monthly meeting. Held in the Wyndham Hotel, the meeting hosted over 40 members of AmCham Uzbekistan. Recently created agency is multi targeted tool to promote positive image of the country, attract potential investment projects and serve as an intermediary between the investor of related governmental structure, provide feedback and extensive consultations for investors. In order to achieve this, the agency is working on the creating of functional web-site that should include relative legislation, reliable statistics and serve as a functional tool for existing and potential investors. “ Since inception of the reforms, a lot has been done that make the country more attractive for investors”, said Mukhamatkulov. Of the main achievement is successful issuance of the euro bonds, significant improvement in the “: Doing Business” rating of the World Bank and obtaining of the country’s rating by main rating agencies such as Standars and Poor’...
Monthly Meeting on April 12, 2019
Atabek Nazirov, director of the Capital Market Development Agency (CMDA) of the Republic of Uzbekistan, spoke at April monthly meeting of the American Chamber of Commerce in Uzbekistan (AmCham) on April 12. Fifty representatives from the AmCham membership were present at the event, which was held at the Wyndham Tashkent Hotel. The CMDA was created by the Presidential Degree #4127 . As an authorized capital market regular, the agency aims to develop the capital markets in Uzbekistan and exercises its authority independently of all state bodies and organizations. “We have an ambitious goal to develop the capital market strategy in our country where capital markets are currently non-existent,” said Nazirov. “In other large markets, the size of the capital market exceeds the size of the banking sector several times over.” The overall goals of the agency vary from inventarization of the existing laws and building institutional capacity, to contributing to raising the financial education of the population. The newly-created agency is currently working on a number of issues, e.g. studying available financial instruments, be it corporate, muni...
February 25, 2019 Monthly Meeting
This month’s meeting featured two prominent speakers from Washington DC, USA. The first speaker was Deputy Assistant Secretary David Meale of the State Department Bureau of Economics and Business Affairs. He paid his first official visit in his current role since his appointment in December of 2018. It was DAS Meale’s first visit to Uzbekistan in the framework of Annual BiLateral Consultations. (ABC), and led the U.S. Department of State South and Central Asian Affairs Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Ambassador Alice Wells and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov on February 26, 2019. DAS Meale praised the ongoing reforms in Uzbekistan, noting the exceptional progress in economic liberalization and that it is halfway to accessing WTO. Significant progress has been achieved by the GoU in the scope of ending child and forced labor. Liberalization of the currency exchange rate and related procedures has made Uzbekistan more appealing to U.S. investors as well. According to Ambassador Wells, the U.S. commitment to this partnership and its support of President Mirziyoyev’s reform agenda, the U.S. assistance t...
December 6, 2018- Monthly AmCham Meeting
December’s monthly meeting featured a presentation by Mr. Odilbek Isakov, CFA and the Head of Debt Management Office and the Ministry of Finance Advisor. The event was held in the recently renovated Hotel International Tashkent and had over 70 guests in attendance. Mr. Isakov joined the Ministry of Finance in September of 2018 after having studied and worked in the UK for over a decade. He held different positions in the financial sector, including over 10 years with HSBC in London, UK. “I have spent some time on the roadshow selling Uzbekistan, therefore I start the presentation with the selling points for Uzbekistan” - started Mr. Isakov. Indeed, Uzbekistan has a lot to offer to investors, including the biggest population of Central Asia (32 mln) 14.3 of which are currently is a workforce with high literacy rate close to 100%. The strategic location of Uzbekistan enables access to the 3.3 billion people market. This makes the country a strategic player in several transport corridors connecting China with the European market (the Silk Road Economic Belt) and South, and Southeast Asia. Uzbekistan is rich in diverse natural resourc...
September 27, 2018 Monthly Meeting
The Minister of Innovative Development, Professor Ibrokhim Y. Abdurakhmonov, spoke before 60 members of AmCham and diplomatic corporations during the September 27th meeting. Created by a presidential initiative in November of 2017, the mission of the Ministry of Innovative Development is to ensure the accelerated innovative development of all sectors of the economy and social sphere by utilizing several strategies. These strategies include using advanced foreign experience, modern achievements of work science and ground breaking ideas. As the ministry continues to grow, it is attracting foreign consultants who will share their experiences and best practices. Currently, 3 consultants work in the Ministry, in addition to 105 local staff members. A plan is in place to recruit 10 more foreign specialists from Germany, South Korea, the United States, Israel and other countries. As the Ministry develops its strategy, it plays a key role in Uzbekistan's ambitious plan to rank in the top 15 innovative nations in the world by 2030. The country has great potential and basis to achieve the target. The scientific basis represented by the Academy o...
Monthly Meeting on June 21, 2018
June’s monthly meeting was focused around the activities of the National Agency of Project Management Under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The meeting was held in the restaurant “Dome” of the International Hotel Tashkent. As expected and as it usually is the event was well attended by our members, representatives of international organizations and diplomatic circles of Uzbekistan. Honorary speaker of the event was Mirpayoz Mirsaatov, the Head of the Public Procurement Supervision Department. It cannot but be mentioned that before his recent appointment, Mr. Mirsaatov was AmCham Uzbekistan’s member of the Board of Directors and had to leave the Board because of his new commitments. The idea to invite representatives of NAPM came from our members as since the organization was established in Uzbekistan the structure of doing business for many companies has changed and our members were curious about operational principles of the organization. During the meeting Mr. Mirsaatov gave informational insight into NAPM’s main functions, improvement of government asset management system, purpose of the programs and its objectives and...
Monthly Meeting on May 24, 2018
May’s second monthly meeting focused around H.E. Pamela Spratlen, and her departure from her post as Ambassador of the United States of America in Uzbekistan. All members of the American Chamber of Commerce were invited to the event, as well as representatives from several embassies. These included the Ambassador of Hungary, Switzerland, the EU, as well as members of the Latvian and French embassies. In addition, several non-member companies, such as Microsoft, Mars and Artishok, also attended the Monthly Meeting. The event began with a short introductory speech by Hugo Minderhould, President of AmCham, during which he commended Mrs. Spratlen for having greatly improved diplomatic relations between Uzbekistan and the United States. The US Ambassador then gave an eloquent speech that focused mainly on the current political and economic situation in the country. She made it clear that both sides were ready and willing to make progress, and that many progressive regulations were being promised by the Uzbek government. However, wanting to stay realistic with her expectations, she stressed that in order for desired changes to take place, both ...
Monthly Meeting on May 10, 2018
May’s monthly meeting was dedicated towards discussing up-and-coming investment opportunities across Uzbekistan. The American Chamber of Commerce invited all of its members, including honorary spekers, Mr. Alisher Tilyaev - Deputy Mayor of Tashkent, as well as Mr. Rustamkhon Azizov – Head of the Department of Investments, Innovations, Development of Tourism, and Assistance to Privatized Enterprises. Together, they explained which sectors of Uzbek economy were developing and which ones would be the most interesting for future investors. In the past two decades of Uzbekistan’s existence as an independent country, it was always unfavorable for foreign businesses to establish a presence here. The reason for this was the unfair conversion rate, which gave companies miserly amounts of dollars for the Uzbek soums that were received from profit. As a result, foreign businesses were constantly fighting an uphill battle to make profit, and investors who had not yet put their money into Uzbekistan were understandably discouraged to do so. Fortunately, thanks to the currency law reforms, which were passed in September of 2017 by Uzbekistan’s new Pres...
Monthly Meeting on April 18, 2018
Honorary speaker of April 18th Monthly Meeting was Associate Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Uzbekistan, Mr. Alkis Drakinos . AmCham members as well as guests of AmCham, among them Ambassadors of Switzerland, Israel, Bangladesh and Slovak Republic came to hear about EBRD’s viewpoint on the recent reforms in Uzbekistan and its activities in Uzbekistan. At the beginning of the evening the floor was given to David Spears, former World Bank’s Country Manager to Uzbekistan, who now is the Chairman of the society “Friends of the Nukus Museum”. He updated the guests with society’s activities aim at supporting world-famous museum to maintain its budget and take care of the paintings, collected at the beginning of 20th century by Russian artist and archeologist Igor Savitsky. The floor was turned over to Alkis Drakinos, Associate Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Uzbekistan. Following the launch of a broad reform programme in Uzbekistan, the EBRD is taking its engagement with the Central Asian country to a new level by opening an office and signing the first new projects si...
Monthly Meeting on April 4, 2018
First Deputy Minister for the development of information technologies and communications of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Olimjon Muhamadjanovich Umarov was honorary speaker on April 4th Monthly Meeting held in Dome restaurant of International Hotel Tashkent. Transparency of his speech, intelligence and eagerness to cooperate in the direction of ITC development with AmCham and its member companies gained the sympathy of the event participants. During his speech Mr. Umarov told about priority areas of ICT development in the country. As continuing increase of the sector is anticipated in Uzbekistan, one of the prioritized tasks of the Ministry for the development of information technologies and communications is to elaborate reform policy in IT education. With this regard «E-Academy» platform was developed for further implementation of a distance education in Uzbekistan, IT specialized school named after Muhammad al-Khwarizmi was established, IT courses for children from low-income families are organized periodically, modern coworking centers all over Uzbekistan are planned to be established. There are 99 graduates of Inha University in ...
Monthly Meeting on February 22, 2018
Deputy Minister of Justice, Rector of the Institute of Law Yesemurat Kanyazov was an honorary speaker on the Monthly Meeting in February. The critical issues of the country image influencing on attraction of sustainable foreign investments were discussed during the monthly meeting. In his presentation Mr. Kanyazov raised the problem of educational system of Uzbekistan and lack of qualified specialists who will be able to implement business projects on the required level when investors open the new enterprises in the country. On the example of Tashkent Institute of Law he showed how the problem with the qualified human resources can be solved. During the questions and answers session the problems of the juridical system of Uzbekistan was discussed. One of the questions was about transparency of the court system. Mr. Kanyazov gave insights into the changes expected in the court system of Uzbekistan. He stressed that the administration of justice must be public to the greatest possible extent. This means that the work and rulings of the courts must be open and public, so that the public, the media and the rest of society can observe with...
Monthly Meeting on January 25, 2018
The January monthly meeting was dedicated to issues surrounding Uzbekistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). USAID International Expert Mr. Jovan Jekic provided an overview of the process, as well as potential implications for an Uzbekistan with WTO membership. The history of WTO, basic principles, rules, and the accession experience of other WTO member countries was described in detail by Mr. Jekic in his speech. As a member driven organization, WTO members must closely examine trade regimes to ensure full compliance, as partial compliance is not acceptable. Only when all member countries are happy with candidate country results are they finally invited to become a member. While it may be easy to talk about, compliance is much more complicated in practice. The time and effort required to make the legislation of the candidate country compliant with WTO rules, especially when it comes to import tariff duties, is extensive. The voice of each country, regardless of international economic standing, is taken in equal consideration for any decision or dispute regarding another WTO member. One of the Mr. Jekic’s fa...
Monthly Meeting on January 18, 2018
The AmCham monthly meeting for January 2018 featured guest speaker, Chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations, Foreign Economic Relations, and Investments and Tourism, Mr Alisher Kurmanov. The meeting was very well attended, with 100 members and guests, including ambassadors of France, Bangladesh, UK, Ukraine, Slovak Republic and Hungary. Of particular interest were remarks about Uzbekistan’s development from Mr Kurmanov, such a prominent and highly respected statesman. “We have to be really fruitful, not shiny only outside and poor inside” – Senator Kurmanov remarked at the beginning of his speech. He characterized the past year as practice for getting rid of stereotypes and perceptions formed during previous decades. Corruption, for example, is one of the most serious barriers for the nation across all spheres of life which was tolerated in the past in accordance with our mentality. Today the mentality of our people must change to zero tolerance for corruption. One proposed way which was proposed to fight corruption is through the introduction of online procurement mechanisms. The issues of public private ...
Monthly Meeting on December 7, 2017
Laziz Kudratov, First Deputy Chairman of the State Committee of Uzbekistan on investments addressed AmCham members at the December monthly meeting. In his speech, Mr. Kudratov presented to members and guests the main reasons why investors should choose Uzbekistan for investment. The President’s strategic priorities, which are included in “Action strategy 2017-202” and directed at improving the investment climate and attraction of foreign direct investment, are real steps which are already taken and will continue to be taken in the near future to raise the competitiveness of Uzbekistan as a destination to invest on the global stage. Plenty of positive changes are have recently taken place in Uzbekistan, one of which is liberalization of currency regulations effective September 2017. Previously, exporters were required to sell 25% of hard currency revenue to the government, but now the revenue earned fully belongs to the exporters. Restrictions on the amount of foreign currency that companies and individuals could buy were abolished. Mr. Kudratov also spoke about tax incentives, the creation of 14 free economic zones, improvements...
Monthly Meeting on November 10, 2017
Chief of International Monetary Fund mission to Uzbekistan Albert Jaeger graciously accepted AmCham invitation to be an honorary speaker on the monthly meeting which was specially organized during IMF mission visit to Tashkent on November 7–16 in order to discuss the authorities’ plans to continue reforms of the economy and to update the macroeconomic framework. In accordance with Article IV of the IMF Agreement, representatives of the IMF regularly visit the Republic of Uzbekistan to hold consultations within the government and the Central Bank., Unification of exchange rates and liberalization of the foreign exchange market launched on 5th of September is one of the merits of Uzbek Government and IMF collaboration. This change simultaneously attracted the attention of the global community. The prospects for economic growth of Uzbekistan «as a whole remain favorable», but, as experience of other countries in transition testify, there are certain risks that could affect economic growth at this stage of economic transformations, Albert Jaeger noted. The next reform steps should aim at improving the investment climate and protecting the ...
Monthly Meeting on October 26, 2017
The October monthly meeting of AmCham Uzbekistan featured honorary speaker, Mr. Islom Jasimov, First Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Uzbekistan (CCIU). Mr. Islom Jasimov’s began his speech by discussing the dynamic development of Uzbek-American relations, and the results of the American-Uzbek business forum which took place in September 2017, and was attended by the President of Uzbekistan Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev. On this threshold of a new era of American-Uzbek relations, US$ 2.6 billion worth contracts were signed during the Forum. In the second part of his speech, Mr. Islom Jasimov acquainted AmCham members and guests with activities and changes which are taking place within CCIU. Among the new and highly-sought after activities is the legal support and protection of business people in the courts. After restructuring, the Chamber was granted authority to revise all drafts of legal acts related to business issues. The drafts are now under expert review of special councils established in accordance within the spheres the legal acts cover. The members of the councils are entrepreneurs, which have business within U...
Monthly Meeting on February 16, 2017
The February monthly meeting of AmCham in Uzbekistan featured honorary speaker, Mr. Alisher Shaykhov, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Uzbekistan. Tõnu Grünberg, Vice President of AmCham Uzbekistan in his opening remarks expressed one of the main AmCham’s goals for 2017 which responds to positive reforms taking place in Uzbekistan - “building a dialog with the government on the new, more efficient level”. Mr. Shaykhov in his one and half hours speech covered all principal directions of Uzbek government in which structural reforms are anticipated. Conversion, customs regulations, labor, logistic, banking system, and other issues covering investment climate and private sector development were explicitly discussed during the Monthly meeting. Developments in tourism, energy, especially alternative sources, IT and industrial were mentioned as well. “Ambitions of Uzbekistan are high, much higher than in China”, - Mr. Shaykhov told in his speech, - “For example in the close future we will establish our own “Silicon Valley”. During a question and answer session among other questions further cooperation between AmCham and CCIU ...
Monthly Meeting on January 25, 2017
His Excellency Ambassador Eduards Stiprais, Head of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, was the honorary speaker at the January Monthly Meeting. The event was opened by AmCham Vice President, Tõnu Grünberg. In his opening remarks, Mr Grünberg looks forward to what promises to be a very successful year for AmCham, highlighting AmCham members, and the challenges and opportunities currently taking place in Uzbekistan. As the honorary speaker, the Head of the EU Delegation covered various issues of bilateral trade and investment relations between the EU and Uzbekistan. Bilateral trade between the EU and Uzbekistan reached EUR 1,793 million in 2015. Imports from EU Member States were worth EUR 1,546 mln, while exports to these countries totaled EUR 246 million. Ambassador Stiprais also spoke of the EU's Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), which grants developing countries non-reciprocal access to the European market. The GSP ensures that Uzbek exporters pay lower or no duties on some or all of the products they sell to the EU. Both sides admit that current levels of trade are unsatisfactory, but that efforts such as trade stimulation and...
Monthly Meeting on November 24, 2016
His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Uzbekistan was the honorary speaker at the November Monthly Meeting. Introductory remarks were made by Hugo Minderhoud, AmCham Treasurer, member of the Board of Directors, and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Kingdom of Belgium. His Excellency Neithart Höfer-Wissing, gave an extensive review of the business climate and economic situation in Germany, as well as an overview of present ties and options for the future development of bilateral cooperation between Uzbekistan and Germany. The question “Why do business with Germany?” was thoroughly covered. Germany is the fourth largest economy, third largest exporter, and third largest importer in the world. Germany is also Europe’s largest market with 21% of EU GDP. The main reasons for Germany’s economic successes are its the large number of small and medium sized enterprises, as well as extensive investment in research and development (ranked 4th worldwide), which annually contributes 80 bln Euros. The secured investment environment is supported...
Monthly Meeting on September 29, 2016
Mr. Muhammadjan Babadjanov, Head of the Department of Monitoring of Investment Obligations of State Committee of Uzbekistan on Privatization, Demonopolization and Development of Competition was honorary speaker at the September Monthly Meeting of AmCham in Uzbekistan. The Committee is a State Governance Body which is involved in further deepening of the process of privatization of the State-owned Property and expansion of scales of the Private Property as a foundation of the Market Economy, rise of efficiency of the antimonopoly regulation and formation of the real competitive environment, accelerated development of the securities market, especially the secondary market, radical improvement of the corporate governance system. Mr. Muhammadjan Babadjanov in his presentation told about investment climate in Uzbekistan and the government’s program aimed at increase of the private sector’s share in the economy, which stipulates transition into the Private Ownership of over 1247 Enterprises and Facilities. Over the last year alone, 800 assets were already transferred to the private sector, which illustrates the high level of demand from inve...
Monthly Meeting on February 25, 2016
H.E. Carmela Shamir, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Israel to Uzbekistan was honorary speaker at February Monthly Meeting of AmCham in Uzbekistan. “Ambassador Carmela Shamir has built brilliant career in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Her previous assignments included United Kingdom, Belgium and Luxemburg etc. Ambassador Shamir speaks four languages including Japanese and French” - started his introduction remarks Donald Nicholson II, AmCham President. Over 40 corporate members of AmCham gathered in the cozy “ Allegro “ restaurant of the Hotel Tashkent International to watch the presentation and socialize. The name of the presentation entitled “ISRAEL: The Culture of Innovation”. It is not surprisingly that presentation is dedicated to innovations. Israel is called a Startup Nation. Within the last few years Israel steadily takes highest ranks among top innovators. And it is not surprisingly because Israel ranks # 1 in the rate of per capita R&D spending globally. “There are more Israeli companies listed on the Nasdaq than India, Japan, and Korea combined. We are champions in number...