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 partnerships, tax and customs regulations, and regional development were also raised in Mr Kurmanov’s speech. Many powers will be delegated to regional authorities, and in every region there will be a deputy hokim (mayor) responsible for attracting investments to the region.

Mr. Kurmanov also touched on reforms within Uzbekistan’s administrative-legal sector. He explained that economic crimes won’t be considered as criminal violations anymore but will instead be classified as administrative violations.

AmCham members and guests also had the opportunity to personally discuss with Mr. Kurmanov milestones within the growing investment climate in Uzbekistan, as well as any issues they are facing doing business here.

Alisher Kurmanov started his career as a diplomat in the year 2000. From 2000 to 2003, he worked as the First Secretary, and Advisor for Economic and Commercial Affairs for the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Great Britain. From 2007 to 2013 he was Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Singapore and Australia (since 2011), and from 2013 to 2014 he continued his diplomatic service as ambassador to South Korea. Beginning in July 2014, Mr Kurmanov worked as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan. Then in August 2015, he was appointed to the post of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Uzbekistan to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In June 2017, the Uzbek Senate elected Mr Kurmanov Chairman of the Senate Committee on International Relations, Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Tourism.