The culture in Uzbekistan

Traditional art, music and architecture were preserved as gold cloth after the Soviet creation of the Uzbekistan RSS. But in the following years the development of two great centers of progressive art was allowed: the collection of lost art of the thirties by Igor Savitsky, hidden in the Savitsky Museum of Nukus, and the stories of the life of the legendary Ilkhom theater of the ill-fated Mark Weil, in Tashkent.

Contemporary art, like the media, is under the strict control of the Government. Renegade artists that attract attention, such as Weil and photographer Umida Ahmedova, have problems. Ahmedova, whose work captures the lives and traditions of ordinary Uzbeks, attracted international attention in 2009, when she was arrested and convicted of “slandering the Uzbek nation” in a series that issued the BBC website.

Although Karimov forgave her, a glance at his harmless-looking photographs reveals the president’s artistic ideal: Uzbekistan had to be portrayed as a clean, organized, prosperous and modern country. This ideal had its effect on urban planning, you just have to see the reforms of Samarkand, where urban planners have turned the old town out of sight of tourists, or the demolition of Amir Timur Maydoni in Tashkent.

Cradle and center cultures of the region for more than two millennia, Uzbekistan proudly houses a fascinating arsenal of architecture and ancient cities soaked by the bloody and fascinating history of the Silk Road. In points of interest, Uzbekistan is the main and most impressive attraction of Central Asia.

Samarkand, Bukhara and Jiva marvel at its fabulous mosques, madrasas and mausoleums, while the most curious attractions, such as the dwindling Aral Sea, the fortresses of the desperately remote Karakalpakia, the prosperous capital, Tashkent, and the ecotourism options of the mountains Nuratau fill the most diverse tastes.

Despite being a hard-governed police state, Uzbekistan remains an extremely welcoming country where hospitality is an essential element of everyday life. The traveler will feel welcome wherever he goes.

Uzbekistan is not a very attractive option for traveling with children, who seem immune to the charm of medieval Islamic architecture. Tashkent has a couple of amusement parks, a water park, bowling alleys and shopping centers, valid if children need a context that is more familiar to them.

Yurt camps and camel rides help break the usual tourist routine.

Changing tables and high chairs barely exist, although diapers can be bought in cities. Strollers can drive well through the modern streets of Tashkent and Samarkand, but the old town of Bukhara and Jiva are more problematic.

Over 7,000 people visit Tea and Coffee Exhibition

All participants of the exhibition “Tea and Coffee” noted successful participation in the first exhibition, and expressed their intention to participated in the next Tea and Coffee Exhibition to be held in 2007, says the message of the organizer of the exhibition International Exhibition Group Uzbekistan (IEG Uzbekistan).

The Tea and Coffee Exhibition was held on 9-11 June at the showroom of the UzExpoCenter, which according to the organizers was visited by over 7,000 visitors. The organizers noted that the exhibition was visited not only by the local specialists, but also by guests from abroad, countries such as Vietnam, Mongolia, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia and Iran.

“They [participant companies] have achieved the set aim – to establish new contacts, conduct negotiations, sign contracts, and present their products to consumers. As a result, not only participant companies but also visitors and specialists were satisfied with the exhibition,” says the note.

The organizers are convinced that the exhibition established a new tradition of demonstrating the national tea-drinking traditions, as much as it becoming the venue for the meetings of the participants of the market of tea, coffee and all associated industries: packaging, food and confectionary industries.

The note of the IEG Uzbekistan states that 20 companies from eight countries of the world participated in the exhibition.

Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) member states refused to set concrete terms on creation of single insurance market within organization.

Prime-TASS of Russia reported that the fifth session of heads of insurance inspection and regulation bodies under Integration Committee of EurAsEC said on Thursday in Minsk, Belarus.

Alexander Kurlypo, Deputy Finance Minister of Belarus, said the terms of creation of single insurance market were too tough. It is envisaged to the first phase of creation of market will end on 1 January 2008 and the second stage will complete on 1 January 2011, he said. He added that this is not real.

He said the creation of single insurance market postponed to undefined term. Kurlypo added that the member states are holding negotiations on accession to World Trade Organisation (WTO) along with creation of single insurance market.

Belarusian official added that the EurAsEC states do not refuse from idea on creation of single market. He said the EurAsEC target is to form single market of goods, works and services and naturally insurance market is part of single market. He added the member states will have to solve this issue.

Entrepreneur committee to cash in on SCO membership

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization established an entrepreneurs’ committee yesterday that will include businesses and banks from the six member countries.

So far more than 140 big and medium-sized companies have joined up.

“The major task of the committee is to promote SCO members to develop and cooperate in areas like the economy and trade, loans, technology, energy, transport, telecommunications and agriculture,” said State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan at yesterday’s SCO industrial and commercial forum where the committee made its debut.

“It marks a new start for the six economies to consolidate regional economic development,” he said.

The secretariat of the committee is based in Moscow.

Member countries also reached consensus on supporting the development of small and medium-sized firms in the six nations and strengthening the cooperation in culture.

They also agreed to cooperate in research and development of advanced medical equipment and other advanced technologies.

Tang said China proposed to give priority to network projects.

He mentioned highway transport networks, telecom networks and electric power networks.

China is also willing to offer loans and help raise funds for the projects, he added.

But Tang did not give any details about the projects or how much China’s aid would be worth.

Experts from the six countries and from various fields were also proposed to be invited to co-research how the regional economic development could be deepened and the feasibility of the arrangement of regional economic integration, the state councilor said.

Presidents of the six member states of the SCO met the representatives of entrepreneurs from the six countries yesterday evening with the hope that business people will work together to promote prosperity in the region.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov congratulated the entrepreneurs on committee.

“The establishment of the SCO Entrepreneurs’ Committee has built a very good platform for closer exchanges and cooperation between businesses of the six SCO economies,” said Hu.

Presidents of the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization met the representatives of entrepreneurs from the six countries Wednesday evening with the hope that the business people will work together to promote overall prosperity in the region.

Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov congratulated the entrepreneurs on the newly established SCO Entrepreneurs’ Committee, Xinhua reported on 14 June.

The presidents are in Shanghai for the SCO’s 2006 summit slated for Thursday.

Representatives of entrepreneurs from the six SCO members — China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan –gathered here on the eve of the summit to set up the committee and explore ways for enhancing regional economic cooperation.

“The establishment of the SCO Entrepreneurs’ Committee has built a very good platform for closer exchanges and cooperation between businesses of the six SCO economies,” said Chinese President Hu Jintao while meeting the entrepreneurs.

Among the SCO member states, the factors of sound economic development, complementary economic structure, improving trade and investment environment, and opening markets have created good conditions and opportunities for regional economic cooperation, he added.

“Active participation of the entrepreneurs will definitely make the SCO render substantial results in economic cooperation and bring more tangible benefits to the peoples of the member countries,” the Chinese president said.

The SCO Entrepreneurs’ Committee is a non-governmental organization to promote multilateral cooperation in trade, finance, science and technology, energy, transportation, telecommunication and agriculture.

More than 140 large and medium-sized businesses from the six countries have become full members of the committee.

China will provide loans or assistance within its capacity to fund a number of transportation, telecommunication and electricity projects among the SCO members so as to boost regional economic growth, Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan said at Wednesday’s meeting marking the establishment of the committee.

About 200 entrepreneurs and officials attended the meeting.

But Tang did not give any details about these projects or how much China’s aid will be worth.

Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Yu Guangzhou said Tuesday that some US$2 billion worth of business contracts and loan agreements are expected to be inked on the sidelines of the SCO summit.

Yu said the deals would include a highway project connecting Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, two high-voltage electricity lines in Tajikistan, a cement plant in Kyrgyzstan with a daily production of 2,500 tonnes, and a hydropower station in Kazakhstan.

The six SCO member countries take up 60% of Eurasia and their population accounts for a quarter of the world’s total. The six economies reported a combined GDP of US$1.5 trillion in 2004.

To date, investment between SCO members has surged to US$15 billion, covering mainly oil and gas exploration, transportation, telecommunication, electricity, chemical industry, construction material, project contract and agriculture.

In a bid to promote trade and economic cooperation among SCO members, China pledged in 2004 to offer US$900 million of preferential export buyer’s credit to other SCO members.

China had basically put the fund in place, said Chinese President Hu Jintao at the end of May during a joint interview with media representatives from the six SCO member states.

China reported 37 billion U.S. dollars of trade with other SCO members in 2005, up 212% over that of 2001, according to the Ministry of Commerce of China.

The ministry said China’s actual investment in the other five SCO members totaled US$8 billion last year, four times the 2001 figure.

SCO Interbank Association members meet in Shanghai


The second meeting of the Board of senior members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Interbank Association was held in Shanghai on Wednesday, 14 June. Raschetno-sberegatelnaya kompaniya JSC of Kyrgyz Republic officially joined to the interbank association.

Speaking at the session, Deputy Secretary General of the SCO Jumabekov said the Interbank Association completes its formation and enters to practical work phase, Chinese Xinhua reported.

Jumabekov said the association should become heart of economic interaction within the SCO, ensure turnover and inflow of new capita to realize important projects of member-states and development of the organization.

Dmitriyev, chairman of Russia’s Vnesheconombank, said the agreement on interbank cooperation within the SCO dated 26 October 2005 laid a ground for long-term and promising process. He said the association should become important part of economic interaction within organization.

Within the sixth session of Council of heads of states of the SCO, members of Interbank Association will sign several agreements on six projects for US$740 million.

Akmatbekov, director general of Raschetno-sberegatelnaya kompaniya JSC, said the official joining of the bank to Interbank Association is important for the bank and Kyrgyz Republic. He added that the accession would allow to expand cooperation with other SCO member states.

Interbank association achieved a lot during its short period of operation. The Chinese-Kazakh project on construction of Moynak hydro power station on Charin river is under realization, which will allow to meet electricity demands of populations in southern regions of Kazakhstan.

National Bank of Uzbekistan and China Development Bank completed preparation works for signature of credit agreement for US$20 million, which will be used to finance development of small businesses.

Uzbek banker said at the meeting that the association is not formality, but the cooperation is fruitful.

Governor of China Development Bank Chen Yuan noted the SCO leaders put task to create conditions for free movement of goods, capitals and technologies within near 20 years. In this connection, the member of Interbank Association should unite efforts, effectively withstand against competition and risks, assist in genera development and prosperity of the region and contribute to promition of regional economic cooperation within the organization, he said.

Russian bank provides US$1bn to spur Russian exports to Shanghai group
14.06.2006 12:41:31

Russia’s Vnesheconombank finances Russian industrial exports to the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to the tune of US$1 billion a year, the president of the state-owned Russian bank said Wednesday.

The leaders of the six SCO members – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China – will meet for a two-day summit Wednesday to mark five years since the regional security forum was founded in Shanghai in July 2001.

And Vladimir Dmitriyev told a meeting of SCO bankers prior to the meeting between national leaders that his institution was working well to secure funding for Russian export projects.

“Last year, we attracted about US$500 million from the State Development Bank of China to finance the export of Russian high-tech products to China,” he said.

During the SCO summit in Shanghai, VEB and the State Development Bank of China are to sign an agreement on joint project financing, worth US$500 million.

“Vnesheconombank makes a substantial contribution to expanding Russian high-tech supplies to China,” he said.

Energy-hungry China represents a huge export market for Russia as its energy needs continue to grow. It is also a major importer of Russian weaponry with military and technological cooperation between the two countries exceeding US$2 billion a year.


Financial-economic weekly in Russian
Circulation – 10,000 copies. The newspaper’s volume is 32 pages of A3 format.

“Biznes-Vestnik Vostoka” is the first independent business weekly, which has been publishing since 1991. Since then “Biznes-Vestnik Vostoka” covered important events of politics and economic life of Uzbekistan. Economic reforms, undertaken in Uzbekistan, normative documents, adopted by the government in economic activity, tax and customs rules, statistic data, trade turnover operations, analysis of commodity markets, interviews with businesspeople and many others were covered by the newspaper.

Today “Biznes-Vestnik Vostoka” is an authoritative weekly among business circles of Uzbekistan with regular columns like “Bank and Finance”, “Insurance”, “Markets”, “Companies”, “Small and Medium Business”, “World Economy”, “Transport”, etc.

The newspaper’s policy is to be useful for its audience both during working time and leisure. That’s why “BVV-Afisha” publishes materials for home reading. Followings are some of columns of “BVV-Afisha”: “Personal interest”, “Auto Club”, “Be Healthy”, “Office”, “Home Interior” and others. The paper also publishes playbill, offers of clubs and restaurants for upcoming week.

In near future, the board of weekly is planning to implement new projects, which will be useful for businesses.

BVV Business Report

Financial-economic weekly in English
Circulation – 2,500 copies. The newspaper’s volume is 16 pages of A3 format.

BVV Business Report started publishing in May 2003 and to date it is only English language newspaper for business circles in the Uzbek mass media market.

BVV Business Report already has its own regular readers on behalf of international organisations and financial institutes, embassies, foreign companies, joint ventures, hotels, air companies, banks, etc.

The weekly covers politic and economic life of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states, analytic materials on development of economic sectors, market reviews, rankings, information about activity of international organisations and NGOs, operating in Uzbekistan.