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Uzbekistan — land of amazing opportunities
August 5, 2017, 4:44 pm
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As the Republic of Uzbekistan prepares to celebrate the 26th anniversary of its independence, The Times Kuwait had the pleasure to sit down with His Excellency Dr. Bakhromjon Aloev, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Uzbekistan to the State of Kuwait, to discuss various issues ranging from the country’s economy, its investment potential, its tourist attractions and existing strong bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and Kuwait.

            This year Uzbekistan celebrates the 26th anniversary of Independence. Tell us about the achievements of your country in different fields of economy and other directions.

            The Republic of Uzbekistan declared independence on 31 August, 1991, but our country has been the cradle of great civilizations for several thousand years. Uzbekistan blossomed between two great rivers, the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya, in the heart of Central Asia at the crossroads of the ‘Greet Silk Road’.

            This year the Uzbek people are celebrating the 26th anniversary of our Independence. From the first days of its independence, my country has moved on a path of creating a stable civil society and a democratic state. During this short period, Uzbekistan has witnessed significant social and economic reforms, achieving progress in all spheres.

Uzbekistan joined the ranks of the developed countries of the world. Over the last 10 years or more, the annual growth rate of GDP has exceeded seven percent. New fields of industry such as automobile construction, petrochemical and gas processing, the textile and light industries have become the engine of industrial development of the country. 

Agriculture is one of the important sectors of national economy. We have given priority to the development of farmers' movement. Today, our farmers produce 90-92 percent of the country's agricultural needs. Thanks to favorable climatic conditions, the fruits and vegetables of my country are distinguished by its high quality, naturalness, unique taste and, equally importantly, its green ecology that is held in high esteem by our foreign partners. We export the fruits, vegetables and other agricultural products to our neighboring countries, particularly to Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as to Spain, Italy, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Lebanon and Vietnam.    

The development of small business and private entrepreneurship occupy a very important place in the economic policies of the government. Republic of Uzbekistan is a country with amazing opportunities, large economic possibilities, unique natural resources and very promising development perspectives.  Since the first days of Independence, Uzbekistan has consistently carried out large-scale reforms in political, social, economic and other spheres. These reforms are based on the country’s own strategy of long-term development.

Uzbekistan is also a country of young generation. Young people under 30 old consists 60 percent of population and 12 percent of national budget of the country is appropriated to the education system. There are 65 universities in Uzbekistan, including the branches of many famous universities from around the world. At the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoev, 2017 was declared the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests.  

            The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev approved a very important initiative — Uzbekistan’s Development Strategy for 2017-2021. What is substance of this Strategy?

On February 2017, at the initiative of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev, the government approved the Strategy of the development of Uzbekistan for  the years 2017-2021. The document includes five priority areas for development during the period 2017-2021. The five priority areas are: Improving the system of state and public construction; Ensuring the rule of law and further reforming the judicial system; Economic development and liberalization; Development of the social sphere in the field of security, inter-ethnic harmony and religious tolerance, and Implementation of a balanced, mutually beneficial and constructive foreign policy.

             Uzbekistan has a big spiritual, scientific and cultural heritage. Your country become one of the important tourist directions in the world. Tell us about tourist potential of Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan is a country with an ancient civilization. Uzbekistan was a crossroads of the Great Silk Road — one of the most significant cultural and socio-economic phenomena in world history. Many eminent philosophers, thinkers, mathematicians, astronomers, medics, scientists, poets, as Abu Rayhan Beruni, Al-Fergani, Ibn Sino (Avicenna), Mirzo Ulugbek and Alisher Navoi were born in Uzbekistan. It is also the country of Imam Al-Bouhari, who is known for his ‘Hadis’ in the Arabic world.

Uzbekistan is world renowned for its ancient history, culture, spiritual heritage and civilization, and is a rich world for tourists. A unique location, at the crossroads of the Silk Road, is an important factor in the dynamic development of the tourism sector in Uzbekistan, as well as the fact that the country has more than 7,000 monuments of different epochs and civilizations, many of which are included in UNESCO World Heritage List.

Uzbekistan has developed radically new principles of state policy in the sphere of tourism and improved the country’s appeal for visitors with a dynamically developing modern tourist infrastructure. Many new world renowned luxury hotels have been built in the country, including nation-wide network of B&B models, which can provide high level of service for foreign guests.

Airports in Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, Urgench, Navoi and Fergana have been modernized. Today there are 11 international airports in Uzbekistan. National air carrier ‘Uzbekistan Airways’ has regular flights to over 50 cities of Europe, Asia, Middle East and North America.

Tourists also have the opportunity to get to attractions using rail transport. High-speed train services called Afrosiyob were introduced in 2011 between Tashkent and Samarkand, and later to the cities of Karshi, Bukhara and Fergana Valley. In recent years, new types of travel were introduced, including ecotourism, geotourism, extreme, health and cultural areas, as well as mountain climbing, rafting, fishing.

I would like to take the opportunity invite all Times Kuwait readers to visit sunny Uzbekistan and become our guest. You will have a memorable visit to the world-renowned cities, including the pearl of the Orient Samarkand, noble Bukhara, fabulous Khiva, the capital of warmth of friendship Tashkent, the heart of the Golden Fergana Valley, the ancient center of Buddhism in Termez and many other sites.

 Since the first years of Uzbekistan’s independence, the country has conducted an open, constructive and peaceful foreign policy. Can you enumerate the foreign policy priorities of your country?

Since the day of Independence Uzbekistan has conducted a comprehensively balanced foreign policy which is based on the national interests. This policy has gained broad recognition among the world community, and has helped to consolidate the authority of the country in the international arena, as well as its role and significance in regional and international affairs.

In 1992, the country became a member of the United Nations Organizations and also joined other prestigious international organizations. Until now, Uzbekistan has obtained recognition from 165 countries and has established diplomatic relations with more 120 countries.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoev in his speech at the  ceremony dedicated to the 24th Anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan on 7 December, 2016, indicated the following priorities of foreign policy of our country.

“We will conduct our foreign policy, above all, with comprehensive consideration of the interests of our nation and the Motherland.

Love for peace, non-interference in internal affairs of other states, peaceful and political resolution of all contradictions and confrontations will make up the core of this policy.

 We will continue the efficient cooperation with all near and far foreign states, as well as the international community. We will adhere to the principle of open, friendly and pragmatic policy in this respect.

 Maintaining the active relations and cooperation with the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Commonwealth of Independent States, Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other international structures meets the national interests of Uzbekistan.”

Can you give some information on the development of bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and Kuwait?     

Uzbekistan gives particular attention to developing bilateral relations with State of Kuwait. The political dialogue, parliamentary cooperation, economic and humanitarian relations have developed very positively. There is an active cooperation in fields of education, religion, culture and sport. In 2014, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries. 

The State of Kuwait recognized the independence of Republic of Uzbekistan on 30 December 1991, and diplomatic relations between two countries were established in July 1994.

More than two decades of cordial bilateral political and diplomatic ties were reinforced by the strong bonds of friendship between the leadership of both countries. On 19-20 January 2004, the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov made a historical official visit to Kuwait and on July 2008, His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah made an official visit to Uzbekistan.

The two visits have given a new push to the further development of bilateral relations between two brotherly countries in various areas. The basic perspective directions of an all-around development and the further deepening of bilateral relations have been determined. The visits also created the legal basis of bilateral relations between two countries.

In May 2006,  Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of State of Kuwait H.E. Sheikh Mohammed Al-Salim Al-Sabah visited Uzbekistan and was received by the then President Islam Karimov.

In May 2015, H.E. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan paid a visit to Kuwait to participate in the 42nd session the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Within the framework of the meeting, Minister Kamilov held discussions with his Kuwaiti counterpart, H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of State of Kuwait.

In October 2016, H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of State of Kuwait paid visit to Uzbekistan to participate in the 43rd session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Kuwaiti Minister had a official meeting with H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This meeting has opened a new page in bilateral relations between two countries.

In February 2017, the official delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan headed by H.E. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to Kuwait. The Uzbek delegation carried out official meetings and negotiations with the speaker of Kuwait National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Prime Minister H.E.Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs H.E. Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, First Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and representatives of business circles of Kuwait.

During the period from 1995 to 2017, six Kuwaiti parliamentary delegations have visited Uzbekistan. Also, Kuwait National Assembly and Uzbek parliament have created ‘Kuwait-Uzbekistan’ and ‘Uzbekistan-Kuwait’ friendship groups. In addition, representatives of Kuwait permanently participate at the important international and national political, economic, scientific and cultural events in Uzbekistan.

Thanks to common efforts of both sides, during the last years bilateral economic and trade cooperation has begun actively developing. In February 2017, The Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized the Uzbek-Kuwait business forum. The delegation of Kuwait Project Company KIPCO headed by Vice Chairman Faisal Hamad Al Ayyar and the delegation of Kuwait Investment CO headed by general manager Fawaz Al Ahmad also visited Uzbekistan.

Great development has also been achieved in bilateral cooperation in financial – credit sphere. The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) supports the implementation of various social projects in Uzbekistan, including in its agriculture, infrastructure, transport and healthcare sectors. In 2015-2016, two financial agreements were signed between Uzbek Government and KFAED. In February 2017, a new Memorandum of Cooperation between the government of Republic of Uzbekistan and KFAED was signed. 

Uzbekistan and Kuwait have an active dialogue in the fields of education, religion, culture, protection of antique monuments and sport, with 23 bilateral agreements signed between Uzbekistan and Kuwait in different fields. There are five new project documents currently under consideration by both sides.

This year Uzbekistan celebrates 26th anniversary of its Independence. It would be important to emphasize that dynamic development of the Uzbek-Kuwaiti relations and existing legal base of bilateral cooperation will become a good starting place and a basis for the further development and strengthening of mutual relations for the prosperity and welfare of two brotherly peoples of Uzbekistan and Kuwait.    


             

 

 

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