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Seminar discusses declaration of Tashkent city as World Islamic Cultural Capital

International Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) declared Tashkent one of the four capitals of Islamic culture in 2007. Scientific-practical seminar "Tashkent — the capital of Islamic culture in 2007" was held in the Tashkent Islamic University late last week and dedicated to this noble issue, the Jahon news agency reported quoting Narodnoye Slovo newspaper reported on 13 January.

The professors and other teaching faculty of the university, scholars at the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies, representatives of the Committee o-n religious affairs of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Department of Muslims of Uzbekistan and journalists attended the meeting, the report said.

The participants underscored that the fact that Tashkent has been declared o-ne of the capitals of Islamic culture was of profound historical, cultural and political significance. They also agreed that the capital of Uzbekistan has truly deserved to receive such title.

Tashkent is an ancient city, which has always been playing an important role in Ihe history of the entire region.

While as a center for the world religions in various times Tashkent has had and continues to have a special significance in the history of Islamic civilization.

Reportedly more than 2,000 mosques and more than 10 higher, secondary and specialized schools and Tashkent Islamic University are operating in Uzbekistan at the time. Leading schools of this sphere — the Tashkent Islamic University and the Tashkent Islamic Institute are located in the Uzbek capital.

The unique collection of oriental manuscripts of the Institute of Oriental Studies and many other Islamic relics, which are included into the UNESCO's "Word Significance Monuments" are also preserved in Tashkent, the report also said.

BVV Business Report 23 January 2007 #.3

Uzbek leader resolves to mark birthday of Abdulla Kahhar

Uzbek President Islam Karimov signed on 8 January a resolution on celebration of the 100th anniversary of birth of Uzbek writer Abdulla Kahhar.

The document created an organizational committee and entrusted it to develop a plan on celebration of the 100th anniversary of birth of Abdulla Kahhar.

The resolution said Uzbek Science Academy, Writers Union, National Spiritual Centre will organize conference on work of Abdulla Kahhar and hold celebrations at Uzbek National Academic Theatre in September.

The Uzbek leader said that museum of Abdulla Kahhar should be reconstructed and replenishment with new exposition

The document said Uzbek theatres should stage plays of Abdulla Kahhar and publish book with the best works of Abdulla Kahhar.

Uzbekkino (Uzbek Film) national agency entrusted to shoot documentary on life and work of the Uzbek writer, while the Uzbek Agency for Communication and Information will issue postage stamps and envelopes with image of Andulla Kahhar and motives of his works.

BVV Business Report 16 January 2007 #.2

New crossing point on Uzbek-Kyrgyz border to be created with EU funds

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and H, Tajikistan, Adrian van der Meer, has announced that the European Commission (EC) will finance and build a crossing point near the town of Osh on the border between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

The point will have both automobile and railway crossing departments, and will cost the EU some 500,000 euro. More than a half of the allocated sum, 295,000 euro, will be spent on high-tech equipment for the border control, and training of the local officers. he construction of the border point is part of the EU Border Management Programme in Central Asia. It is intended not only to counter drug and arms trafficking, but also to encourage trade between the regions close to the border.

The city earmarked for the border post construction hosts the largest retail market in Central Asia. The improvement of border control will contribute to enhancing security in the region.

BVV Business Report 19 Decenber 2006

New US Embassy facility open for business
The Embassy of the United States of America to the Republic of Uzbekistan was open for business at its new premises located in Tashkent's Yunusobod district.

Two months prior to the move, on 14 December 2005, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to Uzbekistan Jon R. Purnell and his guests officially dedicated the new Embassy facility. Chief among the Ambassador's guests were Elyor Ganiev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and General Charles E. Williams, the Director and Chief Operating Officer of the US State Department's Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations. In his keynote speech, General Williams described the new Embassy as "a fitting symbol of America's commitment" to maintaining a presence in Uzbekistan. Foreign Affairs Minister Ganiev, Ambassador Purnell and General Williams gave credit to the close cooperation between Uzbeks and Americans as well as the governments of Uzbekistan and the United States for making the new facility possible.

The Dedication Ceremony was a celebration for those who have worked on the buildings as well as those who will be working in them. Municipal officers including the khokim of Tashkent City Abdukakhar Tuhtaev attended the ceremony along with the representatives of construction companies that helped build the facility and the American and Uzbek embassy personnel who will be stationed there.

On 23 February 2006 media representatives were invited to visit the new Embassy facility. Journalists were shown to the Consular Section, six interview desks for those wishing to receive US visas including one specially equipped for people with disabilities. As was announced, the work of the Consular Section did not cease operating even during the process of moving into the new premises. At this time, visitors wishing to obtain visas are received as usual in the mornings at the new Embassy site.

In addition, journalists were shown around the rooms of the Embassy where comfortable conditions for work have been created. In a multifunctional hall for up to 100 people modern equipment, a large screen that lowers automatically, a projector and facilities for simultaneous translation were demonstrated. It is here that receptions, meetings and other events of the Embassy will be held.

The contractor for the design-build project was J.A. Jones Construction Company of Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. It retained the American architectural firm of Hellmuth Obata + Kassabaum of Washington to design the facility. The new chancery, with more than 11,000 square meters of space, shares the 4.5-hectare site with several ancillary buildings and support facilities. The cost of the project was approximately US$60,000,000. Since the Groundbreaking Ceremony in June 2003, more than 300 Uzbek workers have been employed at the project site. Moreover, a substantial portion of the construction materials was purchased in Uzbekistan. Altogether, the project added at least US$ 10,000,000 to the local economy.

In addition to the lavish use of marble and other materials from the region, the new chancery houses an art collection of 71 paintings, photographs, ceramics, sculptures and works on paper created by American and Uzbek artists.
BVV Business Report,

Uzbek government passes resolution to regulate activities of foreign journalists.

The resolution is aimed at "creating the necessary conditions for media correspondents of foreign states" to work in Uzbekistan.

The activity of foreign journalists in Uzbekistan "is permitted on the condition of accreditation from the Uzbek Foreign Ministry," the document said.

The ministry will issue authorizations for foreign media organizations to open news bureaus in the country. The rights and obligations of foreign journalists can also be regulated on the basis of bilateral agreements with the countries concerned.

According to the resolution, if foreign journalists infringe regulations, the foreign ministry can issue warnings, cancel accreditation, annul visas, and where necessary expel them from the country.

"Accredited foreign journalists are forbidden from calling for changes by force in the existing constitutional set-up; violating the territorial integrity of the republic; propagandizing war and violence, cruelty, national, race, or religious hostility; and are also forbidden from interfering in the domestic affairs of Uzbekistan", the resolution said.

Accredited journalists have the right to free movement within the territory of Uzbekistan, excluding places closed to visits or demanding special permission.
BVV Business Report

Uzbek population increases by 314,000 in 2005
Number of Uzbek population increased by 314,000 to 26.02 million in 2005, according to official data of the Uzbek State Property Committee.

As of 1 January 2006, the number of population of Uzbekistan increased by 1.2% year-on-year, The committee said natural growth of population made up 313,900 persons.

The number of population in urban areas rose from 9.38 million to 9.44 million and rural areas rose from 16.32 million to 16.5 million. Average lifetime made up 69.4 among male and 73.8 among female.

Uzbekistan remains the third largest nation in CIS after Russia and Ukraine. The country has one of the highest birth rates in post-Soviet space. It is expected that the population of Uzbekistan will reach 40 million by 2020.

Uzbekistan has negative balance of external migration. According to official data, some 98,000 people, or up 12,300 people year-on-year, migrated in 2005. Main migration partners of Uzbekistan are Russia and Kazakhstan. The country receives about US$500 million annually from export of labor forces.
BVV Business Report

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