Uzbekistan's new pharma free economic zone eager for Azerbaijani investments (Exclusive)

Uzbekistan's new pharma free economic zone eager for Azerbaijani investments (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 22

By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:

The Nukus Pharm Free Economic Zone (FEZ) in Uzbekistan is planning to attract Azerbaijani enterprises to implement investment projects in the pharmaceutical sphere, Director of the FEZ Damir Abajanov told Trend on June 11.

"Investors from China, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Japan, Latvia etc. have expressed interest in the Nukus Pharm FEZ. There are plans to attract Azerbaijani enterprises as well. We would be glad to cooperate on mutually beneficial terms with fraternal Azerbaijani investors," Abajanov said.

According to him, the Nukus Pharm FEZ has been established to develop the pharmaceutical industry in Uzbekistan, support manufacturers, including foreign ones, produce medicines and medical products and saturate the market with high-quality locally produced drugs.

The director of the FEZ reminded that during the years of independence, the country created favorable conditions for attracting foreign investments into the pharmaceutical industry in order to modernize and create new enterprises, increase the volume and expand the range of ready products that are competitive in the world market.

"Another topical issue is localization of pharmaceutical products by increasing production of medicines from local raw materials, including medicinal herbs, as well as their widespread introduction into medical practice. Out of the 350 species of medicinal plants used in international medical practice, 71 species are currently being cultivated in the country," Abajanov said.

He added that creation of new plantations in ecologically clean areas close to production facilities is also one of the current trends in development of the pharmaceutical industry.

According to Abajanov, the Nukus Pharm FEZ was created taking into account the unique soil and climatic conditions of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

"The period of operation of the Nukus Pharm FEZ is 30 years with possibility of further extension. Special tax, customs and currency regimes will be active on the territory of the FEZ. If the FEZ participants make appropriate investments, they are granted exemption from payment of land tax, profit tax, property tax on legal entities, tax on improvement and development of social infrastructure etc.," the director of the FEZ said.

He reminded that the FEZ participants also have right to use convenient forms of payment and settlements for exported and imported goods.

According to Abajanov, corresponding external road transport, engineering and communication infrastructure will be connected to the territory of the FEZ, as well as to the production sites of its participants.

The FEZ director also noted that banks were recommended to allocate loans from their own resources and attract foreign credit lines to co-finance investment projects there. Appropriate loans will also be allocated to business entities and farms to create plantations for cultivation of medicinal plants.

"At the same time, if the initiators of investment projects fail to make payments in time, commercial banks will ensure delivery of technological equipment in leasing according to the established order," Abajanov concluded.

Seven new pharmaceutical free economic zones - Nukus Pharm, Zomin Pharm, Kosonso Pharm, Syrdaryo Pharm, Boysun Pharm, Bustonlik Pharm and Parkent Pharm - were created by decree of President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on May 3, 2017.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @FDolukhanov

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