Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 26
By Ali Mustafayev - Trend:
Positive changes taking place in Uzbekistan increase the interest to the country in the international arena, serve to strengthening of the republic’s status in the world community, Mahamadjon Botraliev, counselor, charge d'affaires of the Embassy of Uzbekistan to Azerbaijan, said at a press briefing in the embassy Jan. 26.
He noted that in 2017, Uzbekistan’s economic growth rate amounted to 5.5 percent, and the volume of exports grew 15 percent.
“The country’s foreign trade surplus reached $854 million,” Botraliev said. “As many as 161 big industrial facilities were commissioned in Uzbekistan in 2017. Unrestricted exchange of the Uzbek national currency to foreign currencies was started. Since the liberalization of the monetary policy, the value of transactions on the purchase and sale of foreign currency has grown 1.5 times and amounted to about $1.3 billion. At the same time, the country’s gold and foreign currency reserves grew $1.1 billion.”
The counselor added that in 2017, activity of 12 free economic and 45 industrial zones was established in Uzbekistan. This contributes to the accelerated development of the country’s regions, and the work to organize another 50 new industrial zones in the near future is underway, he said.
On Dec. 22, 2017, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the Parliament for the first time, Botraliev noted.
Members of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament, the leadership of the Cabinet of Ministers, ministries and departments, representatives of diplomatic corps and offices of international organizations accredited in Uzbekistan, activists of non-governmental non-profit organizations took part in the event, the counselor added.
“The Uzbek president’s appeal summarized the work done in the country in 2017, which marked the beginning of a new stage of Uzbekistan’s development, and identified the priorities for 2018,” Botraliev said.
“In this context, it was noted that 2017 became the year of creation of a new system of direct dialogue with the Uzbek people, effective solution of the people’s problems,” he noted. “The people’s and virtual reception offices of the Uzbek president are a unique democratic institution for dealing with citizens’ appeals, ensuring transparency and accountability of the work of state agencies. With their help, more than 1.5 million Uzbek citizens managed to solve their problems accumulated over the years.”
Regarding Uzbekistan’s foreign policy, the president’s appeal says that 21 visits at the highest level, meetings with leaders and representatives of more than 60 states and international organizations were held in 2017, the counselor said.
Over 400 agreements, contracts worth almost $60 billion were signed in 2017, he noted, adding that for their timely implementation, 40 “road maps” were developed.
“Implementation of the “Main Priority - Central Asia” principle was launched in 2017,” he said. “Completely new political atmosphere emerged in the region, and relationships based on mutual trust are being strengthened. Cooperation with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan has become of strategic partnership nature. Cooperation with Tajikistan is also strengthening. Flights between Tashkent and Dushanbe were established. The signing of the Agreement on the State Border with Kyrgyzstan became a serious step in ensuring security and stability in Central Asia.”
Botraliyev also said that important agreements on mutually beneficial cooperation with the neighboring Afghanistan were concluded, practical work on new economic projects has started.
He also noted that agreements were reached with Russia, China, South Korea, Turkey, the US, the EU member countries and Muslim countries.
“Uzbekistan is developing cooperation with such international organizations as the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States at a new level,” he said. “Cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was restored, and partnership ties were established with the European Investment Bank. Interaction with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is acquiring dynamic nature.”
He noted that at the suggestion of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, 2018 in Uzbekistan was declared as the Year of supporting active entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and technologies.