Speech of Joseph Chan at Seminar about Uzbekistan

10 January 2018

Dr. Norov, Mr. Khamraev, Dr. Wong, Dr. Chan, Ladies and Gentlemen ,Good afternoon!I am Joseph Chan of Silk Road Economic Development Research Center. It is my honour to give an opening remarks on today’s Seminar on “the new stage developments in Uzbekistan”.

The Central Asia is the most important region of President Xi’s Belt & Road Development and Uzbekistan with 30m people has more than half of the population of the Central Asia. It has a relatively new president Mr Mirziyoyev who is elected in late 2016 but has already been doing a lot or has actually done a lot to the opening up of the country’s open door policy and economic reform. As a Central Asia business participant since 2011, I see great potentials under this new regime.

In the President’s historic address to the Parliament of the country on 22nd December 2016 this year he has highlighted the most critical and pressing issues of political, economic and democratic development of the nation as well as the priorities of Tashkent’s foreign policy in front of the members of the senate, deputies of the legislative Chamber of the parliament ,members of the Cabinet of ministers and departments, representatives of diplomatic corps and international organizations accredited in Tashkent in which the president stressed ensuring good governance and the rule of law among the foremost priorities of his policy. “Government bodies should serve the people” is the principle. I am particularly impressed by this pledge after having suffered tremendously in the investment in the Central Asia due to the lack of government governance and the attitude of “people serve the government” in many of their peers.

In the last 6 months, I have been reading new favourable policies to attract foreign investments which have not been seen before in the Central Asia. The like of tax holidays, allowing higher cash withdrawal limit from ATM machines, introduction of bankruptcy procedures for individuals, simplify export of goods to foreign exhibitions, setting of single liquefied gas price for the public so on and so forth. As a keen Central Asia investor I am glad to see Uzbekistan moving quickly into the world stage. I guess I have been speaking long enough about my own observation and is about time to pass the stage to Dr. Norov to tell us all about his country’s new development plans in the new era. Without further a due, let us welcome Dr. Novov please. Thank you.