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News: February 2007

UZBEK CABINET ADOPTS DECISION ON SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Uzbek state media published a decision of the session of Cabinet of Ministers from 12 February 2007. The decision outlined priorities of Uzbekistan in economy for 2007.

The decision summed up results for 2006 and said GDP grew by 7.3%, the volume of industrial goods production by 10.8%, the consumer goods by 20.,6%, the production of agricultural goods by 6.2%, the paid services by 19.3%, and the contractual construction works by 12.8%.

The State budget has been executed with a surplus 0.5% towards the GDP. The inflation rate decreased to 6.8%. The investment climate has improved. At the same time, the scale of the direct foreign investments has also expanded. They have increased by 25.4%. As a result, 68.3% of the total amount of investments has been channeled to the manufacturing sector. About 50% of all investments were directed to the renewal of the technological stock and procurement of the new equipment.

In our country the profound changes are taking place in agriculture. In particular, last year over 74,000 farming entities were established on the basis of 666 shirkat entities. More than half of the newly established farms are those, which base their operations on growing the fruits and vegetables. Besides, the new forms of establishments now appear in the countryside. Nearly 200 agricultural firms were founded in 2006, which are based on the production and thorough processing of the fruits and vegetable products and vine.

The session has also underscored that the year 2006 saw the increase in the volume and amount of the foreign economic activity. The volume of exports of goods grew by 31.5%, while the positive balance of the foreign trade had accounted for about US$2 billion.

As a result of the purposeful measures undertaken in the sphere of providing the population with jobs, about 570,000 jobs were created in the country, including over 60,000 jobs created thanks to the cooperation of the home-based labor with the large industrial enterprises. In this, the real wages of the population grew by 36% and the real income on average by 22%.

The following directions are defined as vitally important priorities of the economic program for 2007:

First, to ensure the sustainable and balanced growth rates, structurization and modernization of economy, technical and technological re-equipment of its most important spheres, further liberalization of the tax policy;

Second, to create the maximum favorable conditions for businesses, above all, the private business and gradual decrease of the state's presence in the economy;

Third, to comprehensively strengthen the work on attracting the foreign investments, above all, the direct investments;

Fourth, to ensure the gradual rise of remuneration of labor and the quality of the people's lives;

Fifth, to comprehensively support the accelerated development of the small business and private entrepreneurship and on this basis to resolve the issues of employment and raising the well being of the people;

Sixth, to further deepen and expand the scale of reforms in the banking and financial system;

Seventh, to further deepen the economic reforms in the public utilities.

Source: UzReport, 15.02.2007