UzA, 23 October 2013
On October 22, 2013 a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers took place in Tashkent, in which the results of socio-economic development of the country for the first 9 months of this year have been summed up and measures for unconditional implementation of the key priorities of economic program for 2013, determined by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the government meeting on January 18, 2013, have been worked out.
At the meeting the main macroeconomic indicators of the country, as well as the effectiveness of current measures to improve the competitiveness of the economy, deepening of structural reforms and diversification of its industries and sectors, primarily through acceleration and expansion of the scale of modernization, technical and technological renovation of production facilities, advanced development of road transport and communications infrastructure, as well as steady increase of employment, level and quality of life, have been comprehensively considered and deeply analysed.
It is noted that due to systematic and consistent implementation of the well-thought and focused program of economic reform and modernization of the country, despite the intensifying problems in the global economy and a slowdown in its growth, Uzbekistan has ensured preservation of macroeconomic stability and sustained high rates of economic growth. During the first 9 months of this year, gross domestic product grew by 8.1 percent, the volume of industrial production by 9.4 percent, including consumer goods by 15.9 percent, agriculture 6.8 percent, retail trade by 14.7 percent and services by 12.4 percent. State budget surplus constituted 0.2 percent of GDP. The inflation rate has not exceeded the forecast parameters.
The implementation of an active investment policy to accelerate the development and modernization of industries, road transport and communications infrastructure, along with measures to improve the investment climate, has contributed to the growth of investments in fixed assets by 12.5 percent, including foreign investment - 12.4 percent. 2,2 thousand of new production facilities have been commissioned, implementation of 60 investment projects have been completed. Production of localized products grew by 39.7 percent, with an estimated effect of import substitution in the amount of U.S. $ 4 billion.
Continued implementation of measures to further improve the business climate, reducing various barriers and obstacles to business activity has contributed to the creation 21.2 thousand new small businesses in this year, the volume of industrial production by small businesses increased by 15.2 percent and the share of the sector in GDP reached 51.2 percent.
Active implementation of the State Program "Year of Well-being and Prosperity" to raise the level and quality of life, strengthening the material-technical base and improvement of the social institutions have been ensured, for which funding from all sources in the amount of about 5.6 trillion soums and 250 million U.S. dollars have been allocated.
Implementation of the Program for the creation of jobs and employment in 2013 has been analyzed in detail and comprehensively as a top priority at the meeting. It is noted that the implementation of systematic measures for the past 9 months of 2013, 833.4 thousand new jobs have been created, of which more than 488,000, or 58.6 percent are in rural areas.
During the discussions, the activities of a number of khokims of regions have been subjected to harsh criticism for the shortcomings in creation of jobs through the development of small businesses and entrepreneurship, as well as the provision of employment to graduates of professional colleges.
The heads of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, khokims of regions, districts and municipalities, commercial banks, business associations and large companies have been set specific objectives for the implementation of measures to ensure employment of population and creation of additional jobs. Meanwhile, a special attention must be paid to the leading commercial banks to ensure their investment in modern production and recovery of industrial activity of bankrupt enterprises and organization of new jobs.
During the discussion of the agenda items of the meeting, works on further development of the export potential of the country have been comprehensively analysed, with special attention to the measures taken to promote exports of small businesses and private entrepreneurs in accordance with the decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan of August 8, 2013 "On additional measures to support the export of small businesses and entrepreneurs."
It is noted that due to ongoing systemic measures on supporting and promoting the activities of domestic producers, exporters, improving their competitiveness in foreign markets, in spite of adverse fluctuations in prices of major exports of domestic products over the past 9 months of the current year, a growth of 13 percent in export and a significant trade surplus have been achieved. 469 new enterprises have been involved in export activities from the beginning of the year. The proportion of regional enterprises in total exports has increased two-fold. Also the role and importance of small businesses in total exports have been steadily increasing, whose shares rose to 19.1 percent compared to 13.5 percent for the same period in 2012.
The attention of heads of business associations, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regions and Tashkent city, the Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade, the Ministry of Economy have been drawn to the need to strengthen identifying and mobilizing reserves for the expansion of production and the range of export products.
The National Bank of Foreign Economic Activity have been instructed to expedite the activities of the organization and proper functioning of the Fund for the support of exports of small business and private entrepreneurship.
At the meeting, a special attention was paid to the overall consideration and detailed analysis of the effectiveness of measures taken to further develop the construction contractor companies and strengthen their material and technical base to meet the growing volume of construction in the coming years. It is noted that due to the implementation of large-scale programs for construction, reconstruction and modernization in the manufacturing sector and the social sector, development of rural housing model projects in recent years have provided an accelerated growth in construction. During the first 9 months of this year volume of construction works increased by 19.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
The State Committee for Architecture and Construction, Ministry of Economy, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and Tashkent city khokimiyats have been tasked to develop and submit to the Government of the Republic a set of measures on establishment of specialized building contractors, equipped with modern construction techniques, as well as the strengthening of their financial condition, material and technical base.
The Ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Finance have been instructed to develop, based on a thorough analysis of the effectiveness of rural medical units, and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers a set of organizational measures to further improve the system of healthcare in rural areas, with the elaboration of clear standards for the evaluation of rural medical units.
Reports of the heads of ministries, agencies, regional authorities and business associations on the state of readiness of business entities, housing, social and infrastructure facilities for the autumn-winter period, as well as the stable provision of vegetables and potatoes in the autumn- winter period of 2013-2014.
At the meeting, a special attention was paid to the comprehensive analysis of the state of work on harvesting agricultural work, cultivation of winter cereals crops and carrying out complex technical measures for next year's crop. It has been noted that, despite the very difficult irrigation conditions this year, the timely holding of the whole complex of agricultural activities, management of irrigation water, as well as the skill of rural workers has allowed to grow and gather 1.97 million tons of raw cotton by 1 October, and by October 21 to fulfill the forecast state order for cotton.
Following the discussions, relevant decisions, defining concrete measures for unconditional implementation of the key priorities of social and economic development of the country in 2013 and creation of a reliable guarantee for the sustainable development of the economy of the country in the coming years, have been made.