A Country Report and Profile - Republic of Uzbekistan — страница 2

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to human rights. He believes that economic stability is necessary for socio-political stability. In his new book, Along the Road of Deepening Economic Reform, Karimov states, Apreparation, discussion and adoption of fundamental laws regulating and providing guarantees of human rights and freedoms, rights and freedoms of public organizations and freedom of conscience and religion have been something principally new in practical law making in this country.@ He also briefly mentions the women=s rights and acknowledges their special role as Awomen-mothers@ and presses for better child care provisions. Economy 3At independence, the economy was dominated by cotton production. Uzbekistan hoped to benefit from this by selling the cotton on the international market, but the early 1990s

were a time of depressed prices on world cotton markets. This created a dispute with Russia, which responded by seeking to purchase cotton on the world market. Uzbekistan lost a considerable amount of revenue due to this conflict with Russia. Eventually the two countries reached an agreement to barter Uzbek cotton for Russian petroleum products. Other important agricultural products include grain, fruit, vegetables and natural silk from cocoons. The main problem of Uzbekistan is that about three-fifths of the country is desert or semi-arid desert: almost all cultivated land must be irrigated. This has resulted in the gradual drying up of the Aral Sea. By the 90's the available water supply had been exhausted to the point that there was no possibility of increasing the amount of

land used for agricultural purposes. Grain production only covers a quarter of Uzbekistan=s total consumption. Therefore Uzbekistan relies heavily on imports from countries such as the United States to support their supply of grain. Uzbekistan complains that the USSR destroyed it=s grain-growing capacity in order to create the cotton monoculture. This has remained a very difficult obstacle for Uzbekistan and grain continues to be a major import. 4Uzbekistan=s other primary product exports include gas and minerals. Uzbekistan has few energy sources besides gas and untapped hydro power. Although a major oil field was recently discovered in the Fergana Valley in 1992. Uzbekistan is the largest importer of oil by all the CARs. The most accessible mineral export is gold, of which

Uzbekistan was the USSR=s second-largest producer. Joint ventures are bringing foreign technology to exploit Uzbekistan gold mines. Other mineral deposits include silver, lead, copper, zinc, and tungsten. Uzbekistan=s minerals have a low ore content, which suggests that it would not be as valuable on the world market. 5After World War II, Soviet resources were concentrated on rebuilding industrial enterprises in European areas. With less investment the growth rate of Uzbekistans industry declined. There was a long trend of falling industrial growth rates. Manufacturing industry in Uzbekistan was originally developed in close relation to its primary product base which of course was cotton and fruits and vegetables. Machinery for the cotton sector was a major output and food

processing industries were also important. These are the only two substantial forms of manufacturing in Uzbekistan. This is somewhat disturbing considering the large amounts of resources that are available. 6The general problem was of lack technical ability and low standards of quality. The main approach to correct this problem was to encourage joint ventures. Many joint venture agreements were signed in 1992 and 1993, but there was little actual foreign investment. There was also a problem with Uzbekistan=s communication capabilities. In 1993 a joint venture was formed with the Turkish company, Teletas, to install seventy thousand lines. Uzbekistan also would like to become the hub of Central Asia. When the Aeroflot fleet was shared out after the dismemberment of the USSR,

Uzbekistan utilized its share of the planes productively to earn vast amounts of hard currency. It created an international network in the spring of 1993 with the goal of making Tashkent a hub for budget and travel between Europe and Asia. Flights would be established to Karachi, Delhi, Kuala, Lumpur, Bangkok, Beijing, Frankfort, and London. Israel provided training assistance to Uzbekistan Airways, and the airline raised its credibility by purchasing several Airbuses. Economic reform in Uzbekistan has been very slow. Until 1994 Mr. Karimov opposed reform. Since then he has had to start some reforms to obtain IMF backing for his stabilization program and to get World Bank financing. Uzbekistan has been officially committed to economic reform since independence. The government has