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The American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) seeks to promote trade and investment ties, cultural exchanges and bonds of friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of Uzbekistan. In performing these functions, the AUCC places primary emphasis on serving the needs and interests of its members.
Interview with AUCC Chairperson Carolyn Lamm Before 2012 Uzbekistan-US Annual Business Forum
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BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN UZBEKISTAN
On August 31, 1991 the Republic of Uzbekistan proclaimed its independence and sovereignty. The country started to build an open democratic state with a market economy.
The policy of liberalization and gradual implementation of major principles of free economy and entrepreneurship has led to positive results.
Uzbekistan is a leading industrial country of Central Asia region.
Within the last four years the annual GDP growth has been over 7%.
In 2008 GDP grew by 9.0%, with growth rate in industry 12.7% and agriculture 4.5%. Growth rate of exports of goods was 28.7%. Within the same period, inflation rate or price growth amounted to 4.5%. Also, it should be noted that during the years of independence the share of industry in GDP grew from 11% to 25%, whereas the share of service sector increased from 18% to 42%, or more than twice.
The government pursues a policy of tax burden reduction. During 2000-2008 the rate of income (profit) tax declined from 38% to 10%, social payment declined from 40% to 24%, tax for small business entities and agricultural producers was cut to 8% and the rate of income tax levied on individuals was significantly decreased. As a result, within the last 7 years the total tax burden declined from 40% to 27%.
Measures have been taken to liberalize both small business and foreign investment. Currently the GDP share of small and private business is over 45%. Small and private business not only has the leading position in the economy of the country, but has also become the major supplier of goods and services to the market, ensuring the growth of income and well-being of the population and becoming an important factor in job creation.
Within the 2000 - 2008 period, the volume of foreign investment, especially of FDI, increased and totaled USD 5 billion. Since independence, over USD 27 billion of foreign investment has been attracted to the economy. There are 4,000 joint ventures and foreign companies in Uzbekistan, including some world-known transnational companies.
The growth rate of Uzbekistan foreign trade is significant. On the basis of 2008, the country's merchandise exports grew by 28.7% and positive balance accounted for USD 4.1 billion. Export growth was mainly achieved by increase of the volume of high value added products rather than by price rise on raw materials and energy resources.