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AUCC and the Republic of Uzbekistan: Shared Vision for Result-Oriented Trade and Investment Agenda

aucconline.com
10 February 2017

AUCC and the Republic of Uzbekistan: Shared Vision for Result-Oriented Trade and Investment Agenda

 

On February 1, 2017, the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce (AUCC) held its 2017 U.S.-Uzbekistan Annual Business Forum in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.  Since 1993, the chamber has become the most recognized body of American companies involved in hydropower, oil and gas, aviation, mining, agriculture, commodity trading, legal services, automobile building, hospitality, and other industries in Uzbekistan.  This year, represented by a delegation of 47 high-level business executives, the AUCC once again reiterated its commitment to drive the U.S.-Uzbekistan business agenda and to identify mutually beneficial opportunities for the American and Uzbek peoples.  Held on the heels of presidential elections in the U.S. and Uzbekistan, the forum's prevailing message to those in the U.S. and Uzbekistan was How Integrating Our Companies' Best Practices, Strategies, and Technological Solutions can lead the peoples of Uzbekistan and the US to Greater Economic Prosperity and Industrial Success.

 

The same day, in what was the first meeting with any foreign trade group, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev received the AUCC leadership: Chairperson Carolyn Lamm and President Steven Nadherny and Bela Ferenzci, GE's CEO for Central Asia and Azerbaijan.  The AUCC conferred an Award for the President's leadership through the peaceful transition and for his support for enhanced foreign investment. The President confirmed the priority of stability, continuity and increased foreign investment. He described his innovative programs and vision to achieve greater foreign investment and trade with great vigor.  The AUCC leadership left confident in a new energy and opportunities for investors in Uzbekistan.

 

"We appreciate it is time when countries are becoming increasingly competitive and protective of their domestic markets and labor force. Such developments make this forum even more important to promote international trade and global engagement on a commercial basis.  I want you to know that this forum is our opportunity to call for stronger engagement with the Republic of Uzbekistan," said AUCC Chairperson Carolyn Lamm.  "We are here today to sign contracts, get approvals for projects, and help our countries' trade agendas expand to levels that will promote and increase our bilateral business with Uzbekistan...We need our [local] partners and the [Uzbek] government to make our proposals a reality.  It is our signal to the people of Uzbekistan that we are ready to move, export, import, invest, manufacture, and employ.  Ultimately, we want our friends and partners to generate results that will make everyone proud and will encourage us to invest more!" she concluded.

 

In calling for a higher trade and investment turnover between our countries, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Elyor M. Ganiev also drew participants' attention to Uzbekistan's OECD Country Risk rating, which makes the current rate of Uzbek financing less competitive; certainly, a deterrent for conducting business with the U.S. and impediment for export financing.  In more than a decade, Uzbekistan has proven to be one of the world's most stable economies with a high annual GDP growth of 8%, low foreign debt to GDP ratio, and no default history; these factors strongly illustrate the need for re-considering and upgrading the country's rating.  Echoing the Minister's comments, AUCC President Steven Nadherny added: "Business generates revenues for all countries involved, creates jobs for the local populace, and contributes to the improvement of socio-economic standards, regardless of region, ethnicity, religion, and beliefs.  When we U.S. investors come into a new market, local people have faith that American skills, experiences, brands, and technologies will help them put their ideas to work.  It is therefore our responsibility to create an enabling commercial environment that makes us deliver and meet people's expectations in our ability to help them build a stronger present and a prosperous future."

 

AUCC would like to express its gratitude to Minister Ganiev, Minister Kamilov, Senator Safaev, Ambassador Bakhtiyar Gulyamov, Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, Commercial Attaché John Fay, and their staff for the support and assistance with the Forum. 

 

We are also highly indebted to those AUCC Sponsors that helped organize the event:

Platinum Sponsors: General Electric and Zeppelin International AG (authorized distributor of Caterpillar in Uzbekistan);

Gold Sponsors: Baker & McKenzie LLP, The Coca-Cola Company and CNH Industrial; and

Silver Sponsors: White & Case LLP, Nukem, and The Boeing Company