As Uzbekistan waits to celebrate its 16th anniversary of independence, the country’s most important holiday, it should be mentioned that the traversed path has been marked by epochal transformations, the establishment of statehood and the rebirth of national self-consciousness, The Korea Herald reported.
At the moment, Uzbekistan, now well on the path to democratic renovation and undergoing fundamental reform to its economy and production relations, has confidently overcome the transition period, and is becoming integrated into the world community while securing sustainable macroeconomic development.
Each year _ worth a decade in time _ bears its own results of implemented reforms, sets new tasks, and requires a well-thought out, pragmatic approach towards their completion.
The outcome of social and economic developments in the country in the first half of 2007 are impressive and give full grounds to look to the future with a sense of optimism.
The 9.7 percent GDP growth is worth noting since it is over what was predicted at the beginning of the year.
The measures aimed at building the industry-oriented state are now consistently being implemented. And in this context, one should note that growth in some spheres of the economy has been significant _ in particular, the volume of industrial production, has reached 11.6 percent.
Yet one cannot but underscore the tendency of the country’s economy to move from a mere raw supply of exports into one involving finished products to world markets.
As the indicators demonstrate, there are significant moves in this direction: Products exports have grown by 39 percent; 70 percent of which had accounted for the non-raw products.
All this had provided for the positive dynamics of foreign trade growth _ for over this period the country maintained the positive balance of foreign trade, which had accounted for $1.7 billion.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission which visited Uzbekistan this year noted that following the last year’s high indicators, the economic indicators of the country remained high this year while Uzbekistan ensured high GDP growth rates, which had exceeded 9 percent in the first quarter; a significant surplus of current account foreign economic operations, and further accumulation of currency reserves.
The fund’s experts have agreed that a further cut-down of the inflation rate and development of the financial sector remain the main priorities for Uzbekistan.
The inflation rate during the last six months did not exceed the forecast parameters, accounting for only 2.7 percent.
This confirms Uzbekistan’s commitment to these priorities.
Maintaining sustainable and balanced growth rates, further structuring and modernization of economy, technical and technological renovation of its most important sectors, further liberalization of the tax policy are also among the first and foremost objectives of the development of economy.
Enormous work has been continued in this direction this year, and almost half of all amounts of capital inflows have been channeled to the objectives.
Also Uzbekistan has adopted the programs of modernization, technical and technological re-equipment of enterprises of cotton processing, oil and fat industry, industry of construction materials, and ferrous metallurgy.
Commissioning of large and small industrial enterprises, the number of which has accounted for 154, including the 30 sites of light and textile industry, testify to the significance of works, which had been accomplished in this direction.
They have been commissioned mainly thanks to the high growth rates of assimilated investments. This indicator has accounted for 140.2 percent compared to the same period of 2006.
And the amount of attracted foreign investment grew by 1.9 times of which nearly 85 percent is the direct investments.
Achievements of the country in reforming agriculture also cannot but make one pleased. Only for over the first half of 2007, its growth has accounted for 5.5 percent. More potatoes, vegetables, melons and gourds, meat and silk cocoons have been produced during the last period of time.
Over the last seven to eight years, the Uzbek grain-growers have been proving in practice that Uzbekistan has secured grain self-sufficiency.
Recently, they have achieved great success by having harvested more than 6,250,000 tons of grain, which is 150 thousand tons more the amount harvested last year.
As President Islam Karimov has said in his congratulatory message to the grain-growers of Uzbekistan: "Speaking about the factors, which have ensured this rare agricultural success, we should especially note that it is, above all, thanks to the strengthening sense of an ownership among our dekhkans (peasants) and farmers, who make up the main moving force of reforms now carried out in agriculture, their attitude to the work, active life position, the sense of being interested and responsibility, as well as being a part of the common work. The fact that 100 percent of this year’s crop has been harvested exclusively by farmers is a bright proof of that."
The profound reforms underway in all fields of economy allowed in the first half of this year to create 314,800 new jobs, including in the sphere of services _ more than 75,000 thanks to establishment of the home-based labor _ 40,200.
The real income of population grew by 21.3 percent. The issues of consistent raising of the material well-being of people, maintaining their reliable purposeful social protection are under the constant attention of the country’s President and government.
Thus, recently President Karimov has signed another decree on raising the wages, pensions, stipends and social allowances.
In accordance with this document, starting Aug. 1, 2007, the amount of wages for workers, pensions and social allowances, and stipends shall be increased on average by 125 percent.
All these give grounds to the citizens of the country to look to the future with optimism, as well as strengthen their trust in the reforms.
The economic reforms in Uzbekistan are now continuing. They are being implemented not just for the sake of reform, but have a clearly outlined social directivity.
In this context, one should also highlight the measures on implementing the State program "Year of Social Protection," which has been announced as such in Uzbekistan this year.
Thus, for the last half-year within the framework of implementation of the aforesaid program, 440,000 unemployed mothers with a child under 2 years old, as well as 880,000 families with children of up to 18 years old, have received allowances.
The material aid has been rendered to 44,000 less well-off families, and 28,500 less well-off and large families received free cattle. A total of 2,049 jobs have been created for the disabled.
The young families received loans worth $20.4 billion, including the soft micro-loans to launch one’s own business _ worth $10.6 billion.
Undoubtedly, the modern and dynamically developing economy of Uzbekistan, which now confidently joins the world community and is also being shaped as a result of a well-elaborated strategy for the development of state _ this is the basis to achieve the high prosperity of the people, as well as peace and tranquility in the country.