The countdown of the passing 2016 has started. It is the year of the 25th anniversary of
A reliable foundation for the future of
However, the main achievement of independence, as demonstrated by 2016, is peace and stability, the atmosphere of kindness and humanity, national and civil accord that reign in our country.
Looking back, we once again recollect the highlights of the year. What are its most interesting and significant events? What place will it occupy in the country’s history?
Tracking the chronicle of the republic on newspaper’s pages throughout the year, Uzbekistan Today reporters have summed up the answers to these questions.
THE PATH TO PROSPERITY
This year marks 25 years of independence. What does a quarter of a century mean for the history? Probably just a moment. What is it for the people of the country?
During this short period of time,
Despite the trials, challenges and problems around the world, the ongoing financial and economic crisis, the downswing in demand for finished products and raw materials,
Among the few countries in the world, the economy in
In recent years, the growth rate of gross domestic product has been stable at the level of more than 8%, ensuring the growth of exports and foreign exchange reserves, while the public external debt does not exceed 18.5% of GDP.
The progress has unrecognizably changed the face of the country, its cities and villages. Industry has been developing at an advanced pace, the structure has been radically renewed, high-tech modern enterprise are being commissioned, the production is upgraded and diversified, the competitiveness of the economy is growing.
The achievements clearly showcase
PERSONAL INTERESTS ABOVE ALL
A program report by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the grand meeting on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the Constitution of the
At the meeting, the new head of state announced 2017 as the Year of Dialogue with People and Human Interests. The title is unusual, to some extent, but it immediately encouraged the populace.
As it was stressed in the report, in order to protect human interests, one needs to talk to them, enquire into their concerns, hopes and aspirations, problems and needs.
The head of
At the same time, as it was underscored by the President, ‘people's reception offices’ should be opened in each district and city, and ensure their full-fledged operation. It is advisable that such offices functioned in the system of political parties, because they should always be aware of people's concerns as a power that protects citizens’ interests. It should be a system, in which no appeal to ‘people's reception office’ will be ignored.
With this in mind, there is need to streamline the ‘single window’ system of the most popular public services to the population based on one agency. There is also the need to establish a system of permanent monitoring of the situation in each region, primarily in terms of execution of decrees and regulations, effectiveness of their implementation, development of proposals to enhance the accountability of related public authorities in this field.
It is advisable that MPs and senators of the Oliy Majlis visit one district a month, study, analyze the activities of executive bodies, prosecutors and internal affairs bodies during 10-12 days, and come up with appropriate conclusions.
In the future, the head of state noted, we have to consider and discuss the issue of electing local governors directly by the people. If each region will elect its own governor, it would dramatically increase his/her accountability before the people and society.
The abovementioned priorities require a further improvement of the public administration system based on the requirements of today and tomorrow, the President stressed.
In view of the declaration of 2017 as the Year of Dialogue with People and Human Interests, by the Presidential Decree signed 28 December 2016 it was decided to establish People's Reception Offices and the Virtual Reception of the President of Uzbekistan. They will be primarily focused on the organization of direct dialogue with the population, ensuring the functioning of a new and effective system of consideration of appeals of individuals and corporate entities, which would aim at the full protection of their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NATIONAL PROGRAM
More than 7.4 trillion soums has been invested this year in the implementation of the national program the Year of Mother and Child Health. A large-scale complex of measures was carried out to raise the living standards in general.
Much has been done to streamline the legislation. In particular, the Law of the
Much attention has been paid to the improvement of living standards of the population, especially in remote rural areas. In particular, the Federation of Trade Unions provided free household appliances for women of low-income families to facilitate their housework. The program covered a total of more than three thousand beneficiaries.
The report spotlighted the issues of improving the healthcare system. The introduction of modern high-tech diagnosis and treatment technologies was carried out along with strengthening the logistical capacity of medical institutions. In particular, the application of vitamin K for the prevention of hemorrhagic disease in preterm infants was introduced in line with international standards.
Other important thrusts of the national program included the promotion of physical culture and sports, involvement of youth, especially rural girls, in regular exercise. Gyms were built in 217 schools. The authorities launched a program which envisages the establishment of at least one modern well-equipped junior sports school in each district. Much attention was paid to the expansion of the network of swimming pools: 11 new pools have been built this year.
The program attached importance to the establishment of girls, the future mothers, as physically healthy and intellectually developed personalities by means of compulsory education in academic lyceums and vocational colleges, their comprehension of contemporary knowledge and vocations. The measures taken have contributed to shaping their persistent attitude and independent thinking as key factors for taking a decent place in life, and establishment of healthy and strong families in the future. Crucially, the work has acquired a permanent status.
The education system has been streamlined on a consistent basis. The priority was given to pre-school educational institutions as a foundation of intellectual development of each child. 1,620 nursery schools were equipped with furniture sets, playgrounds and sports areas, teaching and fiction stuff.
The employment system of vocational college was improved for their graduates. Previously, a tripartite agreement was signed between the employer, the student and the institution, under which a graduating student was provided with practical training with subsequent employment. As of 2016, the contract is signed by a district governor as a guarantee of the terms for the implementation of this very agreement. This step has strengthened the targeted training system.
It is worth to note the further strengthening of cooperation and collaboration in addressing the program-related issues between local authorities and citizens' self-government bodies (mahallas), women's and youth organizations, veterans’ organizations, and active involvement of the respected and authoritative representatives of the senior generation.
The passing 2016 can be called a period of strategic breakthrough of the Uzbek economy. It was conditioned by the fact that the country adopted some important laws to liberalize economic relations and support small business, development programs for certain industries. Major projects have been completed. Their importance can hardly be overestimated.
More than a hundred major industrial projects totaling $3.7 billion have been completed as part of the Investment Program since the beginning of the year. They include the expansion of a cement plant in Jizzakh region, establishment of serial production of T-250 passenger cars, the construction of two combined cycle gas turbines with a capacity of 450 MW each at Talimarjan thermal power plant and a 150 MW high-ash coal incineration plant in the Angren TPP, the manufacture of sterile syringes at Guliston Med Texnika in Syrdarya region, and many others.
Nearly 22,000 projects have been implemented in the reported period under territorial programs of socioeconomic development in regions, including 4,274 industrial projects with the introduction of new production capacities in 3,195 enterprises, development of new activities at 162 enterprises, upgrade of 264 and expansion of 653 enterprises. $2.65 billion of foreign investments and loans was disbursed for the implementation of these projects since the beginning of the current year with 11.2 percent growth YOY, including over $1.8 billion of direct foreign investments. As a result, the share of foreign investments in the total utilized investments has increased from 21.1% to 22.3%.
Exports have been boosting as well. Since the beginning of the year, 835 new businesses have been involved in exports with new 246 kinds of goods. The map of foreign supplies of domestic products has expanded by 52 new markets.
The transport sector occupies a special place in these accomplishments. This year has marked the completion of the construction of a new electrified railway line Angren-Pap and electrification of Pap-Kokand-Andijan section, which has allowed to connect the entire territory of the republic by railway for the first time in the history of the independent state. Moreover, high-speed passenger traffic was launched on the Samarkand-Bukhara line. Civil aviation was distinguished by successful reception and launch of the two of the world’s most advanced aircraft, Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner.
This is just a small mention of the progress of the national economy, which, as estimated by many international analysts and leading financial institutions, will show the significant growth in the coming years.
RAISING THE IMAGE IN THE INTERNATIONAL ARENA
In the passing year,
The SCO summit and the session of OIC Council of Foreign Ministers were the main events in this context.
Noting the advantages of presidency, experts emphasize the contribution of the Uzbek side to the further strengthening of the authority and capacity of the organization, particularly in terms of practical progress on the expansion of the SCO by
The main outcomes of the jubilee meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State in
‘The Echo of India’ sees the historic significance of the
Experts believe that, approved at the Tashkent Summit, the Action Plan for 2016-2020 on the Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy for 2025, which envisages the catalization of interaction of member countries in the politics, security, economy, development cultural and humanitarian ties will bring the organization to a drastically new level of cooperation.
The transfer of presidency from the current Chairman, the representative of
Assessing the work of the session, foreign experts pointed out to the relevance of its subject, put forward by
BRIGHT, RICH, AND INTERESTING
Throughout 2016, the figures of culture continued making the life of the audience brighter, interesting, making them to reflect on the most important things through their works of art.
Exhibition halls lived active life too, presenting both the latest works of art by contemporary artists, sculptors, and the works of the ‘golden stock’. The exhibition of contemporary art, which was scheduled as a biennale, ranks among the most anticipated events. Domestic and foreign authors showed a new original look on the world's pressing problems. The organizers promised that the traditional Biennale of Contemporary Art will take place in 2017.
Organization of eventful leisure of the population, the provision of high level cultural services was another focus. 43 culture and leisure centers and nine amusement parks were put into operation.
Cultural institutions of the republic have held a record number of events – a total of
TRIUMPH IN RIO AS PLEDGE OF FUTURE SUCCESS
This year, the country exhaulted at the unprecedented accomplishments in major competitions, namely, the Olympic Games. Thirteen medals is an unprecedented progress, but the country is not going to stop at that.
2016 has marked the launch of the program on the counstruction of 14 new higher skill schools in each regional center and in
Improvement of outfit at children's sports schools and facilities, which were commissioned in 2004-2014, has been carried out concurrently. They are the main providers of talents for Olympic reserve schools. The schools are equipped with state-of-the-art sports facilities and equipment. The relevant authorities also addressed the issues of providing schools with qualified coaching and teaching staff, and teaching aids.