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Natural resources base of Uzbekistan was presented at the seminar of the New Silk Road Forum

On the invitation of the New Silk Road Forum (www.nsrforum.com), HE Ambassador Otabek Akbarov participated as a speaker at the event which was focused on natural resources and the New Silk Road, the opportunities for mutual collaboration and benefits. The event was organised in conjunction with the Victoria State Government of Australia and the Melbourne Mining Club in Australia House, London, on 7 November 2013.
 
The full text of the address of Ambassador of Uzbekistan on the current state and prospects of the development of raw-material base of solid minerals of Uzbekistan and investment proposals for foreign partners can be found below.
 
 
Raw-Material Base of Solid Minerals of Uzbekistan and Investment Proposals for Foreign Partners
 
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Let me introduce you to the current state and prospects of the development of raw-material base of solid minerals of Uzbekistan and investment proposals for foreign partners.
1. Our country from the first years of its independence has been able to realize a package of difficult measures that ensure a sustainable basis of the consistent economic growth and becoming today’s leading industrial centre in the Central Asian region.
An active investment policy of Uzbekistan, technical modernization of branches of industry and manufacturing infrastructure has contributed to creating and developing new high-tech industries - automobile industry, gas chemistry, electrical engineering, oil and gas and rail engineering, pharmaceuticals, textiles and furniture industry, building materials and many others.
In this context, as a result of the successful implementation of the Anti-crisis Program, despite a negative impact of the global financial and economic crisis, in Uzbekistan the growth in some industries has maintained and even increased. For the last 7-8 years, GDP growth was above 8%. 
2. Uzbekistan has the modern mining and processing industry as well as developed infrastructure. Complexity of many deposits and opportunity of extraction of co-elements considerably increase their value, and favourable conditions of investment are a reliable basis for wide attraction of the direct foreign and inner investments.
The rich natural resources are one of the major factors of the progressive economic development of many countries. There are a large number of various minerals in Uzbekistan, using of which provides a stable growth of the economy of our country.
During the years of independence Uzbekistan has gained and firmly holds its position in the world market of mineral raw materials in many areas. The country is among the top ten world leaders by its confirmed reserves of gold and uranium.
According to the State Mineral Reserves Balance, as of 1 Jan 2013, on the territory of Uzbekistan has been opened 1.717 deposits, including 235 - hydrocarbon deposits, 89 deposits of precious metals, 33 - radioactive metals, 11 - non-ferrous and rare metals, 3 - iron, 3 - coal, 55 - mining, 26 – chemical-mining, 30 – deposits of semiprecious raw; 615 - building materials deposits for various purposes and 617 - fresh and mineral underground waters.
I would like to underline that 829, or 48%, of outstanding deposits in the State Mineral Reserves Balance have been opened during last 22 years, i.e. during the Independence of Uzbekistan. There is an effective regulatory framework in the country, allowing carrying out prospecting, exploration and mining operations, both by foreign and local investors. 
In accordance with legislation, subsoil in Uzbekistan is property of the state, subject to rational use and protection by the state.
Subsoil is provided on the basis of licensing to use it for:
- geological survey;
- pilot mining;
- mining;
- use of man-made mineral formations;
- construction of underground facilities not related to mining;
- collection of samples of raw gemstones, paleontological remains and other geological collection of materials;
- formation of protected geological collection materials.
In 2011-2013, there have been 546 subsoil plots, containing non-metallic minerals, put at public bidding. Of them, 326 (60%) were applied for participation in the public bidding, and over 180 applications were for license renewal. As of 1 June 2013, it was decided to issue 244 licenses for use of subsoil slots, containing non-metallic minerals, including 110 new licenses and 134 - for extension of the previously issued licenses.
You can find detailed information on mineral raw-material base of solid minerals of Uzbekistan and investment proposals for foreign partners in your information pack.
3. A project to create at the Navoi Airport a large hub with an international intermodal logistics centre (IILC) has paid off. More than 50 thousand tons of cargo were handled and transported as well as regular flights to 20 destinations (including Bangkok, Bombay, Brussels, Dhaka, Delhi, Dubai, Seoul, Istanbul, Milan, Frankfurt, Shanghai) were carried out in 2011 at the Navoi Centre. 
Also, one of the most privileged factors of the hub’s location at the international airport of Navoi is its closeness to the Navoi Free Industrial and Economic Zone (FIEZ), where today there is production of goods of high technology, electronics, pharmaceuticals and etc. with high added value, a significant amount of which is re-allocated to the respective modes of transportation, including through the Navoi Intermodal Logistics Centre.
In Angren, an international logistics centre was established and put into operation. It will provide a guaranteed year-round transportation link between regions of the country and the regions of the Ferghana Valley. At the end of 2011, more than 4 million tons of cargo was processed (GM Uzbekistan cars, automobile components, Fergana Oil Refinery’s production, chemical products, etc.).
Since 2013, there has been a process of establishing of a free economic zone in Jizzak. For instance, till the end of 2013 in this economic zone a second factory will be built producing industrial silicon. The project is linked to a program of development of new technologies. The total annual capacity of the new plant is 5 thousand tons of silicon from a local quartz deposit in Jizzakh region.
4. We are interested to enlarge the scope of our partnership with foreign companies in developing solid mineral resources of Uzbekistan. We can offer a lot of promising prospects and concrete projects in this regard. The Embassy of Uzbekistan London would be happy to facilitate establishing contacts with the relevant government departments of Uzbekistan in order to explore existing opportunities.
In this context, I would like to inform you that we are expecting an official delegation from Uzbekistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investments and Trade Mr Elyor Ganiev who will be accompanied by the leadership of a number of other ministries, including the State Committee on Geology and Mineral Resources, as well as National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz. 
The delegation will be visiting London from 19 to 22 November in order to attend the 20th Jubilee Session of the Uzbek-British Trade and Industry Council and hold bilateral meetings with partners. I invite you to attend this event where you will be able to establish direct contacts with leaders of the key economic departments of our country.    
 
Thank you for attention.
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