April 18, 1998
 
 
  1. Turkish Prime Minister visits Uzbekistan

  2. U.S. Senator in Uzbekistan

  3. Russian Vice Premiere meets President Karimov

  4. UzDaewoo Auto Plant plans to increase its output and export

  5. IMF delegation to visit Uzbekistan in May

 
  Turkish Prime Minister visits Uzbekistan
  Prime Minister of Turkey Mesut Yilmaz was in Uzbekistan on an official visit April 12-14. Mesut Yilmaz met with high-ranking Uzbek government officials including President Islam Karimov, Chairman of the Oliy Majlis Erkin Khalilov, Prime Minister Utkir Sultonov, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov and others. President Karimov and Prime Minister Yilmaz found the work of the Uzbek-Turkish joint commission for economic cooperation unsatisfactory and decided that henceforward the commission would be chaired by Prime Ministers of both countries. Negotiations between the delegations of Uzbekistan and Turkey resulted in signing of a number of agreements on Trade and Economic Cooperation, on the protection of copyrights, on mutual assistance in the prevention of smuggling of cultural values and the guarantee of their return. A protocol on training and re-training of customs staff was signed between the State Customs Committee of Uzbekistan and Customs Secretariat under the Prime Minister of Turkey. Turkey has invested 1.5 billion dollars to the Uzbek economy. In 1997 the commodity turnover between Uzbekistan and Turkey was 320 million dollars. President Karimov stressed on the necessity to cooperate in creating a transportation route Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan- -Azerbaijan-Turkey through the Caspian Sea. At the news conference commenting his may visit to Russia President Karimov said that he didn't really care about the debates on who should become Russia's Prime Minister. "I prefer Yeltsin's government and he is a healthy and working president. This is the main reason for me not to put off my visit to Russia. I declare that I am against pro-Zyuganov forces." He also mentioned Uzbekistan's policy towards Iran. "We are not building an Islamic state in Uzbekistan, that is why we wouldn't want to have Iran as an example. However we are paying a special attention to their new president Hatami's policy." Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz held meeting with Chairman of the National Bank of Uzbekistan Rustam Azimov and members of the largest Turkish company operating in Uzbekistan Ay Sel. He also attended a Turkish-Uzbek business seminar and toured the Museum of Timurid History in Tashkent. During Mr. Yilmaz's visit the Uzbek Machine Industry Association and members of the Turkish Arcelik factory (Koch Holding) signed a document on the creation of a new Uzbek-Turkish joint venture to manufacture home appliances in Samarkand.
 
  U.S. Senator in Uzbekistan
  Following the high-level U.S. Congress delegation, U.S. Senator-republican from Kansas, Sam Brownback, visit Uzbekistan April 14-17. Senator Brownback is the author of the "Silk Road Strategy Act" and is a supporter of financial aid to the states of Central Asia and South Caucasus. Co-sponsors of the act are seven senators-republicans and one senator-democrat. "Silk Road Strategy Act" amends the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and if approved, will be aimed at rendering humanitarian, economic, migration and technical assistance to the state of Central Asia and South Caucasus as well as security and refugee assistance. On April 16 Senator Brownback met with President Islam Karimov, Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Komilov and Chairman of the National Security Service Rustam Inoyatov. He also traveled to Samarkand and Bukhara. Sam Brownback was elected senator in November 1996, when Senator Robert Dole resigned as a republican senator to run for President. Since January 7, 1997 Mr. Brownback has been officially fulfilling his duty. In the Senate Brownback serves on the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Joint Economic Committee, as well as the Committee on Governmental Affairs and the Committee on Foreign Relations, where he chairs Subcommittees. Senator Brownback is married and has three children.
 
  Russian Vice Premiere meets President Karimov
  President Islam Karimov met with Acting Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Ivan Rybkin in Tashkent on April 16. Both sides discussed the organizational details of the upcoming C.I.S. summit which is scheduled for April 29 in Moscow. Mr. Rybkin briefed President Karimov on the preparations for the summit. Both sides held a three-hour talk behind close doors instead of one scheduled hour.
 
  UzDaewoo Auto plant to increase annual output
  UzDaewoo Auto, Uzbekistan's joint venture with South Korea's Daewoo Motor Co, plans to raise 1998 exports to other ex-Soviet states to 40,000 vehicles from 14,600 in 1997, a company official said on Wednesday. "Our production plan for this year is 80,000 cars, and we plan to sell about 40,000 cars, worth about $340 million, to the Commonwealth of Independent States countries," Uz-DAEWOO's general manager Bakhtiyor Vakhidov told Reuters. UzDAEWOO's 1997 exports of Nexia sedans, Damas minibuses and Tico minicars from its factory in the Andizhan region in western Uzbekistan, were worth $133 million. Vakhidov said UzDAEWOO planned to invest $20 million to develop its sales network around the CIS, primarily in Russia.
 
  IMF delegation to visit Uzbekistan in May
  An International Monetary Fund team will visit Uzbekistan in May to discuss issues of medium-term co-operation and currency conversion, an IMF representative in Tashkent said on Thursday. "An Article Four mission will arrive in Tashkent on the 11th of May for two weeks," Christoph Rosenberg told Reuters "They will discuss economic development in 1997 and prospects of medium-term economic policy including foreign exchange," he said. Article Four of the IMF Charter says countries should stick to a single exchange rate and that all currencies should be convertible in foreign trade operations. Rosenberg said it would be the first time a mission had officially discussed the Central Asian country's foreign exchange policy. The Uzbek government introduced curbs on foreign exchange operations in 1996 after a disastrous cotton harvest. Cotton is one of Uzbekistan's main sources of hard currency revenues. That year the IMF, dissatisfied by the foreign exchange limits and the government's failure to meet inflation targets, suspended its $185-million stand-by credit. On Thursday, the Uzbek central bank set the official rate for the sum at 85.27 per dollar. The dollar is worth about 170-180 sums on the flourishing black market. The IMF's Deputy Managing Director Stanley Fischer and the Uzbek government agreed last May to start working on a new stand-by credit programme. However, an IMF mission did not discuss new credit during its last visit to Uzbekistan in February.

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