of the Seminar “Business in Uzbekistan for European Companies”
February 27, 2020
Tashkent State University of Economics (Uzbekistan)
On February 27, 2020 Tashkent State University of Economics (TSUE) hosted a seminar titled “Business in Uzbekistan for European Companies” organized within the framework of the Erasmus+ Jean MonnetModule on European Studies in Business, Economics, and Finance (EMESBEF).
The main goal of Jean Monnet Program is related to the dissemination of the information about the European Union among wider circles of public, also in the countries not being part of the EU. In alignment with this goal, the activities of the EMESBEF are focused on the design and the implementation of a number of actions providing the students, academic staff of TSUE, as well as wider business community and policy-makers with the information about the essence and specifics of the economic, business and financial environment of the EU.
The seminar “Business in Uzbekistan for European Companies” was devoted to the discussion of the investment potential of Uzbekistan as the host country for European companies. The seminar was planned and organized by the Coordinator of the Jean Monnet Module EMESBEF, Dr. Lyudmila Muradova with the administration support provided by the management of the TSUE. The event was moderated by the Vice-rector for the International Cooperation Dr. Dilorom Begmatova (TSUE).
The seminar was opened by the Rector of TSUE, Prof.Dr. Kongratboy Sharipov, who in his address stressed the importance of the Erasmus+ Program, and Jean Monnet action in particular, for the modernization and further development of the System of Higher Education of Uzbekistan.
This focus was also present in the welcome note of Ms. Aziza Abdurakhmanova, Coordinator of the National Erasmus+ Office (NEO) in Uzbekistan. Ms. Abdurakhmanova also stated that the dialog between the academia and the industry made the academic efforts, being the focus of Jean Monnet Module, more sustainable and contributed to the wider dissemination of the results.
In his greetings Jussi Närvi, the Head of Political, Press and Information Section of the Delegation of EU in Uzbekistan, briefly outlined the major issues characteristic of the legal and economic environment for European investors in Uzbekistan. Mr. Närvi expressed the opinion that there was a considerable progress achieved by the country in the last years, but he also drew the attention of the audience to the specific issues, related among others to the intellectual property protection and accounting standards, which still need further improvement.
The topic of legal environment and practical aspects of the business operation in Uzbekistan was further deepened in the presentation of the legal experts from GRATA International Law Firm (Uzbekistan), Mr. Nodir Yuldashev, Managing Partner, and Mr. Rustam Akramov, Senior Associate. Among the most important topics discussed by the experts were such crucial issues related to the establishment and operation of foreign business in Uzbekistan as the legal forms of business available for registration in Uzbekistan, guarantees offered to the foreign investors, the opportunities created by the institute of special economic zones as well as the peculiarities of the employment of foreign personnel, and current system of taxation, and others.
A lively discussion was sparked by the presentation of Prof.Dr. Abdumalik Jumanov, Westminster University (Tashkent), who introduced to the audience the new master’s program in Business Intelligence and Analytics, which he is currently leading and implementing at Westminster University. Sufficient supply of the highly qualified workforce is one of the most important factors in attracting foreign investment. In this respect Dr. Jumanov stressed the role of the big data in the modern business world and the need of highly qualified workforce able to process such data. In his presentation Dr. Jumano reminded the audience that the ability to collect and process the large scope of data, to make prediction and prescribe the most efficient solution is a prerequisite of commercial success. Thus, such programs as the MS in Business Intelligence and Analytics of the Westminster University in Tashkent allow Uzbek economy to meet the demand of multiple industries and attract new investors, also from the EU.
An example of the European company operating in Uzbekistan was offered in the presentation of Bakhrom Tulaganov, Head of FE LLC “GUHRING“. The multinational company “GUHRING“ with head-quarters in Germany is a leading manufacturer of industrial equipment and advanced complex solutions in the world. During the years of its operation in Uzbekistan the company has been a good partner for such companies as Uzavtosanoat, GM Uzbekistan, UzAgroMashHolding, NGMK, AGMK, AKFA Group, Artel and many others. Mr. Tulaganov shared his experience with the audience and stressed the importance of interfirm cooperation for successful operation in the market. In particular he described the current alignment existing among several companies in the industry aiming at the implementation of complex business solutions for the clients. In line with the previous speakers, Mr. Tulaganov underlined the importance of qualified personnel for the success of the enterprise. This is why for many years the company has been collaborating with Turin Polytechnic University in Tashkent in terms of training and preparation of the local staff.
The final presentation , held by the participant of EMESBEF, Dr.Oksana Galak, Lecturer of Vienna State University (Austria), concerned the issues of corporate social responsibility, and their relevance for the European business. Dr. Galak outlined the most prominent factors that drove the interest towards the increasing responsibility of the business to the wider society in the EU and beyond. What is the purpose of business, how and who can motivate business to behave in socially responsible way and what is being done in this respect in Europe – these where the topics raised in the presentation. The subsequent discussion proved the importance of this subject for the academic and business community in Uzbekistan. The participants discussed the applicability of the concept for the Uzbek business and the ways of further strengthening the social involvement of business in Uzbekistan.
A number of professors and members of the academic staff from TSUE and other Universities, as well as the representatives of international organizations took part in the discussions, among them Sophie Gindt, Education and Culture Attache of the French Embassy in Uzbekistan, Prof. Dr. Norbay Karimov (TSUE), Prof. Dr. Nilufar Ismailova (TSUE), Prof. Dr. Ubaydulla Nadirkhanov (Tashkent Institute of Design, Construction and Maintenance of Automotive Roads), Dr. Stella Arzumanyan (Branch of Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Tashkent), and others. The seminar was attended by a large number of students from TSUE, which brought the overall number of participants to more than 60 people. The event was covered by the local news channel UzReport and aired on the local TV.