The current trends in the global economy constantly place new challenges for business. How can one stay competitive in such conditions and produce marketable products? The domestic light industry has likely found an answer to these questions. Its success formula is simple: it is an effective combination of foreign investments, advanced equipment and international quality standards.
Today, when thousands cutting edge textile enterprises operate throughout the country, and finished articles labeled ‘Made in Uzbekistan’ are exported to over 50 countries of the world, one can hardly believe that some 25 years ago the country was a leader in cotton production, while not a producer of finished articles.
As noted by international experts, the domestic light industry not just ranks among the leading sectors of the real economy in Uzbekistan, but has also turned into a beacon for foreign investors, as vividly exemplified by the number of joint ventures.
What has conditioned such a phenomenon? Above all, this was conditioned by the strategic and successive government policy on intensification of cotton processing by domestic enterprises. For instance, at the dawn of independence, Uzbekistan processed only 7% of fiber against last year’s 55%. In the near future, it will undoubtedly grow.
Active channeling of foreign investment is another remarkable factor that has ensured the rapid development of the light industry. In the 90s of the last century, Uzbekistan had no technologies and hardware for cotton processing and manufacture of finished textile articles at the level of international standards. For the accelerated development of the sector, Uzbekistan needed the foreign investors who would be ready to invest funds, expertise and technologies. The policy has justified itself.
The total investment in the sector over the years of independence has exceeded $2.5 billion. UK, Germany, Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea, India, Turkey and Russia have become the key partners of Uzbekistan. Over 80% of foreign investments fall on their share today. The share of the light industry in GDP has reached 2.7%, 15% – in industrial production, and the production of consumer goods has exceeded 30%.
It would be appropriate to mention the growing interest of foreign investors in the establishment of up-to-date manufactures in Uzbekistan. Over 110 textile production capacities have been commissioned and upgraded in the first decade of independence, and more than 40,000 jobs have been established. In the next 15 years, the number of implemented projects has grown by 1.5 times, and 180 companies were launched or upgraded in 2010-2015.
The interest has been growing also because Uzbekistan has a range of unique factors that provide new joint ventures with certain advantages. They include the low cost of power resources, skilled manpower, the availability of scientific capacities, tax and customs privileges, cheap raw materials.
As a result, the country now ranks among the continent’s leaders in attracting known international companies and brands. So it is quite natural today that the world-renowned fashion houses produce their articles at Uzbek enterprises, or from Uzbek fabrics.
Another important factor comes to clear understanding of the guides for straightforward development, and well-built strategic plans. Enhanced processing of domestically produced cotton and silk is going to turn into the most important direction of the industry development.
In particular, it is planned to implement 77 large investment projects in the light industry with direct investments at more than $918 million by 2019. Consequently, the production capacities for dyed yarn should grow by three times, knitted fabrics – by 1.5 times, finished fabrics and hosiery articles should double, and sewing and knitting products – by three times.
According to experts, the domestic light industry will reach a unique index in the next four years: the share of finished goods in the total output will exceed 70% as a prerequisite for the creation of over 40,000 new jobs.
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