Central Asia :: Uzbekistan

Introduction ::Uzbekistan

    Russia conquered the territory of present-day Uzbekistan in the late 19th century. Stiff resistance to the Red Army after the Bolshevik Revolution was eventually suppressed and a socialist republic established in 1924. During the Soviet era, intensive production of "white gold" (cotton) and grain led to overuse of agrochemicals and the depletion of water supplies, which have left the land degraded and the Aral Sea and certain rivers half dry. Independent since 1991, the country seeks to gradually lessen its dependence on the cotton monoculture by diversifying agricultural production while developing its mineral and petroleum reserves and increasing its manufacturing base. Current concerns include terrorism by Islamic militants, economic stagnation, and the curtailment of human rights and democratization.

Geography ::Uzbekistan

    Central Asia, north of Turkmenistan, south of Kazakhstan
    41 00 N, 64 00 E
    total: 447,400 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 57
    land: 425,400 sq km
    water: 22,000 sq km
    slightly larger than California
    total: 6,221 km
    border countries: Afghanistan 137 km, Kazakhstan 2,203 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,099 km, Tajikistan 1,161 km, Turkmenistan 1,621 km
    0 km (doubly landlocked); note - Uzbekistan includes the southern portion of the Aral Sea with a 420 km shoreline
    none (doubly landlocked)
    mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east
    mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Syr Darya (Sirdaryo), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west
    lowest point: Sariqamish Kuli -12 m
    highest point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m
    natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum
    arable land: 9.61%
    permanent crops: 0.8%
    other: 89.58% (2011)
    41,980 sq km (2005)
    48.87 cu km (2011)
    total: 56 cu km/yr (7%/3%/90%)
    per capita: 2,113 cu m/yr (2005)
    shrinkage of the Aral Sea has resulted in growing concentrations of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then blown from the increasingly exposed lake bed and contribute to desertification and respiratory health problems; water pollution from industrial wastes and the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides is the cause of many human health disorders; increasing soil salination; soil contamination from buried nuclear processing and agricultural chemicals, including DDT
    party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    along with Liechtenstein, one of the only two doubly landlocked countries in the world

People and Society ::Uzbekistan

Government ::Uzbekistan

    conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan
    conventional short form: Uzbekistan
    local long form: Ozbekiston Respublikasi
    local short form: Ozbekiston
    former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
    republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
    name: Tashkent (Toshkent)
    geographic coordinates: 41 19 N, 69 15 E
    time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
    12 provinces (viloyatlar, singular - viloyat), 1 autonomous republic* (respublika), and 1 city** (shahar); Andijon Viloyati, Buxoro Viloyati, Farg'ona Viloyati, Jizzax Viloyati, Namangan Viloyati, Navoiy Viloyati, Qashqadaryo Viloyati (Qarshi), Qoraqalpog'iston Respublikasi [Karakalpakstan Republic]* (Nukus), Samarqand Viloyati, Sirdaryo Viloyati (Guliston), Surxondaryo Viloyati (Termiz), Toshkent Shahri [Tashkent City]**, Toshkent Viloyati [Tashkent province], Xorazm Viloyati (Urganch)
    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
    1 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day, 1 September (1991)
    adopted 8 December 1992; amended in 2002 and 2011
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Islom KARIMOV (since 24 March 1990, when he was elected president by the then Supreme Soviet; elected president of independent Uzbekistan in 1991)
    head of government: Prime Minister Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV (since 11 December 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Rustam AZIMOV (since 2 January 2008)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president with approval of both chambers of the Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis)
    (For more information visit the World Leaders website Opens in New Window)
    elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term; previously was a five-year term, extended by a 2002 constitutional amendment to seven years and changed back to five years in 2011); election last held on 23 December 2007 (next to be held in early 2015); prime minister, ministers, and deputy ministers appointed by the president
    election results: Islom KARIMOV reelected president; percent of vote - Islom KARIMOV 88.1%, Asliddin RUSTAMOV 3.2%, Dilorom TOSHMUHAMEDOVA 2.9%, Akmal SAIDOV 2.6%, other 3.2%
    bicameral Supreme Assembly or Oliy Majlis consists of an upper house or Senate (100 seats; 84 members elected by regional governing councils and 16 appointed by the president; members to serve five-year terms) and a lower house or Legislative Chamber (Qonunchilik Palatasi) (150 seats; 135 members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms, while 15 spots reserved for the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan)
    elections: last held on 27 December 2009 and 10 January 2010 (next to be held in December 2014)
    election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - NA; Legislative Chamber - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - LDPU 53, NDP 32, National Rebirth Party 31, Adolat 19
    note: all parties in the Supreme Assembly support President Islom KARIMOV
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 34 judges organized in civil, criminal, and military sections); Constitutional Court (consists of 7 judges); Higher Economic Court (consists of 19 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: judges of the 3 highest courts nominated by the president and confirmed by the Oliy Majlis; judges appointed for 5-year terms subject to reappointment
    subordinate courts: regional, district, city, and town courts
    Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Ekologik Harakati) [Boriy ALIXONOV]
    Justice (Adolat) Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan [Ismoil SAIFNAZAROV]
    Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (O'zbekiston Liberal-Demokratik Partiyasi) or LDPU [Muhamadyusuf TESHABOYEV]
    National Rebirth Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (Milliy Tiklanish) [Akhtam TURSUNOV]
    People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (Xalq Demokratik Partiyas) or NDP [Lativ GULYAMOV] (formerly Communist Party)
    there are no significant opposition political parties or pressure groups operating in Uzbekistan
    chief of mission: Ambassador Baxtiyor GULOMOV
    chancery: 1746 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
    telephone: [1] (202) 887-5300
    FAX: [1] (202) 293-6804
    consulate(s) general: New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador George KROL
    embassy: 3 Moyqo'rq'on, 5th Block, Yunusobod District, Tashkent 100093
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [998] (71) 120-5450
    FAX: [998] (71) 120-6335
    three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and green separated by red fimbriations with a white crescent moon (closed side to the hoist) and 12 white stars shifted to the hoist on the top band; blue is the color of the Turkic peoples and of the sky, white signifies peace and the striving for purity in thoughts and deeds, while green represents nature and is the color of Islam; the red stripes are the vital force of all living organisms that links good and pure ideas with the eternal sky and with deeds on earth; the crescent represents Islam and the 12 stars the months and constellations of the Uzbek calendar
    khumo (mythical bird)
    name: "O'zbekiston Respublikasining Davlat Madhiyasi" (National Anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan)

    lyrics/music: Abdulla ARIPOV/Mutal BURHANOV
    note: adopted 1992; after the fall of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan kept the music of the anthem from its time as a Soviet Republic but adopted new lyrics

Economy ::Uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country; 11% of the land is intensely cultivated, in irrigated river valleys. More than 60% of the population lives in densely populated rural communities. Export of hydrocarbons, primarily natural gas, provided 18.5% of foreign exchange earnings in 2011 and 35.1% in the first nine months of 2012. Other major export earners include gold and cotton. Despite ongoing efforts to diversify crops, Uzbekistani agriculture remains largely centered around cotton, although production has dropped by 35% since 1991. Uzbekistan is now the world's fifth largest cotton exporter and sixth largest producer. The country is aggressively addressing international criticism for the use of child labor in its cotton harvest. Following independence in September 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. While aware of the need to improve the investment climate, the government still sponsors measures that often increase, not decrease, its control over business decisions. A sharp increase in the inequality of income distribution has hurt the lower ranks of society since independence. In 2003, the government accepted Article VIII obligations under the IMF, providing for full currency convertibility. However, strict currency controls and tightening of borders have lessened the effects of convertibility and have also led to some shortages that have further stifled economic activity. The Central Bank often delays or restricts convertibility, especially for consumer goods. According to official statistics, Uzbekistan has posted GDP growth of over 8% per year for several years, driven primarily by state-led investments and a favorable export environment. Growth may slip in 2013 as a result of lower export prices due to the continuing European recession. In the past Uzbekistani authorities have accused US and other foreign companies operating in Uzbekistan of violating Uzbekistani tax laws and have frozen their assets, with several new expropriations in 2012. At the same time, the Uzbekistani Government has actively courted several major US and international corporations, offering attractive financing and tax advantages, and has landed a significant US investment in the automotive industry, including the opening of a powertrain manufacturing facility in Tashkent in November 2011. Uzbekistan has seen few effects from the global economic downturn, primarily due to its relative isolation from the global financial markets.
    $106.4 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 71
    $98.54 billion (2011 est.)
    $90.98 billion (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    $51.17 billion (2012 est.)
    8.2% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    8.3% (2011 est.)
    8.5% (2010 est.)
    $3,600 (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 171
    $3,400 (2011 est.)
    $3,200 (2010 est.)
    note: data are in 2012 US dollars
    household consumption: 55.7%
    government consumption: 16.6%
    investment in fixed capital: 23.5%
    investment in inventories: 4.9%
    exports of goods and services: 27.2%
    imports of goods and services: -27.9%
    (2011 est.)
    agriculture: 18.5%
    industry: 36.4%
    services: 45.1% (2012 est.)
    cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock
    textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, mining, hydrocarbon extraction, chemicals
    7.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    16.74 million (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    agriculture: 25.9%
    industry: 13.2%
    services: 60.9% (2012 est.)
    4.8% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 42
    5% (2011 est.)
    note: officially measured by the Ministry of Labor, plus another 20% underemployed
    17% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 29.6% (2003)
    36.8 (2003)
    country comparison to the world: 79
    44.7 (1998)
    revenues: $17.08 billion
    expenditures: $16.86 billion (2012 est.)
    33.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 74
    0.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 39
    8.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 143
    9.1% of GDP (2011 est.)
    calendar year
    12.7% (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    12.8% (2011 est.)
    note: official data; based on independent analysis of consumer prices, inflation reached 22% in 2012
    $5.841 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    $5.087 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $8.31 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 112
    $7.197 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
    $7.064 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $6.523 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $NA (31 December 2012)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    $715.3 million (31 December 2006)
    $3.284 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    $4.52 billion (2011 est.)
    $16.65 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    $15.03 billion (2011 est.)
    energy products, cotton, gold, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and nonferrous metals, textiles, food products, machinery, automobiles
    China 18.5%, Kazakhstan 14.6%, Turkey 13.8%, Russia 12.8%, Ukraine 12.5%, Bangladesh 8.9% (2012)
    $15.53 billion (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    $10.5 billion (2011 est.)
    machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, ferrous and nonferrous metals
    Russia 20.6%, China 16.5%, South Korea 16.3%, Kazakhstan 12.8%, Germany 4.6%, Turkey 4.2% (2012)
    $16 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 63
    $15 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    $8.072 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
    $8.382 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
    Uzbekistani soum (UZS) per US dollar -
    1,891.1 (2012 est.)
    1,715.8 (2011 est.)
    1,587.2 (2010 est.)
    1,466.7 (2009)
    1,317 (2008)

Energy ::Uzbekistan

Communications ::Uzbekistan

    1.928 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    25.442 million (2011)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    general assessment: digital exchanges in large cities and in rural areas
    domestic: the state-owned telecommunications company, Uzbektelecom, owner of the fixed line telecommunications system, has used loans from the Japanese government and the China Development Bank to upgrade fixed-line services including conversion to digital exchanges; mobile-cellular services are growing rapidly, with the subscriber base reaching 25 million in 2011
    international: country code - 998; linked by fiber-optic cable or microwave radio relay with CIS member states and to other countries by leased connection via the Moscow international gateway switch; after the completion of the Uzbek link to the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable, Uzbekistan plans to establish a fiber-optic connection to Afghanistan (2009)
    government controls media; 11 state-owned broadcasters - 7 TV and 4 radio - provide service to virtually the entire country; about 20 privately owned TV stations, overseen by local officials, broadcast to local markets; privately owned TV stations are required to lease transmitters from the government-owned Republic TV and Radio Industry Corporation; about 15 privately owned radio broadcasters are affiliated with the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan, a government sponsored NGO for private broadcast media
    56,075 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    4.689 million (2009)
    country comparison to the world: 50

Transportation ::Uzbekistan

Military ::Uzbekistan

Transnational Issues ::Uzbekistan

    prolonged drought and cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan created water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2004; border delimitation of 130 km of border with Kyrgyzstan is hampered by serious disputes around enclaves and other areas
    IDPs: undetermined (government forcibly relocated an estimated 3,400 people from villages near the Tajikistan border in 2000-2001; no new data is available) (2012)
    current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; adults and children are victims of government-organized forced labor during Uzbekistan's annual cotton harvest; some Uzbekistani adults are subjected to forced labor in Kazakhstan, Russia, and, to a much lesser extent, Ukraine in domestic service, agriculture, and the construction and oil industries; Uzbekistani women and children, lured with fraudulent job offers, are sex trafficked to countries in Central Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia; small numbers of Tajikistani and Kyrgyzstani victims have been identified in Uzbekistan
    tier rating: Tier 3 - Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and because it is not deemed to be making significant efforts to do so, it was downgraded to Tier 3 after the maximum of two consecutive annual waivers; the government has identified an increased number of sex and transnational labor trafficking victims; for the first time a decree was implemented banning the forced labor of children under the age of 15 in the annual cotton harvest, but government-organized forced labor of adults and older children contines in the cotton and reportedly other sectors; Uzbekistan does not have a systematic process to proactively identify trafficking victims and refer them to protective services (2013)
    transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and small amounts of opium poppy for domestic consumption; poppy cultivation almost wiped out by government crop eradication program; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan