For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.

PROFILE

OFFICIAL NAME:
Republic of Uzbekistan

Geography
Area: 477,000 sq. km. (117,868 sq. mi.)--slightly larger than California.
Major cities: Capital--Tashkent (pop. 2.5 million); Samarkand (600,000); Bukhara (350,000).
Terrain: Flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along Amu Darya, Syr Darya; shrinking Aral Sea; semiarid grasslands in east.
Climate: Mid-latitude desert--long, hot summers, mild winters.

People
Nationality: Uzbek.
Population (est. by 01/01/02): 24,908,000.
Ethnic groups (1996 est.): Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5%.
Religion: Moslem 88% (Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%.
Language: Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%.
Education: Literacy--99% (total population).
Health (1996): Life expectancy--60.09 years men; 67.52 years women.
Work force (11.9 million): Agricultural and forestry--44%, industry--20%; services--36%.

Government
Type: Republic.
Independence: September 1, 1991.
Constitution: December 8, 1992.
Branches: Executive--president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis)--unicameral (250 seats). Judiciary--Supreme Court, constitutional court, economic court. Administrative subdivisions (viloyatlar): 12, plus autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and city of Tashkent.
Political parties and leaders: Adolat (Justice) Social Democratic Party--established February 18, 1995 in Tashkent, number of seats in parliament 11, Turgunpulat DAMINOV, first secretary; Democratic National Rebirth Party (Milly Tiklanish Democratic Partiya) or MTP--established on June 3, 1995 in Tashkent, number of seats in parliament 10, Ibrohim GOFUROV, chairman; Fatherland Progress Party (Vatan Tarakiyoti) or VTP--In April 2000, VTP merged with the National Democratic Party "Fidokorlar" (Fidokorlar Milliy Democratic Partiya), in Tashkent, number of seats in the parliament 62, Ahtam TURSUNOV, first secretary. People's Democratic Party or PDPU (Uzbekiston Halq Democratic Partiya, formerly Communist Party)--established November 1, 1991 in Tashkent, number of seats in parliament 50, Abdulkhafiz JALOLOV, first secretary. Other political or pressure groups and leaders--Birlik (Unity) Movement--Abdurakhim PULATOV, chairman; Erk (Freedom) Democratic Party--Mohammed SOLIH, chairman (banned Dec. 1992); Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan--Abdumannob PULATOV, chairman; Independent Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan--Mikhail ARDZINOV, chairman; Ezgulik--Vasilya Inoyatova, chairwoman.
Suffrage: Universal at age 18 (unless imprisoned or certified as insane). Defense (2000 est.): Military manpower--fit for military service males age 15-49: 5,161,926; universal 18-month military service for men.
Flag: Blue, white, and green horizontal bands separated by thin red lines; white crescent and 12 white stars representing 12 regions in upper left (on blue band).

Economy
Economic growth in Uzbekistan is far below potential due to the country's poor investment climate and failure to attract foreign investment, an extremely restrictive trade regime, failure to reform the agricultural sector of the economy--potentially the engine of economic growth for this largely rural economy--and severe misallocation of resources due to nonfunctioning of the price mechanism as a result of government intervention in markets. The government has implemented a restrictive trade regime in order to meet its strategy of limiting imports of consumer goods. Due to the unreliability of government statistics, which often serve political rather than economic ends, it is difficult to make an accurate estimate of economic growth in Uzbekistan.

GDP: Real GDP growth in 2002 was likely no more than 2%. Inflation was approximately 50% in 2002, with a 150% average increase in prices of imported goods and a slight depreciation in domestically priced goods. The embassy believes real wages were stagnant during 2002.
Per capita GDP (U.S. Gov. est.): $350, 2001; $310, 2002. For 2003, unless the restrictive trade regime is changed, per capita GDP is likely to continue to fall. The EIU estimates that per capita GDP may fall as low as to $250.
Natural resources: Natural gas, petroleum, gold, coal, uranium, silver, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum.
Agriculture: Products--cotton, fourth-largest producer worldwide; vegetables, fruits, grain, livestock.
Industry: Types--textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas.
Trade: Total exports (2002 est. 2.8 billion)--largest contribution from cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles. Major export markets--Russia 16.7%, Switzerland 8.3%, United Kingdom 7.2%, Kazakhstan 3.1%. Total imports--(2002 est. 2.5 billion): machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; foodstuffs. Primary import partners--Russia 15.8%, South Korea 9.8%, United States 8.7%, Germany 8.7%.
External debt (2002 est.): $4.7 billion.

PEOPLE
Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most populous country. Its 24 million people, concentrated in the south and east of the country, are close to half the region's total population. Uzbekistan had been one of the poorest republics of the Soviet Union; much of its population was engaged in cotton farming in small rural communities. The population continues to be heavily rural and dependent on farming for its livelihood. The predominant ethnicity is Uzbek. Other ethnic groups include Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, and Tatar 1.5%. The nation is 88% Sunni Moslem and 9% Eastern Orthodox. Uzbek is the official state language; however, Russian is the de facto language for interethnic communication, including much day-to-day government and business use.

The educational system has achieved 99% literacy, and the mean amount of schooling for both men and women is 11 years. However, due to budget constraints and other transitional problems following the collapse of the Soviet Union, texts and other school supplies, teaching methods, curricula, and educational institutions are outdated, inappropriate, and poorly kept. Additionally, the proportion of school-aged persons enrolled has been dropping. Although the government is concerned about this, budgets remain tight. Similarly, in health care, life expectancy is long, but after the breakup of the Soviet Union, health care resources have declined, reducing health care quality, accessibility, and efficiency.

HISTORY
Located in the heart of Central Asia between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers, Uzbekistan has a long and interesting heritage. The leading cities of the famous Silk Road--Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva--are located in Uzbekistan, and many famous conquerors passed through the land. Alexander the Great stopped near Samarkand on his way to India in 327 B.C. and married Roxanna, daughter of a local chieftain. Conquered by Muslim Arabs in the eight century A.D., the indigenous Samanid dynasty established an empire in the 9th century. Its territory was overrun by Genghis Khan and his Mongols in 1220. In the 1300s, Timur, known in the west as Tamerlane, built an empire with its capital at Samarkand. Uzbekistan's most noted tourist sights date from the Timurid dynasty. Later, separate Muslim city-states emerged with strong ties to Persia. In 1865, Russia occupied Tashkent and by the end of the 19th century, Russia had conquered all of Central Asia. In 1876, the Russians dissolved the Khanate of Kokand, while allowing the Khanates of Khiva and Bukhara to remain as direct protectorates. Russia placed the rest of Central Asia under colonial administration, and invested in the development of Central Asia's infrastructure, promoting cotton growing, and encouraging settlement by Russian colonists.

In 1924, following the establishment of Soviet power, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan was founded from the territories, including the Khanates of Bukhara and Khiva and portions of the Fergana Valley that had constituted the Khanate of Kokand. During the Soviet era, Moscow used Uzbekistan for its tremendous cotton-growing and natural resource potential. The extensive and inefficient irrigation used to support the former has been the main cause of shrinkage of the Aral Sea to less than one-third of its original volume, making this one of the world's worst environmental disasters. Uzbekistan declared independence on September 1, 1991. Islam Karimov, former First Secretary of the Communist Party, was elected president in December 1991 with 88% of the vote; however, the election was not viewed as free or fair by foreign observers.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Constitutionally, the Government of Uzbekistan provides for separation of powers, freedom of speech, and representative government. In reality, the executive holds almost all power. The judiciary lacks independence and the legislature, which meets only a few days each year, has little power to shape laws. The president selects and replaces provincial governors. Under terms of a December 1995 referendum, Karimov's first term was extended. Another national referendum was held January 27, 2002 to yet again extend Karimov's term. The referendum passed and Karimov's term was extended by act of the parliament to December 2007. Most international observers refused to participate in the process and did not recognize the results, dismissing them as not meeting basic standards. Also passed in the 2002 referendum was a plan to create a bicameral Parliament. Several political parties have been formed with government approval but have yet to show interest in advocating alternatives to government policy. Similarly, although multiple media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper) have been established, these either remain under government control, or rarely broach political topics. Independent political parties have been denied registration under restrictive registration procedures.

Human Rights
Uzbekistan is not a democracy and does not have a free press. Many opponents of the government have fled, and others have been arrested. The government severely represses those it suspects of Islamic extremism. Some 6,000 suspected extremists are incarcerated, and some are believed to have died over the past several years from prison disease and abuse. With few options for religious instruction, some young Muslims have turn to underground extremist Islamic movements. The police force and the intelligence service use torture as a routine investigation technique. The government has begun to bring to trial some officers accused of torture. Four police officers and three intelligence service officers have been convicted. The government has granted amnesty to approximately 2000 political and nonpolitical prisoners over the past 2 years. In 2002 and the beginning of 2003 the government has arrested fewer suspected Islamic extremists than in the past. Finally, in a move welcomed by the international community, the Government of Uzbekistan ended prior censorship, though the media remain tightly controlled.

Principal Government Officials
President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers--Islam Karimov
Prime Minister--Otkir Sultanov
First Deputy Prime Minister--Kozim Nosirovich Tulyaganov

Deputy Prime Ministers
Economics--Rustam Azimov
Communications/Informatization--Abdulla Aripov
Agriculture/Water Management--Nosirjon Yusupov
Foreign Economic Relations--Elyor Ganiev
Social Issues--Hamidulla Karamatov
Trade/Consumer Market Complex--Mirabror Usmanov
Road Construction--Rustam Yunusov
Women's Issues--Dilbar Ghulomova

Key Ministers
Foreign Affairs--Sodyk Safaev
Defense--Kodir Ghulomov
Internal Affairs--Zokirjon Almatov
Justice--Abdusamad Polvon-Zoda
Public Education--Risboy Jorayev
Emergency Situations--Bakhtiyor Subanov
Finance--Mamarizo Normuradov
Culture--Bakhrom Kurbonov
Health--Feruz Nazirov
Higher and Specialized Secondary Education--Saidakhror Gulomov
Labor and Social Protection--Okiljon Obidov

Other Key Officials
Chairman, National Bank-Foreign Economics--Zainutdin Mirkhojaev
Chairman, State Bank--Fayzulla Mullajanov
Chairman, State Committee on Statistics--Gofurjon Kudratov
Chairman, State Property--Mahmudjon Askarov
Chairman, State Committee for Customs--Botir Parpiev
Chairman, State Committee for Taxation--Jamshid Saifiddinov
Chairman, State Committee for Geology and Mineral--Nurmahammad Akhmedov
Chairman, National Security Service--Rustam Inoyatov
Chairman, committee on Protection of State Border--Gafurjon Tishaev
Secretary, National Security Council--Gairat Oblayarov
Ambassador to the United States--Shavkat Khamrakulovv
Ambassador-designate to the United Nations--Alisher Vohidov

The Republic of Uzbekistan maintains an embassy at 1746 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel.: (202) 887-5300; fax: (202) 293-6804. Its consulate and mission to the United Nations in New York are located at 866 UN Plaza, Suite 326/327a, New York, NY 10017. Consulate tel.: (212) 754-7403; fax: (212) 486-7998.

ECONOMY
The government has been extremely cautious in moving to a market-based economy. Since independence, the government has stated that it is committed to a gradual transition to a free market economy. Although the government has significantly narrowed the gap between the black market and official exchange rate, its restrictive trade regime has crippled the economy. In addition to the urgent need to rescind its draconian trade measures, the government needs to achieve full current account convertibility. Substantial structural reform also is needed, particularly in the area of improving the investment climate for foreign investors and in freeing the agricultural sector from smothering state control. Until now, continuing restrictions on currency convertibility and other government measures to control economic activity, including the implementation of severe import restrictions and closure of Uzbekistan's borders with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, have constrained economic growth and led international lending organizations to suspend or scale back credits. The recent closure of the borders with neighboring Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan has almost paralyzed Uzbekistan's consumer market.

The government has made some progress in reducing inflation and the budget deficit, but government statistics understate both, while overstating economic growth. There are no reliable statistics on unemployment, which is believed to be high and growing. The economy is based primarily on agriculture and agricultural processing; Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton. It also is a major producer of gold with the largest open-pit gold mine in the world and has substantial deposits of copper, strategic minerals, gas, and oil.

GDP and Employment
The government claims that the GDP rose 4.2% in 2002; however, it is believed that it was no greater than 2%. Unemployment and underemployment are very high, but reliable figures are difficult to obtain, as no recent credible surveying has been done. Underemployment in the agricultural sector is particularly high, which is important given the fact that 60% of the population is rural-based. Many observers believe that employment growth and real wage growth has been stagnant, given virtually no growth in output.

Labor
Literacy in Uzbekistan is almost universal, and workers are generally well-educated and trained. Most local technical and managerial training does not meet international business standards, but foreign companies engaged in production report that locally hired workers learn quickly and work effectively. Foreign firms generally find that younger workers, untainted by the Soviet system, work well at all levels. The government emphasizes foreign education and each year sends about 50 students to the United States, Europe, and Japan for university degrees, after which they have a commitment to work for the government for 5 years. Reportedly, about 60% of the students who study abroad find employment with foreign companies on their return, despite their 5-year commitment to work in the government. Some American companies offer special training programs in the United States to their local employees.

In addition, Uzbekistan subsidizes studies for students at Westminster University--the only Western-style institution in Uzbekistan. In 2002, the government "Hope" Program is paying for 98 out of 155 students studying at Westminister. For the next academic year, Westminster is expecting to admit 360 students, from which Umid is expecting to pay for 160 students. The education at Westminster costs $4,800 per academic year.

With the closure or downsizing of many foreign firms, it is relatively easy to find qualified, well-trained employees, and salaries are very low by Western standards. Salary caps, which the government implements in an apparent attempt to prevent firms from circumventing restrictions on withdrawal of cash from banks, prevent many foreign firms from paying their workers as much as they would like. Labor market regulations in Uzbekistan are similar to those of the Soviet Union, with all rights guaranteed but some rights unobserved. Unemployment is a growing problem, and the number of people looking for jobs in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Southeast Asia is increasing each year. According to official Ministry of Labor estimates, around 100,000 citizens of Uzbekistan work abroad.

Prices; Monetary/Fiscal Policy
Inflation was approximately 50% in 2002. From 1996 until the spring of 2003, the official and so-called "commercial" exchange rate were highly overvalued. Many businesses and individuals were unable to buy dollars legally at these rates, so a widespread black market developed to meet hard currency demand. However, by mid-2003, the gap between the black market, official, and commercial rates had been reduced to approximately 8%. The government claims that it will reach currency convertibility in the near future. Liberalization of the trade regime, however, is a prerequisite for Uzbekistan to proceed to an IMF-financed program.

Outstanding external debt reached $4.7 billion at the end of 2002. Tax collection rates remained high, due to the use of the banking system by the government as a collection agency. Technical assistance from the World Bank, Office of Technical Assistance at the Treasury Department, and from the UNDP is being provided in reforming the Central Bank and Ministry of Finance into institutions, which conduct market-oriented fiscal and monetary policy.

Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture and the agroindustrial sector contribute more than 40% to Uzbekistan's GDP. Cotton is Uzbekistan's dominant crop, accounting for roughly 45% of the country's exports. Gold is second at 22%. Uzbekistan also produces significant amounts of silk, fruit, and vegetables. Virtually all agriculture involves heavy irrigation. Farmers and agricultural workers have very low incomes because the government uses the difference between the world prices of cotton and wheat and what it pays the farmers to subsidize highly inefficient capital intensive industrial concerns, such as factories producing automobiles, airplanes, and tractors.

Consequently, agricultural productivity is low, with many farmers focusing on producing fruits and vegetables--for which supply and demand determine the price--on small plots of land, as well as smuggling cotton and wheat across the border with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in order to obtain higher prices.

Minerals and mining also are important to Uzbekistan's economy. Gold is Uzbekistan's second most important foreign exchange earner at 22%. Uzbekistan is the world's seventh-largest producer, at about 80 tons p.a., and holds the fourth-largest reserves. Uzbekistan has an abundance of natural gas, used both for domestic consumption and export; oil almost sufficient for domestic needs; and significant reserves of copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, and uranium. Inefficiency in energy use is extremely high, given the failure to use realistic price signals to cause users to conserve energy.

Trade and Investment
Uzbekistan has adopted a policy of import substitution. The multiple exchange rate system and the highly over-regulated trade regime has led to both import and export declines since 1996, although imports have declined more than exports, as the government squeezed imports to maintain hard currency reserves. Draconian tariffs and border closures imposed in the summer and fall of 2002 led to massive decreases in imports of both consumer products and capital equipment. Uzbekistan's traditional "trade" partners are NIS states, notably Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the other Central Asian countries. Non-NIS partners have been increasing in importance in recent years, with the U.S., Korea, Germany, Japan, and Turkey being the most active.

Uzbekistan is a member of the IMF, World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has observer status at the World Trade Organization, is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization, and has publicly stated its intention to accede to the World Trade Organization. It is a signatory to the Convention on Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States, the Paris Convention on Industrial Property, the Madrid Agreement on Trademarks Protection, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty. In 2002, Uzbekistan was again placed on the special "301" Watch List for lack of intellectual copyright protection.

Uzbekistan's lack of currency convertibility has caused foreign investment inflows to dwindle to a trickle. In fact, Uzbekistan has the lowest level of FDI per capita in the CIS. Since Uzbekistan's independence, U.S. firms have invested roughly $500 million in Uzbekistan. Large U.S. investors include Newmont, reprocessing tailings from the Muruntau gold mine; Case Corporation, manufacturing and servicing cotton harvesters and tractors; Coca Cola, with bottling plants in Tashkent, Namangan, and Samarkand; Texaco, producing lubricants for sale in the Uzbek market; and Baker Hughes, in oil and gas development. No large new investments have taken place from the United States in the last 5 years.

FOREIGN RELATIONS
Uzbekistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991. However, it is opposed to reintegration and withdrew from the CIS collective security arrangement in 1999. Since that time, Uzbekistan has participated in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in UN-organized groups to help resolve the Tajik and Afghan conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability. Uzbekistan is an active supporter of U.S. efforts against worldwide terrorism and joined the coalitions which have dealt with both Afghanistan and Iraq. It is a member of the United Nations, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Partnership for Peace, and the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization--comprised of the five Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is a founding member of and remains involved in the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, joined in March 1998 by Tajikistan.

DEFENSE
Uzbekistan possesses the largest and most competent military forces in the Central Asian region, having around 65,000 people in uniform. Its structure is inherited from the Soviet Armed Forces, although it is moving rapidly toward a fully restructured organization, which will eventually be built around light and Special Forces. The Uzbek Armed Forces' equipment is not modern, and training, while improving, is neither uniform nor adequate yet for its new mission of territorial security. The government has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union, acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (as a non-nuclear state), and has supported an active program by the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in western Uzbekistan (Nukus and Vozrozhdeniye Island).

The Government of Uzbekistan spends about 3.7% of GDP on the military but has received a growing infusion of FMF and other security assistance funds since 1998. Uzbekistan approved U.S. Central Command's request for access to a vital military air base in southern Uzbekistan following September 11, 2001.

U.S.-UZBEK RELATIONS
The United States recognized the independence of Uzbekistan on December 25, 1991, and opened an embassy in Tashkent in March 1992. U.S.-Uzbek relations have flourished in recent years and were given an additional boost by the March 2002 meeting between President Bush and President Karimov in Washington, DC, where the two countries signed the Declaration of Strategic Partnership. High-level visits to Uzbekistan have increased since September 11, 2001, including that of the U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, and numerous congressional delegations. The United States believes that its own interests will best be served by the development of an independent, stable, prosperous, and democratic Central Asia. As the most populous country in Central Asia and the geographic and strategic center of Central Asia, Uzbekistan plays a pivotal role in the region. The United States accordingly has developed a broad relationship covering political, human rights, military, nonproliferation, economic, trade, assistance, and related issues.

The United States has consulted closely with Uzbekistan on regional security problems, and Uzbekistan has been a close ally of the United States at the United Nations. Uzbekistan has been a strong partner of the United States on foreign policy and security issues ranging from Iraq to Cuba, nuclear proliferation to narcotics trafficking. It has sought active participation in Western security initiatives under the Partnership for Peace, OSCE, and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Uzbekistan views its American ties as balancing regional influences, helping Uzbekistan assert its own regional role, and encouraging foreign investment. Uzbekistan is an ardent supporter of U.S. military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq and of the war against terror overall.

The United States, in turn, values Uzbekistan as a stable, moderate force in a turbulent region; a producer of important resources--gold, uranium, natural gas; and a potential regional hub for pipelines, transportation, communications, and other infrastructure. The United States urges greater reform to promote long-term stability and prosperity. Registration of independent political parties and human rights NGOs would be an important step. The government registered the Independent Human Rights Organization of Uzbekistan in March 2002. One year later, in March 2003, the government registered a second human rights organization, Ezgulik. Enforcement of constitutional safeguards ensuring personal, religious, and press freedom, and civil liberties also is needed.

Bilateral Economic Relations
Trade and investment. Trade relations are regulated by a bilateral trade agreement, which entered into force January 14, 1994. It provides for extension of most-favored-nation trade status between the two countries. The United States additionally granted Uzbekistan exemption from many U.S. import tariffs under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP status) on August 17, 1994. A Bilateral Investment Treaty was signed December 16, 1994; it has been ratified by Uzbekistan and received advice and consent of the U.S. Senate in October 2000. However, the Bilateral Investment Treaty will be unlikely to enter into force until Uzbekistan embarks on economic reform. The government is taking some modest steps to reduce the red tape that constrains the nascent private sector.

Assistance. The United States has provided significant humanitarian and technical assistance to Uzbekistan. The United States has provided technical support to Uzbekistan's efforts to restructure its economy and to improve its environment and health care system, provided support to nascent NGOs, and provided equipment to improve water availability and quality in the Aral Sea region. Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the embassy's Public Affairs section, the U.S. Government supports educational and professional exchanges and other programs that offer Uzbeks the opportunity to study in the United States and to establish professional contacts with their American counterparts. In FY 2002 alone, the United States provided roughly $160 million in humanitarian aid, technical assistance, military-to-military funding, and investment support in Uzbekistan. These programs were designed to promote market reform and to establish a foundation for an open, prosperous, democratic society.

USAID provides both technical and humanitarian assistance. Technical assistance to Uzbekistan promotes sound fiscal and management policies, improved private business operations, a competitive private sector, citizens' participation in political and economic decisionmaking, improved sustainability of social benefits and services, private investment in the energy sector, reduced environmental risks to public health, and other multi-sector reform programs. Programs include business training, subsidies for business development, environmental and science education, and environmental preservation programs. The latter includes the Aral Sea/Regional Water Cooperation program involving the ICKKU, the establishment of water users' associations, waste minimization demonstration programs, and the National Environmental Action Plan. Humanitarian assistance is primarily in the health sector to alleviate effects of the Aral Sea ecological disaster.

Peace Corps staff arrived in Uzbekistan in August 1992, and a bilateral agreement to establish Peace Corps in Uzbekistan was signed November 4, 1992. The first volunteers arrived in December 1992. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps fund feasibility studies by U.S. firms and provides other planning services related to major projects in developing countries including Uzbekistan. Department of State-managed exchange programs, farmer-to-farmer exchanges, and the Department of Commerce's SABIT Business Internship Program contribute to expansion of technical know-how and support bilateral relations. The United States also provides export finance/guarantees and political risk insurance for U.S. exporters and investors through the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp (OPIC).

[Fact sheet on FY 2003 U.S. Assistance to Uzbekistan.]

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador--John E. Herbst
Secretary--Mary Cross
Deputy Chief of Mission--David E. Appleton
Political/Economic Officer--Larry Memmott
SCO/FCS--n/a
Administrative Officer--Kathleen Hanson
Public Affairs Officer/USIS--Michael Reinert
Consul--John Ashworth
DAO--LTC Robert Duggleby
USAID--James Goggin
Peace Corps--Fred Gregory

The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent is at 82 Chilanzarskaya; tel. [998] (71) 120-5450; fax: [998] (71) 120-6335; duty officer (cellular): [998] (71) 180-4060. The Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Information Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development are at the Sharq Building, 41 Buyuk Turon St. FCS tel.: [998] (71) 120-6705 or 6706, 133-2880, 1870 or 0597; fax: 120-6692. USIS: [998] (71) 133-7096, 3581, or 5974; fax: 120-6224; duty officer (cellular): 180-4087. USAID tel.: [998] (71) 133-1852, 1797, or 7656; fax: 120-6309. Peace Corps is at 2 Sapernaya St. 63/65; tel.: [998] (71) 54-92-96, 54-94-84, or 54-96-60; fax: 54-98-50; duty officer (cellular): [998] (71) 180-4093.

Until March 1, 1999, a dual country/area code system is in effect, allowing use of the former country/area codes. For Tashkent, this was [7] (3712) for six-digit numbers and [7] (371) for seven-digit numbers.

For the most current version of this Note, see Background Notes A-Z.

[This is a mobile copy of Uzbekistan (05/03)]