Investment Tourism Forum
Tashkent has just hosted the 1st International Tourism Investment Forum dedicated to the active development of the tourism industry in our country and attracting foreign direct investment.
The event is held by the state committees of the republic for the development of tourism and investment in cooperation with the ministries of foreign affairs, foreign trade and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
On November 19–20, the forum was held at the Uzexpocenter NEC, today the participants of the event went to the sites.
The forum is attended by over 300 representatives of 48 countries, in particular the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Russia, Turkey, China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, the states of Central Asia, Afghanistan, and also representatives of international organizations, large foreign companies.
At the opening of the international forum, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Abdukhakimov, head of the regional representative office of the International Finance Corporation for Central Asia K. Colbert and others noted the large-scale reforms to develop the tourist potential of Uzbekistan and its promotion in the world market.
It was noted that the forum contributes to familiarizing the representatives of international business circles with the opportunities of our country in the tourism sector, the level of economic development, attractive conditions for business representatives and investors.
A video message from the Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Jaime Alberto Cabala, was shown at the event to the forum participants.
Our country pays great attention to the popularization of tourism and the development of its new directions. As part of the execution of the Decree of the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev “On measures to ensure the accelerated development of the tourism industry” of December 2, 2016, active work is being done to create a modern infrastructure that meets international standards.
Today Uzbekistan has a visa-free regime for 18 states, a simplified procedure for obtaining visas for 50 states has been introduced. Providing an opportunity to visit our country for citizens engaged in transit flights allows to significantly increase the flow of tourists arriving from 101 states. Thanks to the use of the electronic visa system over the past three months, more than 20 thousand people have used this type of service.
In general, over 10 months of this year, more than 4.4 million foreign tourists visited Uzbekistan. This is two times more compared to the same period last year. It is expected that by the end of the year the number of tourists will be 5 million.
Our country, located on the ancient Great Silk Road, is famous for its ancient cities, unique historical monuments, diversity and richness of customs and traditions. The convenient geographical location of Uzbekistan in the region makes it possible to popularize tourism in terms of familiarization with the centuries-old achievements of civilization. This is an important factor in the implementation of investment projects in the tourism sector of the country.
At the forum, participants were provided with information on the growing activity of entrepreneurs in the investment sphere, in particular, on tax and customs benefits for entrepreneurs in the field of tourism, licensing and certification procedures. Thus, it is possible to allocate land for investors for the construction of tourist infrastructure facilities without electronic auctions.
“The private sector’s participation in the tourism industry is expanding in Uzbekistan,” said Sodik Badak, adviser to the chairman of the State Tourism Development Committee from Turkey. “Individuals come up with a number of tourism development initiatives. In Uzbekistan, we are developing a project to organize the activities of associations that will be engaged in supporting these initiatives. The close friendship of Uzbekistan with neighboring countries allows to actively develop tourism in the region and comprehensively improve the infrastructure necessary for this.
At the event, well-known investment companies from the USA, China, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Singapore and Turkey showed interest in developing joint projects to create a tourist infrastructure in our country.
At the in-session sessions of the forum held at the International Trade Center (ITC), proposals for projects involving investment in the hotel business, the provision of buildings and structures, and land plots with investment commitments were discussed. There were heard reports of domestic and foreign experts on transport and logistics, low-cost airlines and airlines, as well as the construction of ethnographic villages and theme parks in our country. Bilateral meetings and negotiations on the prospects for the introduction of innovative technologies and interactive systems in the tourism sector took place.
The forum presented more than 500 investment projects from all regions of our country, in particular, projects of the free tourist zone Charvak, Samarkand city, Ancient Bukhara, small tourist zones in the Surkhandarya region, as well as Olmazor city and Fergana road in Tashkent.
“Large-scale reforms are under way in Uzbekistan to actively develop the tourism industry,” says Santana Bhattacharya, a representative of the Indian company Cox & Kings Global Services. - In the course of our activities in various countries we develop recommendations for improving tourism. In this process, innovative solutions are developed. As part of the forum, we received detailed information about the tourism potential of your country and the services provided. Thanks to this, we can invest in Uzbekistan, attract foreign partners who want to organize a tourism business.
The participants of the event got acquainted with the exhibition of national handicraft products and tourist opportunities of the regions organized in the Uzexpocenter NEC.
Within the framework of the forum, meetings were held in B2B and B2G formats, and agreements on cooperation in various fields were signed between ministries, departments, representatives of the business community and foreign investors.