The Dig­i­tal Uzbek­istan: Dif­fi­cul­ties Vin­ci­ble

“Where there is lit­tle in­no­va­tion, there will be lit­tle de­vel­op­ment and com­pe­ti­tion,” says Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev and cre­ates all the con­di­tions for the in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of key ar­eas of so­cial and eco­nomic pro­cesses.

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - WORLD -

One of the lat­est trends in this di­rec­tion was the adop­tion of the Pres­i­den­tial De­cree on the ap­proval of the Strat­egy for In­no­va­tive De­vel­op­ment of Uzbek­istan for 2019-2021. A spe­cial role in the doc­u­ment is as­signed to the pro­mo­tion of the do­mes­tic soft­ware de­vel­op­ment in­dus­try by cre­at­ing a tech­nol­ogy park for start-up projects, as well as en­sur­ing full dig­i­tal­iza­tion of the State Cadas­tre sphere by 2021 and sim­pli­fy­ing the pro­ce­dure for reg­is­ter­ing prop­erty.

How will the doc­u­ment be im­ple­mented in prac­tice? We’ve talked about this with Far­rukh Ju­raev, head of depart­ment at the In­sti­tute for Strate­gic and Re­gional Stud­ies (ISRS) un­der the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan.

- What led to the adop­tion of this Strat­egy?

- In 2018, in the frame­work of the Year of Sup­port for Ac­tive En­ter­prise, In­no­va­tive Ideas and Tech­nolo­gies, a num­ber of de­crees and res­o­lu­tions of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan were adopted aim­ing at the de­vel­op­ment of dig­i­tal econ­omy. These doc­u­ments laid the le­gal foun­da­tion for the in­tro­duc­tion and de­vel­op­ment of crypto as­sets, smart con­tracts and blockchain. Large-scale mea­sures are be­ing taken to de­velop the dig­i­tal sec­tor of the econ­omy, elec­tronic doc­u­ment man­age­ment sys­tems are be­ing in­tro­duced, elec­tronic pay­ments are be­ing de­vel­oped, and the reg­u­la­tory frame­work in the dig­i­tal econ­omy is be­ing im­proved. In par­tic­u­lar, con­cept of the de­vel­op­ment of “Dig­i­tal Uzbek­istan” through to 2030 is be­ing elab­o­rated cur­rently, pro­vid­ing for the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of this in­dus­try.

- It turns out that Uzbek­istan is al­ready ac­tively work­ing in this di­rec­tion, but I would like to know whether the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Strat­egy’s pro­vi­sions has be­gun and what is the con­tri­bu­tion of the an­a­lyt­i­cal frame­work to this process?

- To de­velop new pro­pos­als for the de­vel­op­ment of star­tu­pecosys­tems and dig­i­tal econ­omy, the In­sti­tute for Strate­gic and Re­gional Stud­ies or­ga­nized a round ta­ble at the In­ter­na­tional West­min­ster Uni­ver­sity in Tashkent en­ti­tled “The Role of Dig­i­tal­iza­tion in the De­vel­op­ment of So­cio-Eco­nomic Re­la­tions in the World and Uzbek­istan”.

The venue was not cho­sen ac­ci­den­tally. We un­der­stand how im­por­tant the young gen­er­a­tion is to be in­volved in this process. There­fore, along with the lead­er­ship and ex­perts of our in­sti­tute, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the rel­e­vant min­istries and de­part­ments, mem­bers of the Young An­a­lyt­ics Club of the In­sti­tute of Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion and In­for­ma­tion, as well as more than 100 stu­dents of WIUT, Tashkent State Uni­ver­sity of Law, Tashkent State In­sti­tute of Ori­en­tal Stud­ies, the Uni­ver­sity of World Econ­omy and Diplo­macy, among oth­ers, took part in the roundtable dis­cus­sion.

Af­ter all, the younger gen­er­a­tion has a huge in­ter­est in start-up ini­tia­tives and projects, and the state, in turn, is ready to sup­port their im­ple­men­ta­tion.

In this re­gard, Di­rec­tor of ISRS, Vladimir Norov, voiced the ur­gent need to de­velop a spe­cial state pro­gram for the de­vel­op­ment of a startup ecosys­tem in Uzbek­istan. It will fo­cus on sup­port­ing and stim­u­lat­ing start-up projects, at­tract­ing in­vest­ment in the field, and the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of young pro­fes­sion­als in ma­jor in­ter­na­tional startup fo­rums.

- Do you mean tech­nol­ogy con­fer­ences held in dif­fer­ent coun­tries of the world?

- Yes, for ex­am­ple, in Fin­land there is a tech­no­log­i­cal con­fer­ence “Slush”, in Ger­many they have “TechCrunch Dis­rupt”, in In­dia it is “UnPluggd 2018 Tech & Startup Con­fer­ence”. Ev­ery year from 15 to 60 thou­sand rep­re­sen­ta­tives from dif­fer­ent coun­tries of the world par­tic­i­pate in each of these fo­rums.

The pur­pose of their par­tic­i­pa­tion is the ex­change of ideas and ex­pe­ri­ence in the field of start-up projects, the search for in­vestors and large com­pa­nies, the sign­ing of agree­ments on the im­ple­men­ta­tion of busi­ness plans in the field of in­no­va­tion, the dig­i­tal econ­omy and star­tups.

- To be sure, this sounds very af­firm­ing, but the way to sign­ing agree­ments is prob­a­bly full of dif­fi­cul­ties, be­cause this is a com­pletely new di­rec­tion in the de­vel­op­ment of our coun­try?

- Of course, there is no dif­fi­culty. This was dis­cussed in the speeches of the man­age­ment of the In­ter­na­tional West­min­ster Uni­ver­sity in Tashkent and the Inha Uni­ver­sity in Tashkent, ex­perts from the Ground Zero Chi­lan­zar co-work­ing cen­ter, as well as mem­bers of the Club of Young An­a­lysts of the ISRS.

But I am glad that se­ri­ous work is be­ing done to over­come these dif­fi­cul­ties. The head of the cowork­ing cen­ter “GroundZero” Chi­lan­zar Anas­ta­sia Danilova said that “start-up star­tups, es­pe­cially young peo­ple, face var­i­ous dif­fi­cul­ties in cre­at­ing start-ups. To help them solve many is­sues, our cen­ter has cre­ated a school for star­tups that will sup­port projects from the mo­ment the idea was con­ceived un­til the prod­uct en­tered the mar­ket. The ac­tiv­ity of the school, which has re­cently be­gun to func­tion, will be di­rected to spe­cial­ists in the field of IT tech­nolo­gies. ”

- Con­sid­er­ing the ex­tremely ac­tive in­volve­ment of in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­rate en­ti­ties in the dig­i­tal space, the dig­i­ti­za­tion of so­cioe­co­nomic re­la­tions is now in fo­cus. Whose ex­pe­ri­ence in this field is use­ful to our coun­try?

- Ac­cord­ing to the par­tic­i­pants of the round ta­ble, con­cep­tual doc­u­ments are adopted in for­eign coun­tries for the de­vel­op­ment of the dig­i­tal econ­omy, large In­ter­net com­pa­nies are be­ing cre­ated (for ex­am­ple, Alibaba in China, Ama­zon in the USA, among oth­ers), min­istries are be­ing cre­ated (in the UK – the Min­istry of Dig­i­tal Tech­nolo­gies, Cul­ture, Me­dia and Sports, in Rus­sia – the Min­istry of Dig­i­tal De­vel­op­ment, Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, in Thai­land – the Min­istry of Dig­i­tal Econ­omy and So­ci­ety) and ma­jor in­ter­na­tional fo­rums are held in or­der to at­tract in­vest­ment.

It was about global trends in the de­vel­op­ment of a startup ecosys­tem. Ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, ac­cord­ing to ex­perts, in 2017, the cap­i­tal in­vest­ments of global en­ter­prises in star­tups reached $ 140 bil­lion. From 2015 to 2017, the to­tal cost of cre­at­ing a global start-up econ­omy reached $ 2.3 tril­lion.

In the US, a startup ecosys­tem is be­ing de­vel­oped through the cre­ation of ven­ture cap­i­tal funds and busi­ness ac­cel­er­a­tors. The largest of them are “Y Com­bi­na­tor” (ac­cel­er­a­tor for small com­pa­nies of­fers con­di­tions for par­tic­i­pa­tion – 7% share in the com­pany in ex­change for in­vest­ments of 120 thou­sand dol­lars), “500 Star­tups” of­fers con­di­tions – 6% in the com­pany in ex­change for in­vest­ments of 150 thou­sand dol­lars), “Plug and Play” par­tic­i­pa­tion is free, the ac­cel­er­a­tor does not take a per­cent­age of the com­pany and in­vests only in the com­pa­nies you like), etc.

Par­tic­u­larly high rates of startup ecosys­tems are de­vel­op­ing in China, which is the world leader in terms of ven­ture cap­i­tal – in the first ten months of 2018 it amounted to 94 bil­lion dol­lars, in the rest of the world – 54 bil­lion (al­most half as much as in China). Dur­ing the same pe­riod, star­tups from China re­ceived 47% of all ven­ture cap­i­tal in­vest­ments, star­tups in the USA and Canada se­cured 35%.

- Well, China’s pos­i­tive ex­pe­ri­ence is per­haps of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance for Uzbek­istan, isn’t it?

- Yes, sure, but not only for Uzbek­istan, but also for other coun­tries, pri­mar­ily China’s part­ners in the SCO. Tak­ing into ac­count the ad­vanced for­eign ex­pe­ri­ence, the par­tic­i­pants of the round ta­ble pro­posed to de­velop rel­e­vant le­gal acts reg­u­lat­ing the cre­ation of ven­ture funds and busi­ness ac­cel­er­a­tors, as well as pub­lish­ing sci­en­tific and ed­u­ca­tional lit­er­a­ture on the startup ecosys­tem.

Fol­low­ing the re­sults of the round ta­ble, the par­tic­i­pants de­vel­oped a num­ber of pro­pos­als, as well as a plan of prac­ti­cal mea­sures for the fur­ther de­vel­op­ment of start-up ecosys­tems in Uzbek­istan with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of young spe­cial­ists of uni­ver­si­ties and youth or­ga­ni­za­tions of Uzbek­istan to­gether with youth or­ga­ni­za­tions of for­eign coun­tries, pri­mar­ily the SCO mem­ber states.

Thus, to­day we can state that the pro­cesses of in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment of Uzbek­istan have reached a new level, with new ideas and ini­tia­tives. The mea­sures taken with the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of young pro­fes­sion­als, es­pe­cially stu­dents, will con­trib­ute to strength­en­ing the sci­en­tific po­ten­tial and ef­fec­tive­ness of re­search and de­vel­op­ment, at­tract­ing for­eign in­vest­ment in promis­ing start-up projects, as well as in­te­grat­ing do­mes­tic start-up ini­tia­tives into in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic projects.

The speci­ficity of the Chi­nese ven­ture cap­i­tal mar­ket is that the ma­jor in­vestors are tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies (Ten­cent, Alibaba, Baidu and the like). In 2018, star­tups from China are ex­pected to at­tract more than 80-100 bil­lion dol­lars of in­vest­ment.

Far­rukh Ju­rayev

Vladimir Norov

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Uzbekistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.