February. The first Internet festival of Uzbekistan.
“The EBRD is one of the most authoritative and strongest financial organizations of the world, and is making a great contribution to the economic reforms taking place in Uzbekistan,” said President Karimov. “There is no branch of the economy or major project which does not involve this organization.” President Karimov expressed satisfaction that cooperation grows from year to year.
At present the EBRD is involved in 14 projects worth $671.2m, including SME development, industrial development, banking and trade reforms and ecology.
In the period 2001-3, it will support new projects to increase the share of the private sector in the economy, to support SMEs, develop market and tourism infrastructure, the energy sector, cotton processing and others. In 2003 the EBRD will hold its management meeting here. The two presidents discussed further cooperation at their meeting.
21 november. At the Ministry of foreign economic relations there was a meeting of the Uzbekistan-EU committee. It was opened by Uzbek MFER Minister E. Ganiev, who noted that the government shows special attention to relations with the EU, and that one of the main aims of foreign economic affairs for Uzbekistan is to increase cooperation with the EU.
Uzbekistan constantly broadens its political, economic and social relations with the EU. Last year trade turnover with the EU was over $1b.
11 december. President Islam Karimov met with former Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitsky and Rudolph Sholten, a member of the board of directors of Kontrolbank. They discussed questions connected with the all round development of economic relations between the two countries, broadening cooperation of entrepreneurs, and attracting investment to Uzbekistan.
Mr. Vranitsky visited Uzbekistan when he was chancellor. Since then, he and Islam Karimov have become good friends. At present Mr. Vranitsky heads the Association of entrepreneurs of Austria. Islam Karimov underlined the contribution of this man to the development of Uzbek-Austrian relations and called on Austrian entrepreneurs to increase further their investment in Uzbekistan.
President Karimov also held talks with the General secretary of the OSCE Jan Kubish. They discussed bilateral relations between Uzbekistan and the OSCE, and how to improve the activity of this organization. The President noted that broadening the participation of the OSCE in questions of security and increasing the practical activity of the organization in this area are urgent tasks. They discussed the situation in Afghanistan as well.