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Uzbekistan comes in from the cold: A new era of reforms

17-12-2018

Until recently, Uzbekistan was one of the most repressive countries in the world. Under its long-time leader Islam Karimov, human rights abuses included torture, child and forced adult labour, as well as severe restrictions on religious freedom, the media and civil society. Following Karimov's death in 2016, his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched an ambitious reform programme. Some of the worst human rights abuses (such as torture and forced labour) have been phased out, or at least diminished ...

Until recently, Uzbekistan was one of the most repressive countries in the world. Under its long-time leader Islam Karimov, human rights abuses included torture, child and forced adult labour, as well as severe restrictions on religious freedom, the media and civil society. Following Karimov's death in 2016, his successor Shavkat Mirziyoyev has launched an ambitious reform programme. Some of the worst human rights abuses (such as torture and forced labour) have been phased out, or at least diminished. Judges have become more independent, and the parliament has gained new powers. Steps have been taken to make the country's civil service more accountable to citizens. Media and civil society now have slightly more freedom to operate. Political reforms have been flanked by economic liberalisation. Barriers to trade and investment are being lifted, including by floating the som, the Uzbek currency, and by cutting red tape for businesses. On foreign policy, Uzbekistan has repaired ties with all its main international partners, from the US and EU to Russia and China. The most dramatic change has been the shift from Karimov-era confrontation with neighbours, such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, to regional cooperation. These are highly positive changes, but Uzbekistan still has a long way to go. The economy remains largely state-controlled and uncompetitive, and liberalising reforms need to continue. On the political front, the system remains fundamentally authoritarian, and transition to genuine multiparty democracy seems unlikely.

Research for AGRI Committee - The CAP support beyond 2020 - Assessing the future structure of direct payments and the rural development interventions in the light of the EU agricultural and environmental challenges

15-10-2018

This study provides an assessment of the structure and type of interventions as proposed by the European Commission on the CAP beyond 2020 (Title III of the proposal COM(2018) 392). All Direct Payment and Rural development interventions have been examined in the context of the main agricultural and environmental challenges the EU faces. A set of recommendation is made for the improvement of specific instruments and to address policy priorities and level playing field concerns.

This study provides an assessment of the structure and type of interventions as proposed by the European Commission on the CAP beyond 2020 (Title III of the proposal COM(2018) 392). All Direct Payment and Rural development interventions have been examined in the context of the main agricultural and environmental challenges the EU faces. A set of recommendation is made for the improvement of specific instruments and to address policy priorities and level playing field concerns.

Autor externo

R.A. Jongeneel; H. Silvis; K. Poppe - Wageningen UR

Uzbekistan: Selected Trade and Economic Issues

12-09-2013

Uzbekistan is the Central Asia Republic that suffered the less from the collapse of Soviet Union. GDP was restored to pre-independence levels as early as 2002, and the country has since enjoyed a protracted phase of sustained economic growth. Uzbekistan is currently a medium-low income country, and living conditions in the country have significantly improved, though mainly in urban areas. Regional and social disparities are high. Rather than liberalise its economy and adopt the economic reforms ...

Uzbekistan is the Central Asia Republic that suffered the less from the collapse of Soviet Union. GDP was restored to pre-independence levels as early as 2002, and the country has since enjoyed a protracted phase of sustained economic growth. Uzbekistan is currently a medium-low income country, and living conditions in the country have significantly improved, though mainly in urban areas. Regional and social disparities are high. Rather than liberalise its economy and adopt the economic reforms suggested by international financial institutions, Uzbekistan has preferred to set-up a system based on import substitution under strict state control. This has had the merit of protecting the country from external shocks but has also led to a relatively inefficient system where state interference in the economy is the rule rather than the exception. The external trade sector is largely dominated by gas, gold and cotton exports, and exchanges with the European Union are very limited. The EU signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with Uzbekistan in 1999. The European Parliament opposed to the ratification of a protocol extending PCA provisions to the textile sector, initialled in 2010, because of persistent and serious exploitation of child labour in the Uzbek cotton sector.

Sustainability in the global cotton value chain

07-03-2013

Recent safety-related accidents in garment factories in Bangladesh have once again turned public attention to the sustainability of the global cotton value chain. Sensitive issues relate to the usage of forced labour and child labour in some countries, disrespect for human and labour rights in the cotton production throughout the entire value chain and its impact on the environment caused by the widespread use of pesticides and its huge need of freshwater resources.

Recent safety-related accidents in garment factories in Bangladesh have once again turned public attention to the sustainability of the global cotton value chain. Sensitive issues relate to the usage of forced labour and child labour in some countries, disrespect for human and labour rights in the cotton production throughout the entire value chain and its impact on the environment caused by the widespread use of pesticides and its huge need of freshwater resources.

Trade in Raw Materials and Primary Commodities Recent Trends and Options For eu Trade Policy

11-09-2007

The study analyses variations in prices and their impact on the evolution of primary commodity markets over several decades. Three case studies illustrate the markets dynamics of primary commodities (aluminium, natural gas and cotton). It underlines the dependency of developing countries on primary commodity markets and demonstrates how trade liberalisation and globalisation of primary commodity markets has modified the relationships between developed and developing countries in two directions: - ...

The study analyses variations in prices and their impact on the evolution of primary commodity markets over several decades. Three case studies illustrate the markets dynamics of primary commodities (aluminium, natural gas and cotton). It underlines the dependency of developing countries on primary commodity markets and demonstrates how trade liberalisation and globalisation of primary commodity markets has modified the relationships between developed and developing countries in two directions: -On the one hand, private firms are now free to develop diverse strategies on international markets within new trade rules based on free competition; -On the other hand, South-South trade is increasing thanks to higher per capita incomes and faster industrialisation of emerging countries such as China, South Korea, India and Brazil. It concludes with the fact that the European Union, as a major importer and exporter, is in a position to play a leading role both in supporting European firms acting in primary commodity markets and in supporting actions to help Commodity Dependent Developing Countries (CDDCs) to strengthen their production capacities and to reduce poverty and unemployment

Autor externo

Hadj Saadi Project Leader Hadj.Saadi@upmf-grenoble.fr Jean-Pierre Angelier Ivan Samson Faculté Economie, Stratégies, Entreprise Université Pierre Mendès France, Grenoble (France)

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