In these exciting moments, when only a few minutes are left before the New Year 2010, it gives me a great pleasure to express to all of you, my dear, my sincere respect and heartfelt congratulations.
Embracing all of you, who gathered this beautiful evening at the holiday tables, in my thoughts, I sincerely wish you, your families, your close ones good health, prosperity and happiness, joy and light, and fulfillment of all of your very best dreams and wishes in the new year.
Saying goodbye to the year 2009 and remembering everything we have gone through, and thinking back to the difficulties and problems that we had to overcome in the past year, we clearly realize that this year was really not easy for our country.
Obviously, there is no need today to talk about the most difficult problems and challenges that the ongoing global financial and economic crisis brought to virtually all of the world’s countries, complex problems we had to deal with in the past year in order to prevent and ease the possible consequences of this crisis for us, for our economy and for people of Uzbekistan.
It would not be an exaggeration to say today that addressing vital tasks of preventing, as it happened in many countries, a sharp slowdown of the economic growth, reduction of the demand and production, bankruptcy of banks and financial institutions, growth of unemployment and, consequently, decrease of the revenues and he living standards was truly a real test for us.
Today all of us, the citizens of our country, have a feeling of great satisfaction and pride that, thanks to the correctly chosen national model of renewal and progress, major reforms implemented over the years of our independent development, timely adoption of an efficient Anti-crisis program, not only we have withstood these tests, but we also ensured a stable economic and social development among the few countries in the world; the levels of people’s income and the welfare of the country have not declined, but are steadily increasing.
The village workers had to overcome serious difficulties, given that the late spring, prolonged rains, hail and bad weather have created additional problems.
Only thanks to the selfless labor, experience and high professionalism of our dehqans, farmers and specialists we have been able to obtain high yields of grain, cotton and other crops and reach the set targets.
The announcement of 2009 as the Year of Rural Development and Improvement and implementation of the respective State program have largely become a continuation of radical reformation and improvement of the efficiency of agricultural production due to the dominant development of farms.
I believe I won’t be wrong if I say that the Year of Rural Development and Improvement was the beginning of a long-term program of radical reconstruction and renovation of the villages on the modern architectural and industrial basis, development of housing, social and community objects and communications that meet the highest demands, saying briefly, bringing the living standards in the villages, where today more than half of the country’s population lives, close to urban conditions.
To imagine the grand scale and prospects of the work we have started to transform the villages, it is enough to say that in 2009 alone more than UZS 2.6 trillion were attracted from all sources of funding to the implementation of this program.
Needless to say that the implementation of this program is only a part of the ongoing ambitious project in the country to modernize our economy and all spheres of our lives – be it industry and construction, transport and communications, education, healthcare or culture – in short, all sectors that ensure progress of our country, prosperity and welfare of our people.
Over the past year 2009, despite the negative impact of the ongoing crisis, the gross domestic product of our country grew by 8.1%, the volume of attracted investments by 33%, growth of real incomes of the population was 26.5%, and average wages, pensions, allowances and stipends increased by an average of 40%, which itself is a clear and concrete evidence of the stable development of our economy and the increasing living standards of the country’s people.
I would like to emphasize with a great a pleasure that in the coming year 2010 we expect to increase the size of the average wage, pensions, allowances and stipends by at least 30%, which, I think, will certainly raise the new year mood of our people.
I think there is no need to prove this to anybody, and everyone living on our land understands and acknowledges that the primary basis for the achievement of these milestones, recognized by the international community today, are primarily political and economic stability, international and civil accord, and the atmosphere of mutual respect and kindness prevailing in the country – this is our asset that all of us should treasure.
The key factor, the driving force of our success is our people’s hardworking and dedication, their ability to achieve the set goal, finally, these are cardinal changes taking place in the consciousness of every one of us, in regards to work and to everything that surrounds us, and our growing confidence in the future.
This truth, the growing political and social activity and civic consciousness of our people, was demonstrated at the recently held elections for the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis and local representative bodies of state authority. These elections once again confirmed out people’s strong desire to follow the chosen path of democratic renewal and formation of civil society, and our Faith in tomorrow.
My dear compatriots!
The announcement of the coming year 2010 as the Year of the Harmoniously Developed Generation has become a natural and logical continuation of the efforts of our state in this direction.
I am convinced that all of us are well aware that it will take years and decades to reach our goal of building the state with a great future and joining the list of developed and prosperous countries. This will require maximal mobilization of our efforts and selfless work.
We are aware that a great responsibility in achieving our ultimate goal rests on the shoulders of the younger generation. And each of us sees the meaning of his or her sacred parental duty not only to ensure that our children are growing physically and spiritually healthy, but also as fully and harmoniously developed people with the latest intellectual knowledge, the people who fully meet the requirements of the 21st century, in which our children and us will live and work.
It is primarily these priorities that the plans and long-term programs, aimed at enhancing the potential and power of our country, its joining the list of developed countries and growth of international prestige, adopted today should meet.
This is why, along with implementation of the wide-scale and long-term program to modernize, diversify, and technically and technologically renew the leading sectors of economy carried out in our country, we, as before, will pay the priority attention to building a strong social infrastructure and rapid development of the social sphere in the country.
Thus, in the state budget approved for 2010, more than 59% of spending is social spending. To develop healthcare and educational sectors alone, more than 50% of the expenditure part of the state budget will be spent. For the development of healthcare, UZS 1.7 trillion have been allocated, which is 30% more than in 2009.
Such attention, such attitude to the needs of social sector development can rarely be met in the world practice.
My dear compatriots!
Let me once again congratulate all of you with the coming year 2010.
May the New Year bring kindness and happiness, and may deepest wishes of each of us be fulfilled!
May peace and tranquility reign in our land, and may the sky over our Motherland be clear!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan