Dear compatriots, distinguished deputies of the Oliy Majlis!
It is a great pleasure to me, appealing to you – deputies of the Legislative Chamber and members of the Senate of Oliy Majlis – and in your person to the entire people of Uzbekistan, to express my sincere gratitude to all our compatriots who have placed a high confidence in me by electing as President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
I would take this opportunity to extend my deep respect and esteem to you, my dear ones, and wish sound health, happiness and wellbeing.
I consider the confidence placed in me first of all as a tremendous responsibility and a great honor, and I would like to assure you again that I will do my best and devote my life to meet such an incomparable high trust of the nation.
Having completely rejected the old obsolete totalitarian system and having become the masters of our own destiny, we have set such important goals before ourselves as building of a new democratic state and civil society, a free and prosperous life inferior to no one in anything. Today, as a result of wide-ranging transformation and reforms being undertaken by us consistently on this path, we have made such enormous achievements that no one can disprove.
The most critical factor of all our accomplishments has been indisputably the evolutional and gradual development course chosen by us that is built on the renowned five principles and recognized in the world as the Uzbel Model of reforms, and the life itself confirms today how correct this path has been.
The advantages and effectiveness of our model of development are supported by the fact that it takes into a comprehensive account all the natural, historical, national, demographic and environmental peculiarities of Uzbekistan, and it has completely justified itself in practice.
For instance, when speaking of agriculture, we have placed priority significance on the promotion of farmer movement that is based on leasehold land use. And we supported this process with all our effort, and owing to these very endeavors the farmer movement will leave a bright trace in our newest history, one can assert with all confidence. Currently, our farmer enterprises not only account for 90-92 percent of all agricultural products in the country, but they also are growing into a socio-political movement that assumes responsibility for the development and future of our rural areas.
Or, take small business and private entrepreneurship. It currently accounts for 56 percent of the gross domestic product of the country and employs 75-77 percent of all the workforce of the nation.
Without any doubt, our achievements that are reflected in such brilliant indicators and figures will happen to be a potent impetus for the enhancement of reforms spearheaded by us, turn into robust bedrock for the coming days and the future advancement of the country.
Today we can state without any hesitation that owing exactly to the implementation of such reforms are we securing sustainable development rates in Uzbekistan’s economy. In the last 10 years, the gross domestic product growth rates of the nation have annually exceeded 8 percent. Taking into consideration that, in our estimates, these rates will be preserved at these levels in the year 2015, as well, I believe everything becomes even more obvious.
In this regard, one cannot but say that all our immense accomplishments are built, first and foremost, on the cardinal transformation of the consciousness and mindset as well as the growth in the political and legal culture of our people. These achievements have also been possible thanks to the selfless and courageous nation who has endured myriads of thorny paths in its history. Crucially, our most reliable support is our youth who has confidently been entering life as a decisive force that wields modern knowledge and professions, who thinks independently and in new manner, and who is capable of assuming a responsibility for the future of the native land.
Along with this, I would like us to not forget about an important truth.
If we get satisfied with the accomplishments and undertakings we have made, give ourselves up to complacency and euphoria, we may make a big, one can say an unforgivable, blunder.
We are all well aware that the world evolves and does not stay intact, especially if we take into account that we live in the 21st century, an era of intellectual labor, internet and globalization, while the speedily changing times constantly remind us about that.
The ongoing financial and economic crisis in the world, the ever mounting competition and confrontation, the growing threats and challenges like radicalism, terrorism and extremism demand that we all embark, first of all, on even greater cohesion, greater mobilization of our efforts and abilities.
Indisputable as it is, the wide-ranging works undertaken by us today include the most pressing challenge, namely, acceleration and elevation of the effectiveness of democratic reforms cardinally changing our lives.
When we speak of this, of particular importance for us is the elimination of stereotypes inherited from the totalitarian regime, solution of all the variety of issues still present, consistent realization of laws passed by us and the further enhancement of reforms undertaken.
In the first place, we should take the reforms in the sphere of securing the freedom of speech and information, human rights and freedoms to a new, higher level, as well as in the perfection of judicial system, development of civil society institutions, and it ought to be noted that much remains to be done on these fronts.
It is by no means a secret to anyone that if we do not provide for the competitiveness of our economy, that is, modernization and diversification of manufacturing sectors and fields, their technical and technological renewal, the global market – and potentially the internal one – will cease to accept the goods produced by us.
We should all be aware of this truth.
Thus, if we care for the coming days, care for our future, it should be admitted frankly that without the further enhancement of wide-scale reforms spearheaded in our economy, first and foremost the structural transformation, by not addressing the issue concerning its elevation to a new modern level, it is impossible to speak of achieving our most critical goal, namely, to join the ranks of the highly advanced democratic nations.
The key task for us should become the removal of all obstacles and restrictions on the way of promoting private property and private entrepreneurship, which are assigned, as it is stipulated in our Constitution, a priority sphere of the country’s multi-sector economy.
It should be stressed that for the past years we have undertaken (and still are undertaking) wide-ranging efforts to set up a robust normative-legal base and reliable guarantees dedicated to the protection of private property and private owners, including the provision of privileges and preferences for small business and private entrepreneurship entities.
Nonetheless, notwithstanding the advantages of private property that we all know vis-à-vis the public property, the works undertaken on this front, unfortunate as it is, have been unable to address completely the issue of providing the private owners with necessary freedom and the endeavors have hardly produced expected results.
It is for this very reason that we should reduce the share and level of government presence in the economy to strategically and economically reasonable sizes.
Another challenge we face is that it is essential to get rid of any forms of administrative-command system and its remnants, and clearly distribute the tasks and powers among public bodies, business and the private sector, switch to the system of market exchange in trade operations, except for retail commerce.
Along with this, corresponding corrections should also be introduced to the activities of our corporate or stock-holding associations with an eye to the practice of leading foreign firms and companies.
Our practical experience has shown that for Uzbekistan, the most effective, ultimate version that has justified itself is the one whereby foreign investors become shareholders along with local ones. Its advantage is in the fact that investors-founders from abroad, apart from equipment of joint ventures with high-technology hardware and machinery, introduce also contemporary methods of organization and management of production.
In this respect, I would like to reiterate that we are open for the further development of cooperation with other nations and foreign companies and that we are willing to set up new, wider opportunities and conveniences for that.
The steadfast enhancement of cardinal reforms undertaken currently and outlined for the year 2015 and the subsequent period, preservation of sustainable rates of economic growth will undoubtedly serve for a qualitative improvement of the structure of public governance and the significant elevation of the competitiveness of our economy, and for Uzbekistan to acquire a worthwhile place on the world arena.
Dear friends, compatriots!
I deem it essential to expound on another rather important issue that we all feel concerned about.
We live in a disquieting, increasingly strained time, amid the mounting diverse threats and challenges that can lead to unpredictable consequences.
Taking this all into account, in order to maintain the peace and harmony reigning today in our country, the welfare and prosperity of our nation, inviolability of our borders, we ought to regard it as our foremost objective to further consolidate friendly relations and mutually advantageous cooperation with countries of near and far abroad.
I think it my duty to declare once again that Uzbekistan will never accede to any military-political blocs, let foreign military bases to its soil, and its military servicemen and women to be deployed abroad.
In the intricate situation unfolding around us, we deem this very posture, this very policy the most adequate for us and the only correct one. As I have said before, our people need first and foremost peace and calmness, and that we should struggle for it to be achieved.
Taking the opportunity I am offered, allow me to express deep gratefulness on my behalf and on behalf of our entire people to all foreign guests, states and international organizations, to their representatives present here in this hall, who offer us support and assistance, consolidate friendly relations and mutually advantageous interaction with us.
I extend earnest gratitude to heads of states, political and public figures who have sent their congratulatory letters on my election as President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
I bow to our people time and again, to the nation who has placed a high confidence in me.
To serve our noble and generous people with devotion and selflessness, with son’s love is truly a high honor and the greatest happiness for me.
I wish you all, my dear ones, peace and wellbeing, every success and the best of luck!