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Uzbekistan news roundup

With GDP growing at 7% per year and the largest population in Central Asia (30 million, more than Malaysia, Australia and the Netherlands), Uzbekistan is a promising market for exporters in the building and interiors sectors. Here is a selection of what’s been happening in the country’s construction industry – with a lot of housebuilding planned for the capital Tashkent, big increases in building materials supply, and legal changes in real estate and energy efficiency.


New housing in the Old City

Fifteen new five-storey buildings are set for construction in Tashkent’s Old City this year, funded by some of Uzbekistan’s major commercial banks. The companies carrying out the work will be able to cover up to 90% of their construction costs with the credit, which will be re-registered as long-term loans to homeowners once the properties are sold.

The project has received the go-ahead after two resolutions were passed by Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers to stimulate construction in various areas of the capital.


Cement production to surge with new facilities

The Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Complex (AMMC), one of Uzbekistan’s leading industrial firms, has announced it will build a $225 million cement plant in the southern Surxondaryo region of Uzbekistan. The new plant is expected to produce up to 1.5 million tonnes of Portland cement annually when it is finished in 2018, which will considerably increase supply for the country’s building industry

2016 has been set as the expected start date for the project, which is being funded by a mixture of commercial loans, credit from Uzbekistan’s reconstruction and development fund, and AMMC’s existing cash reserves. April has been a good month for the Uzbekistani cement industry – AMMC revealed earlier in the month that it will spend £35 million on expanding its facility in the Jizzakh region in the east of the country, boosting output to one million tonnes per year.

Cement production is not the only area AMMC is investing in this year. The company will spend a total of $2.5 billion on 17 projects in total – twelve entirely new facilities will be built in 2015 and a further five will be rebuilt.


Uzbekistan attracts investors with easier real estate rules

Uzbekistan has massively simplified the process of buying and selling real estate in the country in an attempt to boost its investment potential, slashing the time needed to complete a transaction from 55 days to just 17.

Introduced in March this year, the changes mean a huge reduction in the amount of paperwork buyers and sellers need to submit to complete their transaction. Previously, buyers had to supply reams of documents that the government in most cases already had on file in other departments, but the new regulations mean that this is no longer necessary – now, no buyer or seller can be required to supply any document that the authorities already possess.

While there used to be 13 steps involved in the buying and selling process, these changes have cut that to three – the seller receives the deeds from the national land registry, the seller and buyer meet in the presence of a notary (who must get all the paperwork sorted within a day), and finally the buyer registers their new property with the land registry.

Seeing how the old laws were putting off investors, Uzbekistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been instrumental in pushing through the changes, which have the specific aim of cutting bureaucracy as much as possible and making Uzbekistan a better place to invest and do business in.


Energy efficiency construction laws coming in 2016

Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers has approved an energy efficiency grading system for all new buildings, a decision that is set to increase demand for greener building and HVAC technologies in the country.

The system, which will come into force on 1 January 2016, has initially been brought in for electrical appliances, but the Uzbekistani construction website Stroyka.uz has reported that measures will soon extend to all new buildings in the country. Urban planning rules are set for a redraft with the new regulations in mind, bringing Uzbekistan’s energy efficiency closer to global standards and boosting demand for cleaner technologies in the building sector.

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