On the Way to the Development of the Region Towards the Well-Being of the Population….


     In recent years, Jizzakh has become one of the rapidly developing regions of our country. Once focused mainly on agriculture and extraction of raw materials, over the past few years it has achieved significant results in all spheres of the economy and is gradually becoming the center of Uzbekistan’s industrial and scientific potential.
     Our conversation with Hokim of Jizzakh region SALIYEV Ergash Alibekovich was devoted to the achievements of the region, touched upon social transformations, perspective projects in various spheres and many other issues.
     – Ergash Alibekovich, in December 2023, the 50th anniversary of Jizzakh region was celebrated. So, the region has its own history and experience. First of all, I would like to know the history of its creation – what was Jizzakh like 50 years ago and what has it become in recent years?
     – Half a century – from a historical point of view, this time may be a blink of an eye. But for almost one and a half million people living on this land, this period is a long-life journey, filled with daily worries and joy, aspirations and searches.
     During the times of the former Soviet Union, an economy based on agriculture did not allow for the development of our region’s potential, limiting it to specializing mainly in cotton cultivation, with the harvest exported as raw material. In the towns and villages of the region, many administrative and social buildings were built according to the designs of the early twentieth century; today these facilities and infrastructure are obsolete.
     Each region has its own period of development. I can say that over the last seven years Jizzakh has developed at an unprecedented level literally in all sectors of the economy: due to reforms, cardinal transformations are observed in industry, construction, fuel and energy, transport, housing and utilities, in providing the population with quality drinking water and full-fledged infrastructure. We are witnessing positive changes also in the spheres of services, health care, science and education, culture and sports, agriculture and water and irrigation, which has affected not only the appearance of our territory, but also the living standards of the population. As a result of the new opportunities and conditions created, fundamental changes are taking place even in the self-esteem of our people.
     – Indeed, on the initiative of our President, large-scale transformations, unprecedented creative works are taking place in Jizzakh region, and many projects are being implemented. If we talk about innovative changes taking place in the region, how do you imagine the future image of your oasis?
     – Our President Shavkat Mirziyoyev knows perfectly well the entire territory of Jizzakh region, available opportunities and resources. Based on this, the Head of State has taken important decisions while elaborating specific strategic plans for the development of the region. In particular, the decision «On additional measures on complex socio-economic development of Jizzakh region in 2023-2025 and further improvement of living standards of the population» adopted on 2 May 2023 will contribute to further improvement of living conditions of the population of our region, improvement of welfare, development of infrastructure of neighborhoods, creation of new housing and administrative complexes. By increasing the number of enterprises, economic entities and, accordingly, creating new jobs, the poverty rate of the population is steadily decreasing, and this is our main goal.
     Today we support our youth not with high-minded slogans and appeals, but with practical actions. The vocational training centers established in recent years, specialized schools in every city and district, as well as such large scientific and educational institutions for training highly educated youth as IT Park and the only complex in Central Asia «Cyberarena» called «Arena of Five Initiatives», which was completed and put into operation at the end of 2023, are real facts of supporting the aspirations of young people. These complexes serve the intellectual and physical development of the inhabitants of the region, especially our young people. Based on the above-mentioned decision, efforts in this direction will be consistently continued and the image of the region will increase significantly.
     – The development of each region and the level of well-being of the population largely depends on investments in the region, and according to our information Jizzakh is a leader in this respect. Could you please tell us, what investment projects are successfully implemented in the Jizzakh Free Economic Zone?
     – Investments are the main driver of development. In 2023, 710 investment projects totaling 760.2 million USD were implemented in the region and 10,111 new jobs were created. In particular: in the industry, 4,700 new jobs were created under 130 projects with a total value of 436.2 million USD; in the service sector, 2,378 new jobs were created under 394 projects with a total value of $137.8 million; and in the agricultural sector, 3,033 new jobs were created under a project with a total value of 186.2 million USD.
     In project development and implementation, the focus is on the specialization of each district in specific industrial areas based on its own potential and capabilities: in Farish and Zafarabad districts, the abundance of natural resources facilitates the development of the construction materials industry; the cultivation of world-famous apples in Bakhmal district and other horticultural products contributes to the growth of the processing industry; the soil and climatic conditions of Zarbdar, Pakhtakor are conducive to the development of the construction materials industry; and the growing capacity of the processing industry. Moreover, practical work has been carried out in the Gallyaaral district in the areas of metal processing and creation of alternative energy sources. Great opportunities are opened thanks to the creation of the free economic zone «Jizzakh», on the territory of which only in 2023 4 investment projects with a total cost of 412.2 billion soums were implemented, within the framework of which foreign investment funds in the amount of 16.5 million dollars were utilized. On the basis of these projects 808 new jobs were created. And Jizzakh city in 2023 under 28 projects produced industrial products worth 10.2 trillion UZS and exported products worth 54 million US dollars.
     Zaamin is turning into a full-fledged and very attractive tourist zone. As is known, over the last 2-3 years, unprecedented innovations in tourism have been implemented in Zaamin district – modern hotels, a ropeway, and an extreme glass bridge have been built on the Suffa plateau as part of the unique projects unfolding here, which contribute to increasing the flow of domestic and foreign tourists.
     – Tourism is an engine of economic development. We visited your main tourist sites and were impressed. In this regard, Jizzakh has a huge tourism potential. Rich natural resources and unique reserves contribute to the dynamic development of the tourism sector. What is being done to maximize the use of the existing opportunities of the region and, in your opinion, what measures should be taken to further increase the flow of domestic and foreign tourists?
     – Yes, tourism is indeed an important sector of the economy and is considered one of the most profitable industries. Our region has great opportunities for the development of a number of tourist destinations, as it is distinguished by its favorable territorial location and unique diversity of nature: there are two major mountain ranges – the Turkestan and Nurata Mountains and the beautiful Lake Aidarkul, which play an important role in biodiversity conservation, climate mitigation and harmonization of human-nature relations.
You can read the whole interview in the printed version of the magazine.


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