CCIU - Reliable partner of the small business.

Small business and entrepreneurship is a significant part of the Uzbek economy, it plays significant role in the development of the country.

Vital role to the strengthening of the position of the private sector makes the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan, established in accordance with the Decree of President Islam Karimov on July 7, 2004. With divisions in all regions of the country, in particular, 14 territorial divisions, 127 information-consulting and business centers, 14 arbitration courts, 3 staff training centres and 21 Unitary Enterprise, CCI effectively cooperates with public authorities and administration that promotes steady growth in business confidence and strengthen the partnership between the organization and the state.- One of the main tasks assigned to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan is actively assist entrepreneurs in creating new industries, expansion of business contacts, promotion of domestic products to foreign markets, attract foreign direct investment -says the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan  Alisher Shaykhov. – During the first year CCIU brought together 210 entrepreneurs, whereas today this number has exceeded 25,000.  It is not only representatives of small business and entrepreneurship, but also large companies, leasing companies, banking and insurance institutions.

Important direction of the CCIU activity is helping businesses in finding and purchasing mini-technologies and equipment. For this purpose they’ve organized dozens of business trips abroad for domestic entrepreneurs, provided their participation in international trade fairs and business meetings, as well as exhibitions in the country. Effectiveness of this approach clearly demonstrated by the figures: in 2004 there were only 10 exhibitions with the participation of 800 business entities, by the end of 2013 - more than 150 exhibitions and fairs took place both in Uzbekistan and countries like Germany, China , Turkey, USA, India, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan and many others. They were attended by more than 100 thousand domestic entrepreneurs.

To expand foreign economic activity of the local business entities the Chamber organized over 70 business trips for domestic entrepreneurs, whereas in 2004 there were only 12. The number of organizations of cooperation exchanges with the participation of foreign entrepreneurs in Uzbekistan reached 97 in the past year. Business community conducted series of meetings, established direct contacts and identified areas of mutually beneficial trade and investment cooperation with foreign businessmen.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry has number of representative offices abroad which are aimed to simplify mechanism of interaction between local and foreign businessmen. They are actively informing general public about international opportunities and prospects of doing business in Uzbekistan, investment promotion, technology and equipment in our country and the promotion of domestic products in the world markets, organize seminars, meetings and conferences with the participation of representatives of business circles of countries partners.

CCI is also putting emphasis on deepening and expanding cooperation with chambers of commerce, business alliances and associations from foreign countries. An example of such cooperation is number of effective joint projects on various aspects of entrepreneurship. At the Center of expertise clear production, operating at CCI, entrepreneurs are trained to international quality standards ISO 9000, ISO 14000, "Kaizen". Together with the German Society for International Cooperation GIZ, the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology of Germany, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan has launched the Program for Management Training, which has enabled more than 300 managers of domestic enterprises to do an internship in Germany. The other successful project is «Bernina AG» (Switzerland) which made it possible to create training centers for women in our country.

All the initiated measures by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan to expand cooperation with foreign partners are intended to increase the volume of exports. In 2004 the Chamber has assisted 10 businesses, by the end of 2013 with the direct support of CCI 98 Uzbek enterprises has exported their products to a total of more than U.S. $ 76 million.

Based on the results of 2013 CCI services were used by over 304 thousand business entities, while in 2004 this number was only 27,000. As before, people are turning to various activities: from the set up, development and restructuring of the business before entering the foreign markets and attract foreign investment, as well as to provide exchange services, training and education.

The Chamber makes a special focus on the legal issues and legitimate interests of entrepreneurs. From the first year of its existence the Chamber began to defend the interests of entrepreneurs in the economic courts of the country. Considering that in 2004, 37 claims were filled to court, in 2013 this figure exceeded 33,000. Today, more than 90 percent of claims are satisfied in favour of entrepreneurs. An important step towards improving the protection of the rights of entrepreneurs this year was the creation at the Chamber the Monitoring Centre of inspections of businesses. The Center is also monitoring more than 50 percent of inspections conducted by controlling bodies.

As noted by experts of the Chamber of Commerce, one of the most effective mechanisms to protect the rights and interests of entrepreneurs Arbitration courts which were created at the Chamber and its regional offices in 2007. Today businesses are actively using alternative form to state courts addressing contentious issues, as the decision of the arbitral tribunal has the same legal force as the solution of economic or civil courts. By the end of 2013 arbitral tribunals has viewed and considered 668 cases.

It is important to emphasize that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan is actively involved in the implementation of international law and business practices, business ethics, preparation of proposals for the improvement of legislation aimed at improving the legal and economic conditions of running business. For the purposes of constructive and continuous dialogue between the government and the private sector Chamber has created mechanism of joint recommendations for improvement of relevant legislation. Only in 2013, 145 projects of legal acts were considered and legal examinations conducted by the Chamber, among them - the laws, regulations and orders of the Government, ministries and agencies

Due to comprehensive assistance and support to the private sector the business climate in the country is constantly improving and strengthening free enterprise. All this was reflected in the increase in the number of new small businesses and their specialization. It is no secret that in the first years of independence, a small business started with trade, and today more and more business people are interested in the creation of small manufacturing enterprises, actively explore innovative technologies, issue export and import products. Uzbek entrepreneurs are increasingly active in foreign markets, delivering high-quality textile, food, leather and footwear products, building materials, furniture and many more.

Success of small business and entrepreneurship clearly demonstrates the republican contest "Tashabbus" launched by the initiative of President Islam Karimov in 1996. Traditionally organized by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the country, the competition has become one of the most popular sites for exposure which demonstrates the potential of the domestic "small economy". Over the years it was attended by more than 180,000 farmers, artisans and entrepreneurs. Since then, the list of participants not only expanded quantitatively but also changed qualitatively: there were entrepreneurs producing high-tech products, farmers engaged not only in crop, but in its processing, folk artists and craftsmen that manufacture unique examples of folk arts. In addition, the ranks of entrepreneurs began to replenish the younger generation - the graduates of professional colleges and universities. Thus, contests, designed to support the domestic private business, has become a powerful impetus for the development of entrepreneurs' movement in the country.

In order to stimulate further improvement of business environment and accelerate the provision of various services to entrepreneurs in real-time CCI of Uzbekistan has been actively engaged in the implementation of new computer technologies and software to the activities of business entities. In particular, almost immediately CCI launched its own corporate website - www.chamber.uz, which from year to year modernized. Currently, any business entity can take advantage of this online interactive service in real time. It also features modules "virtual exhibit", "marketplace", "equipment catalogue" which has detailed answers to the most frequently asked questions by entrepreneurs. Additionally they can get legal advice and directly send their appeal to the Chairman of the Chamber.

One of the innovations introduced by the direct support of the Chamber is organization of state registration of business entities on a single portal online government services. In a short time in the appropriate sections of this portal there will be integrated new interactive services from CCI as the payment system «U-Pay», interactive portal «Businessinfo.uz», where any entrepreneur will be able to find answers to questions on business creation, its development and export their products, they will also have an opportunity to use information help «Call-center» to get legal advice and more.

Under the motto "Let's build the future together" Chamber of Commerce aims to further improve the support and protection of the interests of entrepreneurs. Its effective interaction with representatives of small business and entrepreneurship helps to improve the business environment, the saturation of the domestic market competitiveness of domestic products, the creation of new jobs and, ultimately, to further improve the living standards and welfare of the people in Uzbekistan.