Tashkent became the capital of the cotton business for the third time this year. The practical results of the cotton forums held in Tashkent on the initiative of President Karimov observed for the past several years allow us to speak of the new stage in the development of cooperation between all countries and organizations engaged in the production, processing and sale of cotton.
Noting the great importance of such cotton fairs in Uzbekistan, the participants of the first of them expressed their wish for the event to become a tradition, and now it is clear that the International Uzbek Cotton Fair has not only become a tradition, it has earned international recognition and reputation.
On 17-19 September 2007, Tashkent is hosting the Third International Cotton Fair and the Fourth International Cotton and Textile Conference. For the course of three days Uzbekistan, as one of the most important participants of the international cotton market – the second in the world in its export and the sixth in production – will provide an opportunity to the industry’s leaders - the representatives of state organizations, textile enterprises and trade agents – to meet around one table, and learn about the country’s strategy for the development of the cotton sector, participate in the organization of fair and exchange trades, and sign direct trade contracts on the supply of cotton fibre.
The organizers of the fair are the Minsitry of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade, the Cotton Outlook Ltd magazine, UzPakhtaSanoat (Uzbek Cotton Industry) Association and Sifat Company. To date, about 400 foreign partners from 32 countries of the world have confirmed their participation in the fair.
In the course of the International Cotton and Textile Conference, which opened on 17 September at InterContinental Hotel, in four sessions the participants discussed the issues of supply and demand, prices, factors affecting the world cotton market, the prospects of expansion of production and marketing of cotton in Uzbekistan, as well as the present and the future of the world cotton textiles market.
Participants of the fair trades have an opportunity to see more than a thousand samples of Uzbek cotton fibre to be placed in the show-rooms of the UzExpoCentre. They have a chance to evaluate the quality of cotton and sign contracts for the selected type. They can discuss the routes and means of transportation here. In addition, cotton will be traded at a special trade session at the Uzbek Commodity Exchange.
It is worth noting that over the years of independence, Uzbekistan has been observing consistent implementation of structural reforms in the cotton industry, which allows us today to speak of the growing image and competitiveness of the Uzbek cotton in the world market. The country’s policy in this field is based on the principles of sustaining stable production volumes and creating a competitive environment for the regional and world trade in Uzbek cotton. And in this context, the priority structural reforms are the development of new technologies of production of cotton fibre, improvement of its qualitative and technical characteristics, and wide integration of the market principles and mechanisms in its production and sale.
An import feature of the development of cotton business in Uzbekistan, the closest to the North producer of cotton in the world, is the importance given to the growth and harvesting of cotton before the unfavourable weather conditions of the fall season. The development of the intensive growths of cotton has become a strategic area of modern selection. Scientists of Uzbekistan, working to solve the problem of raising the precocity of the cotton, have developed about 10 new growths, which are characterized by high harvest volumes and high length of fibre, as well as high resistance to diseases and pests. Over the years of independence, substantial changes have been seen in the national system of certification, which now identifies the quality parameters for the cotton fibre according to the world-accepted HVI indicators. With the development of the HVI-testing, a new standard Oz DSt 604:2001 has been introduced. Currently Sifat Centre, an agency responsible for the assessment of the quality of Uzbek Cotton, has a developed regional network of laboratories, which allows it to control the quality and mass of each bale of cotton produced by the cotton plants of Uzbekistan. The new system of by-bale certification of cotton fibre has had a substantial positive affect on its quality and allowed to raise it to the level of the one with one of the highest demands in the world market.
The improvement of the existing infrastructure aimed at the improvement of the whole system of supplies to foreign buyers, certification, storage, insurance and transportation of exported cargo is the main aim of the reforms being implemented in the sphere. That is why, foreign trade companies such as UzMarkazImpex, UzInterImpex, UzPromMashImpex are granted the right to independently determine their market strategy and sell cotton fibre based on the situation in the world market using modern efficient sales methods. Exporting companies have the capacity to provide for stable supplies of Uzbek cotton throughout the whole cotton season.
The volumes of production and the measures being taken to improve the cotton industry allow pursuing a stable export policy aimed at raising the efficiency of exports, as well as preservation of the share and maintenance of the competitiveness of Uzbek cotton in the world market. The growth of the internal consumption resulting from the establishment of new productions and the growth of the capacities of existing producers, proportional to the reduction in the exports of cotton fibure would help support a stable demand for Uzbek cotton in the external sales markets.
An important component in the process of cotton export is the presence of a well-tuned system of logistics, which would consist of cotton terminals, transportation infrastructure, and route corridors. Today, Uzbekistan has 21 specialised cotton terminals including 5 free storage facilities, with the total storage capacity of over 400,000 tonnes of cotton fibre. For the purpose of further diversification and optimization of the Uzbek cotton’s delivery routes to external markets, the development of the most efficient transportation corridors is carried on.
In the conditions of strong competition in the world market, the main competitive advantages of Uzbek cotton are still the factors of high quality, stability and timeliness of delivery. A distinguishing feature of Uzbekistan’s cotton exporting policy is the provision of equal opportunities to all potential buyers, and the absence of any sort of limits on the volumes of contraction, the conditions of delivery and terms of payment. For the purpose of minimizing any possible price risks, a flexible system of price fixation is used in the world market.
The Third International Cotton Fair and the International Cotton and Textile Conference became an important event for the world cotton community this year, and serves as an impulse for further development of market mechanisms of cotton fibre sales, and improvement of economic relations between Uzbek producers and foreign buyers.