VEON is ready to cooperate with Uzbekistan in the digitalization and the implementation of innovative projects.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 26-27 May 2021, as part of a regular business trip to Tashkent, a delegation of VEON Group companies headed by its CEO and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Unitel LLC (Beeline TM in Uzbekistan) - Mr. Kaan Terzioglu, held a number of meetings with responsible officials and heads of government agencies, various ministries and authorities.
The delegation also included VEON Group companies’ Advisor Boris Tadić, Executive Vice President for Legal Support, Government Relations and Compliance of VEON (VimpelCom PJSC) Viktor Biryukov, Beeline Uzbekistan CEO Andrzej Malinowski and Beeline Uzbekistan Chief Government Relations Officer Sardor Mukhamedaliev.
The working agenda started with a meeting with the new Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Uzbekistan Oleg Malginov. This time the meeting was of an exploratory nature. The new CEO of Beeline Uzbekistan Andrzej Malinowski was introduced to the diplomat. The bilateral agreement was once again confirmed to maintain close friendly relations in the future.
Another important meeting was a discussion with the First Vice-Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis Sadyk Safoev. The issues of liberalization of the Internet in Uzbekistan and the participation of Beeline in the digitalization of the republic were considered. The parties made proposals to improve the country’s legislative framework in this field. As noted by VEON’s CEO Kaan Terzioglu, the company invested over $50 million in Uzbekistan in 2020, and there has been significant improvement in the quality of service for Internet users. It was also emphasized that the international telecommunications holding is ready to continue participating in investment projects aimed at the strengthening of the organizational and institutional foundations for the digital economy and e-government, at the development of the profile infrastructure and the expansion of the broadband use of the Internet, as well as the improvement and modernization of the mobile network and other telecommunications services. Following the meeting, participants have agreed to keep working collaboratively to further deepen the bilateral partnership.
During a conversation with the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Minister of Tourism and Sports Aziz Abdukhakimov, VEON’s officials were informed about the development of pilgrim tourism in the country and the expected arrival of foreign tourists from different countries. In addition, the launch of the "Healthy Lifestyle" project was discussed, within which citizens will be paid money for steps walked. As mentioned at the meeting, more information about the project can be found on www.1hls.uz. VEON expressed its willingness to support this project by providing "GB for Steps", thereby making its small contribution to the development of a healthy nation.
The delegation also met with the Minister of Public Education of Uzbekistan Sherzod Shermatov. He thanked VEON for active participation in the modernization of the specialized IT school No. 8 in Jizzakh. As pointed out, extensive work has been undertaken, and there are results. In turn, Kaan Terzioglu underlined that there will be more social projects like this in the future, and they will be implemented not only in Jizzakh region, but in other regions too. Sherzod Shermatov presented two new important educational programs. The first one is the preparation of teachers and students to communicate in English and Russian. The second one is the IT computer science for schoolchildren. VEON supports these areas and is ready to provide bootcamps for developers (intensive programs for accelerated IT-specialization training) and organize hackathons (forums for developers aimed on a creation of a full-fledged software) to support the talented youth of Uzbekistan.
Within the dialogue with the Ministry of Innovative Development, Kaan Terzioglu told that VEON is an innovative company with an extensive experience in this field, which welcomes and implements new projects and innovative products. The holding is constantly developing and is willing to cooperate. For his part, the Minister of Innovative Development of Uzbekistan Ibrohim Abdurakhmanov introduced the agency, which focuses on research and disruptive innovations. Today, the Ministry creates technoparks and, at the same time, boosts the development of innovative technologies in the regions. The Ministry also articulated an interest in the expertise sharing with regards to the development and collaboration in digital projects of the agro-industrial complex, big data, artificial intelligence and robotics, 5G and drone laboratories. The parties expressed a desire to invest in joint projects and are ready to create startups together for this purpose.
Discussion of the international Internet gateway liberalization project, prepared by Unitel LLC, was at the core of the dialogue in the Ministry of the Development of Information Technologies and Communications of the Republic. Representatives of the VEON delegation met with the Deputy ministers Jamol Maksudov and Jamshid Egamberdiev. Special attention was paid to the development of the Digital Uzbekistan 2030 strategy. The parties shared their views on the implementation of IT, latest mobile devices and technologies. Expressed their eagerness to mobilize all efforts for further cooperation.
The project of international data network access liberalization was also discussed at a meeting with the Antimonopoly Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan. According to the representatives of the delegation, the implementation of this project will additionally attract foreign investment in the ICT sector (more than $6 million), create new jobs, reduce the cost of the Internet for the population and give a new impulse to the development of mobile Internet. At the end of the meeting, the Cairman of the Antimonopoly Committee, Shakhrukh Sharakhmetov, congratulated Beeline Uzbekistan on winning the consumers’ choice Brand of the Year 2020 nomination in the Mobile Operators category.
During a meeting with the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the participation of the Deputy Minister, Abdusamat Muminov, it was pointed out that the department is currently undergoing digital transformation, and therefore establishing contacts and cooperation with international companies such as VEON is encouraged. Kaan Terzioglu told about the company, its operation, particularly noted that business application development, geoanalytics, content improvement and mobile payment are now in focus. Representatives of the Ministry of Transport voiced interest in these areas, especially geoanalytics and the development of transport networks and systems, expressed their readiness to implement collaborative projects.
Summing up the meetings, CEO and the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Unitel LLC (Beeline TM in Uzbekistan) Mr. Kaan Terzioglu comments:
“As usual, it has been a fantastic visit to Uzbekistan. This is my fourth visit over the past year, during the pandemic. Every time I come here, I see the progress towards from being an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. In the last few days, I have visited numerous government agencies, met and talked with many responsible officials and managers. And everywhere I hear a very aligned and consistent strategy for the dynamic transformation of Uzbekistan into a leading player in the digital economy. Of course, we, as Beeline, are committed, strive to be a partner, and make sure to bring the best practices from all around the world. We are grateful that we have an opportunity to put efforts and energy into this great mission. I am glad to be here again and looking forward to coming back this September.”
Unitel LLC provides services under the Beeline Uzbekistan TM since September 12, 2006. Beeline Uzbekistan is a part of the international telecom holding company VEON, headquartered in Amsterdam (the Netherlands).
VEON is a global telecom and internet services provider with over 213 million subscribers in 9 countries. Company shares are listed on the NASDAQ and Euronext Amsterdam stock markets.
Beeline Uzbekistan employs more than 1.6 thousand people. Since its entry to the Uzbekistan market in 2006 VEON has invested more than $1.2 billion in the country’s telecom industry. During its activity under the Beeline TM in Uzbekistan, total taxes paid exceeded $1.9 billion.