Negotiations with top officials of Silverleaf and Indorama
On October 3 this year, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov negotiated with a number of foreign investors who successfully operate in Uzbekistan, in particular, with the founder of Silverleaf International, D. Patterson, and Chief Executive Officer of Indorama, A. Lohia via video conferencing.
The dialogue with D. Patterson considered current activities of the cotton cluster operating in the Pakhtakor district of Jizzakh region, where Uzbekistan introduced a cycle of cotton growing and harvesting for the first time, including full mechanization of the process and the adoption of water-saving technologies. At the moment, 11.7 thousand hectares cluster involves 125 units of advanced agricultural equipment, as well as the Pulsar system, which significantly reduces water consumption and increases yields by 20%.
The parties discussed further expansion of the cluster through establishment of textile production with high added value upon orders of leading foreign brands, for which the company is already introducing high social and environmental business standards in Uzbekistan.
The conversation with the top officials of Indorama outlined the scale and dynamics of the company's investment activities in Uzbekistan. Back in 2011, Singaporean investors created a spinning mill in Kokand, while foreign investments amounted to USD 130 million.
Currently, the company implements the project for the creation of a cotton-textile cluster in Kashkadarya, Syrdarya and Fergana regions with a total area of about 100 thousand hectares, as well as a project to modernize the Kokand Superphosphate Plant.
During negotiations, the parties agreed further steps to accelerate the Indorama's investment programs in Uzbekistan.
They also touched upon the current cotton harvesting campaign. It was noted that this stage involved 32 thousand pickers in cotton picking on an individual contract basis, and all data is recorded for a subsequent audit of all cotton picking processes involving international human rights organizations.
The company plans to switch to a fully mechanized cotton picking using special equipment, which will make it possible to harvest the current crop in a short time, in the near future. According to Indorama's top officials, the practical introduction of modern international standards in cotton production is one of the most important factors that create opportunities for cooperation with foreign brands.
The negotiations resulted in guarantee of comprehensive support for foreign investors in projects implemented and issues resolved.