On Thursday 29 October, the HCLA, in cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan and esteemed peers and speakers, concluded its first webinar on the subject matter pertaining to Uzbekistan’s recent legal reforms. These reforms are a crucial driving force of Uzbekistan’s government to attract foreign investors, as well as to reiterate and update its existing legal protections vis-à-vis existing investors.
The webinar was hosted by HCLA as part of their ‘Think Global, Go Global’ program, attempting to successfully acquaint new entrants to the Uzbek market with contemporary developments in law and business, as presented by the esteemed panelists, and to determine the focal point in modern and novel legal reforms as presented by various European and Uzbekistanis representatives.
His Excellency Ambassador Khakimov guided the opening of the session and contributed towards identifying Uzbekistan’s future endeavors to further solidify Uzbekistan’s presence as a serious and legal investment partner in its region and sphere of influence. Followed up was Mr. Bakhrom Rakhimov as the representative of the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan, who presented the most recent efforts of the ministry to develop legal reforms to the existing laws, regulations and bylaws of Uzbekistan pertaining to foreign investors, with the precise focus of simplifying these existing legalities so as to enhance business transparency and ensure minimum government intervention vis-à-vis new market entrants.
The session reached the middle point with the presentation by Mr. Nikos Lavranos, a Fellow of the HCLA Network and Secretary General of the European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA). His presentation regarded an in-depth analysis of the existing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI’s) arrangements in place for Uzbekistan, taking an international approach to the query of promoting and protecting potential investments in Uzbekistan. The next presenter was Mr. Askar Jumanov, a member of the Tashkent State University of Law. His presentation regarded the corporate aspects of seeking to do business in Uzbekistan with a review of the potential legalities in setting up local companies and the advantages and disadvantages thereof, as opposed to other competitive jurisdictions.
Nearing the conclusion of the session was Mr. Pierre-Emmanuel Dupon, also a Fellow of the HCLA Network. His presentation assessed the alternate dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms in Uzbekistan with an in-depth focus on arbitration. His presentation identifies the trends in arbitration proceedings and the success rate of said investors in successfully winning positive judgments from public arbitral disputes. Lastly, was Ms. Diana Bayzakova, and her colleague Mr. Nodir Malikov, who represented the Tashkent International Arbitration Centre (TIAC) located in Uzbekistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They have presented the TIAC’s sphere of operations and the advantages of an established and modern arbitration system under TIAC.
Following the conclusion of the speaker’s, questions were posed by the participants, and answered and debated over by the panelists. Ultimately, the webinar was concluded by a speech from Mr. Babur Sabirov, the representative of the Uzbekistan Embassy in the Benelux, who addressed the future potential of Uzbekistan as an investor country of choice, and further developments that are in the works on the governmental side.