Research Handbooks in Business and Management series
Edited by Léo-Paul Dana, Mary Han, Vanessa Ratten and Isabell M. Welpe
Chapter 43: Uzbekistan
Gulnoza S. Saidazimova Introduction to Uzbekistan The Uzbek language used Arabic script until 1929, and the Roman alphabet from 1929 until 1940 – when Stalin imposed Cyrillic. In 1994, the state began to phase out the use of Cyrillic (Dana, 2002). Independent since 31 August 1991, the Republic of Uzbekistan covers 447 400 square kilometres, bordering Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Aral Sea. Uzbekistan is slightly smaller than Sweden and is one of the world’s two double-locked countries.1 In January 2000, Uzbek border guards entered Kazakhstan and unilaterally extended their country by marking out a 60kilometre stretch. With over 27 million people, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia. More than 60 percent of them live in rural areas. Agriculture and industries processing agricultural products (primarily those related to cotton and foods) have constantly contributed about 35 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). It relies heavily on cotton production as the major source of export revenues. Other major export earners include gold, natural gas, and oil (CIA, ‘The World FactBook’). Uzbek President Islam Karimov said the country’s GDP grew by 9.5 percent in 2007 (UzA, 2008). Independent sources cite some 8.1 percent of GDP growth in 2007 (CIA, ‘The World FactBook’) and say the growth is likely to stay high – at around 7.3 percent in 2008-09 (EIU. 2007). The growth has been high mostly due to exports of gas, cotton, gold, and other natural resources that currently enjoy high prices in the world...