On June 20, 2017, President Mirziyoev issued the Decree providing for the principal transformation of the Uzbek Chamber of Commerce and Industry – a large state-supported voluntary association of enterprises and organizations that represents and protects interests of businesses within the country. The Decree establishes a new governance structure of the Chamber and obliges the Chamber to create regional centres for assisting businesses across the country.

Further, some new powers were granted to the Chamber to facilitate its operation, including:

Public private partnership. The Chamber shall facilitate public-private partnership and is now entitled to make proposals and recommendations with respect to privatization of state-owned facilities, transfer of governmental services/functions to private entities. The Chamber should also organize regular meetings of business with state top officials.

Control over state inspections of businesses. State bodies are now required to inform the Chamber about their inspections of businesses by, among others, agreeing relevant inspection plans. The Chamber has the right to monitor and participate in inspections of its members.

Expertise of legal acts. Now, any new draft of a legislative act to be adopted shall pass through the expert examination of the Chamber. The assessment has to be made with respect to the negative effect such legislative act may have on country's business environment.

Access to information. The Chamber received the right to request and collect information necessary for protection of rights of businesses from state agencies and organizations.

Participation in court proceedings. The Chamber may now act as a public defender during criminal court proceedings (provide its opinion on the case in favour of the defendant as a public observer). It is also entitled to bring appeals against decisions of state bodies to courts of all levels as well as claims against state officers and employees.

Creation of commercial arbitrage. The Chamber shall establish a commercial arbitration within 2 months from the date of the Decree. 

It is expected that most of the above changes will be reflected and developed in the forthcoming resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers and draft Law on the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Although the Chamber is expected to remain a part of the rigid governmental structure, it is desirable for business entities to consider closer cooperation with the Chamber as a channel for communicating its interests to state officials.

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