The Guest speaker at the November 2010 breakfast meetings was H.E. Murad Askarov, Ambassador, Mission of Uzbekistan to the United Nations. (center) He spoke about Uzbekistan's Political and Economic Situation and the Activities of the Mission of Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most populous country. Its 28 million people, concentrated in the south and east of the country, are nearly half the region's total population. Uzbekistan had been one of the least developed republics of the Soviet Union; much of its population was engaged in cotton farming in small rural communities. The population continues to be heavily rural and dependent on farming for its livelihood.
The economy is based primarily on agriculture and natural resource extraction. Uzbekistan is a major producer and exporter of cotton, but natural gas has replaced it as the dominant source of foreign currency earnings. It also is a major exporter of gold, uranium, and strategic minerals. (Uranium is Uzbekistan’s largest export to the U.S.) Manufacturing has become increasingly important, particularly in the automotive sector, which is aimed primarily at export to the Russian market. Since independence, the government has followed a policy of gradual transition to a free market economy but most large enterprises are still state owned or controlled. Copied from the U.S. State Department