Uzbekistan Table of Contents

Uzbekistan's industrial sector accounted for 33 percent of its NMP in 1991. Despite some efforts to diversify its industrial base, industry remains dominated by raw materials extraction and processing, most of which is connected with cotton production and minerals. As illustrated especially by the domestic oil industry, in the Soviet era industrial production generally lagged behind consumption, making Uzbekistan a net importer of many industrial products. Under the difficult economic conditions caused by the collapse of the Soviet Union's system of allocations and interdependence of republics, this situation has worsened. In 1993 total manufacturing had decreased by 1 percent from its 1990 level, and mining output had decreased by more than 8 percent.

Heavy Industry

The Tashkent region, in the northeastern "peninsula" adjacent to the Fergana Valley, accounts for about one-third of the industrial output of Uzbekistan, with agricultural machinery the most important product. The city is the nucleus of an industrial region that was established near mineral and hydroelectric resources stretching across northeastern Uzbekistan from the Syrdariya in the west to the easternmost point of the nation. Electricity for the industries of the region comes from small hydroelectric stations along the Chirchiq River and from a gas-fired local power station.

Uzbekistan's most productive heavy industries have been extraction of natural gas and oil; oil refining; mining and mineral processing; machine building, especially equipment for cotton cultivation and the textile industry; coal mining; and the ferrous metallurgy, chemical, and electrical power industries. The chemical manufacturing industry focuses primarily on the production of fertilizer.

Two oil refineries in Uzbekistan, located at Farghona and Amtiari, have a combined capacity of 173,000 barrels per day. Other centers of the processing industries include Angren (for coal), Bekobod (steel), Olmaliq (copper, zinc, and molybdenum), Zarafshon (gold), and Yangiobod (uranium). The Uzbek fertilizer industry was established at Chirchiq, northeast of Tashkent, near Samarqand, and at several sites in the Fergana Basin. Uzbekistan is the largest producer of machinery for all phases of cotton cultivation and processing, as well as for irrigation, in the former Soviet Union. The machine building industry is centered at Tashkent, Chirchiq, Samarqand, and Andijon in the east, and at Nukus in Karakalpakstan.

Light Industry

The predominant light industries are primary processing of cotton, wool, and silk into fabric for export, and food processing. In 1989 light industry accounted for 27.1 percent of industrial production; that category was completely dominated by two sectors, textiles (18.2 percent) and agricultural food processing (8.9 percent). The nature of the Uzbek textile industry in the mid-1990s reflects the Soviet allotment to Uzbekistan of primary textile processing rather than production of finished products. Food processing has diversified to some degree; the industry specializes in production of dried apricots, raisins, and peaches. Other products are cottonseed oil for cooking, wine, and tobacco.

More about the Economy of Uzbekistan.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress