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20 April 2009 / 04:50

A ceremony of awarding the winners of the contest among journalists on coverage of customs administration reforms in Uzbekistan was held on April 17, 2009 in UNDP Country Office in Uzbekistan, the press-release of by the UNDP Country Office in Tashkent has said.

As part of the Government’s consistent measures aimed at creating the enabling environment for private sector development and eradication of all barriers restraining development of entrepreneurship, a comprehensive reform of the system of customs administration is underway. In particular, the new revision of the Customs Code and additional measures aimed at improving the customs administration are being developed in the nation, according to the press-release.

The efficiency of ongoing customs reform as a whole and elaboration of the new revision of Customs Code in particular much depend on reflecting the opinions and concerns of business entities engaged in foreign trade activity. In this regard, it is important to maintain a constant and constructive policy dialogue between the Government, private sector and other involved parties, thus providing for opportunities for the joint analysis and search for comprehensive solutions of unresolved issues.

In this context, the mass media plays a significant role in building the public awareness on the major directions of ongoing reforms in the system of customs administration and legislation, as well as about conceptual approaches for its implementation. Therefore, lately wide coverage of customs related issues in the mass media has become a common practice.

In the framework of activities aimed at involving all stakeholders in policy dialogue on customs reform, the joint project of the United Nations Development Program in Uzbekistan and the State Customs Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, namely “Improving the System of Customs Administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan” in partnership with the International Center for In-service Training of Journalists and Economic Review magazine in October 2008 has announced a contest among journalists of all types of mass media on the best materials covering tasks and urgent issues of customs reform, issues of improving customs legislation and customs administration in Uzbekistan.

Thirty materials of journalists from various national and local media were submitted to the contest. The independent panel, having reviewed all materials, identified the winners who featured creative approach and professionalism in coverage of the customs reform.

In accordance with the decision of the jury, Gulnora Abdunazarova, reporter of Tax and Customs News newspaper won the first place. Valentina Pavlovskaya, Editor-in-Chief of the Chirchik newspaper, took the second place. Salimakhon Rustamova – the editor from Ferghana Regional Broadcasting Company received the third place, according to the press-release.

The journalists – winners of the contest were awarded the valuable prizes and diplomas for their contribution to the broad coverage of urgent issues and achievements of customs reform, as well as the use of innovative approaches in their activities.

The facilitators of the event wished creative success to the journalists in their prospective work to raise public awareness on the ongoing transformations in the systems of customs administration of Uzbekistan.

Given the important role of the media in informing the public in general on the abovementioned transformations and the need for further capacity building for the media, the Improving the System of Customs Administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan Project plans to continue such initiatives. Thus, in the first half of May 2009 it is planned to conduct an additional training for officials of press services of customs bodies and journalists of the national mass media with an objective to improve their professional competence in coverage of customs reform.

It is expected that the training will be based on the latest methods of teaching based on interactive learning through group work and review of case studies. Competent specialists from the State Customs Committee and Higher Military Customs Institute will conduct the training.

For more information about the training and the Project’s activities please refer to the above contacts or visit www.customsreform.uz.