UZBEKISTAN WELCOMES GROWING WESTERN PRESENCE.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 76

Top managers of British-American Tobacco (BAT), one of the world leaders in that industry, and senior Uzbek government officials laid the foundation stone of a tobacco processing factory near Samarkand at a ceremony yesterday. The factory is projected to produce 26 billion cigarettes annually. BAT is meanwhile bidding to acquire most of the tobacco industry of Moldova, which used to account for more than one-third of the former USSR’s raw tobacco output. Also yesterday, the U.S.-sponsored Radio Liberty opened a studio in Tashkent. RL will broadcast four hours of Uzbek-language programming daily on frequencies allocated by the Uzbek government. This week as well, managers of French petrochemical firms are inspecting progress of the construction of the Buhara oil processing plant, due to become Central Asia’s largest. The French consortium is supplying the lion’s share of the technical equipment. (Interfax, April 17)

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