Country - Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan Country Information
Uzbekistan is a republic nation surrounded on all sides by six land-locked countries in Central Asia. Kazakhstan lies in the north of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan in the north east, Tajikistan in the east, Afghanistan in the south east and Turkmenistan in the south west. Tashkent is the capital and the largest city.
Uzbekistan is one of the two countries in the world, the other being Lichtenstein, to have the distinction of being encircled by land-locked countries. The country is more known for ancient architecture; the manual skill of sculpture and mural designs are more front-and-center extending on large facades of big monuments.
Being under Soviet rule for more than seventy years, Uzbekistan still holds the vibes of Russian culture even today. Even after gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian language continues to be one of the official languages, alongside Uzbek. The country is predominantly an Islamic nation with more than 89% of its population as Muslims. The total population was estimated at 32,979,000 with the average density of population seventy people per square kilometer. The per capita GDP as of 2018 was reckoned as US $ 1,238 leaving much to be desired.
The economy of Uzbekistan is based mainly on production of cotton which caters to the domestic requirements and earns sizable revenue from exports. The country’s exports are also dominated by oil, oil products and natural gas with the other components like gold, ferrous metals, chemicals. The total value of exports was US $44.11 billion in 2017. The major imports include machinery and equipment, metal products and foodstuffs. Uzbekistan imported goods worth US $ 32.09 billion with a trade surplus of US $12.02 billion in 2017. Transparency International ranks Uzbekistan as 156th among the 176 countries listed for corruption. Emerging from the Soviet rule as an independent nation does not seem to have done any better on economic front. As the unwritten tenet goes, the more the prevalence of corruption, more gruesome are the living conditions of people in any country.
Notwithstanding much to be done for economic upliftment, Uzbekistan has still a lot to stanch the curiosity of history buffs among international tourists. The cities of Tashkent, Samarkhand, Bukhara and Khiva are replete with sites of historical and archaeological importance. The northern border with Kazakhstan is 250 kilometer long featured by the Aydar Lake in Uzbekistan. The Regional Museum and an ancient fortress in the town of Fergana make good places of visit for tourists. For the seriously religious minded, Kasri Arifon is the holiest place in Uzbekistan, more so among Muslim communities. The capital city of Tashkent is one of the most ancient cities in the world, though the city has acquired of late the modern look of a metropolitan center. While the ancient features of Uzbekistan are not very much new to the outside world, it is the mountainous size of many monuments that carves a specific niche for the country in international tourism.