The country’s large population of 25 million, relative to other Central Asian states, is an advantage as it would allow for the setting up of consumer industries such as foodstuffs and clothing by foreign companies to cater for the local market and for exports in the region. But this would require more investor-friendly policies.
The country has a labour force of more than 9 million, 43% of whom are in agriculture and forestry, 22% in industry and construction and 35% in other sectors. The main industries in Uzbekistan are textiles, food processing, machine building and metallurgy.
Unemployment in the country is low, estimated at around 1%, partly because of the slow pace of privatisation of medium and large state companies. However, a big number of people working part-time or seasonally are included in the category of the employed.
The complex is fed by ethane from the Shurtan group of gas fields, which account for most of the country’s natural gas production (see Gas Market Trends). The complex is located at one of the main Shurtan fields, 350km south-west of Tashkent, in the Kashkadarya region. It occupies more than 150 hectares and produces a variety of petrochemicals.
The complex has plants with the capacity to produce 160,000 tons per annum of ethylene, 125,000 tons/year of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) and 17,000 tons/year of butene-1.