How will China's Belt and Road initiative impact Uzbekistan? | The New Silk Road | Full Episode

it was Central Asia’s cradle of culture for more than two millennia whose Becca Stan home to a storied history and a wealth of architectural wonders from days of old but it’s modern history is far less romantic for sixty years whose Becca Stan had been closed to the world first as a secret military research base under the Soviet Union and later as a hermit State under an authoritarian government it was only in 2017 when things changed Rebecca Stan today is our conducting very serious reforms I can even compare that with Chinese historical periods when they had the opening up a new president has taken over whose Becca Stan is now open for business and the money is pouring in leading the charge is China who want Wu’s Becca Stan in on its belt and road master plan spectacular plans are underway for a Silk Road of cereals you’re hoping to make China your biggest market [ __ ] yes along with ambitious plans to transform some of the oldest and most mysterious cities on the Silk Road will Central Asia once again be the center of global trade a Belton Road initiative linking China and Russia has sparked celebration and concern rival powers Russia and China Russia and with China Russia or China in my journey along the road to Russia I’ll visit China’s border cities with Russia this entire city is Linton goal should be shoot baby shoot all 40 papa I’ll discover the splendors Mongolia with its untapped riches mysterious Uzbekistan – it’s stunning cities and I’ll explore the Kremlin and the power it wheels this is my journey through one of China’s key economic corridors on its belton Road I’m in the Far West of Uzbekistan in Central Asia and around me for 650 kilometers is desert in every direction over here the great ships of the desert are the camels it was these magnificent animals that carry treasure east to west on the ancient Silk Road along this mighty trading route China sent paper making technology to the Arab world and in turned receive Islam cotton and Buddhism traveled east from India to China and silk was carried thousands of kilometers in these deserts to reach Rome man it must have not been easy for the travelers back then because these camels have a mind of their own come on let’s go there we go good job boy all right I hope you have insurance of course there wasn’t any insurance in those days and many traveling traders didn’t survive those long difficult trips but those who did profited handsomely the ancient Silk Road was the very first form of globalization in action and it was Becca Stan saw plenty of that action the country boasted some of the most important cities in the route and here’s one of them Bukhara bukhara was a great trading City 2,500 years ago it offered water and shelter to weary travelers going to and from China and a thriving market for which to trade and I couldn’t have picked a better time to come this is the bucura

silk and spices festival an annual event celebrating book auras ancient Silk Road links people of all ages come out to celebrate their folk songs and traditional dances all of these costumes and performances we’re seeing now we’re already in existence on the ancient Silk Road so I can imagine that if you came here thousands of years ago you’d enter the city and be blown away by all the exotic colors and sounds [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] the city may be ancient but its people are young in this country 60% of the population is below the age of 30 and parties are lively affairs everybody seems to be in high spirits in the past traders from China heading to Europe pass through the city on caravans loaded with silks and spices they came to meet the city’s master craftsmen with experts on pottery embroidery carpets and more the city was also famous for its blacksmith’s bukhara and knives were legendary for their extra sharp blades they were handy deterrence against bandit raids a common feature on any Silk Road expedition these would have fetched a princely sum back in those early days of global trade the traders have long stopped coming they’ve since been replaced by tourists one group of tourists in particular stand out are you and I got a good walk wait see do you know what I got to wear how it’s you [Laughter] since the launch of the belt and road initiative there’s been a surge in tourism in many ancient Silk Road cities all thanks to the Chinese who are promoting the Silk Road in earnest hey so your Mandarin is pretty good huh they walk way tank jongwan one side I see I see higher higher words like my mom – it’s chilly in here and the quando na bein my Mandarin is terrible oh so why did you study Mandarin a lot of tourists from China is coming and there are a few people who speak Chinese in Uzbekistan is studying Mandarin popular among your peers yes so a lot of people now are going to China to study and we have in Uzbekistan to Confucius University’s so where the people go and attend Chinese classes are there more Chinese tourists coming here now yes this last two three years like a lot of Chinese people are coming to this Pakistan because you know all the cities of Uzbekistan are very like ancient and they are in the Silk Route so that’s why they come here to visit so tourism dollars coming in from China that’s got to be good for you yes of course I can start my own business fantastic good luck with that thank you yeah right tourism is a major industry in Uzbekistan and it is not just young whose backs getting primed for the Chinese wave hi Camille nice to meet you nice to meet you welcome what a beautiful place you have thank you let me show you around oh I’d love to see the rest of it let me show you our beautiful 19th century dining room oh man this Wow so this is 19th century yeah this is original 19th century dining room it stayed untouched for more than hundred years so here always used to be parties who is the original owner of

this the house was built for each merchant he used to trade watches in cou look I’m sure you have to do some repair work from time to time to that but we are going to keep as it is so the people can feel the atmosphere nowadays a lot of business going on with Chinese companies and big companies small companies and of course when the people coming to work here they want to show the country where they’re working they will bring all like families and relatives and friends you know today we hear a lot about the New Silk Road in global media how has that impacted old Silk Road cities like bukhara sure I think that the more more and more people will come to the Bekaa Stan because it’s a more publicity about the Silk Road in the last three or four years because it’s a big publicity about the Silk Road about Rebecca Stan and more and more visitors from China visiting our country do you have plans to cater to the Chinese tours I think we will hire the person who will speak Chinese and we probably will translate our web page to the Chinese language China’s Silk Road is accelerating change in Central Asia and change has come not just from tourism alone Central Asia in the minds of the Chinese is the buckle of the belton road and many industries here are being transformed how important in Central Asia to the overall Belton Road initiative I think if we look at the map we can find out the importance of the Central Asia in API because it would be the first to stop for China to go out from China on the zone of the earth belt and also Central Asia region is a very very important area not only for Chinese economy especially for Chinese our security what’s best and I still need to was a very important country in Central Asia and also what’s biggest an has a breaking the relations with China and also post with Russia so I think it’ll be okay but very very important there is a more important dynamics for China’s washer and a regional peace and development it’s not just the ancient cities that are changing Tashkent the country’s capital is also getting a makeover I’m headed there on a high-speed train from tiny oasis town in the second century BC to Tashkent a thriving modern metropolis with two and a half million residents this place is now Central Asia’s biggest city there is a legend that Tashkent was halfway between China where all the silk was coming from and Europe its destination Tashkent is the seat of government and Soviet architecture is evident everywhere that’s because whose Becca Stein was part of the Soviet Union up until 1991 on that year the Soviet Union broke apart and Islam Karimov became president of the newly independent country but his rule of more than two decades was marred by allegations of corruption and human rights abuses activists were locked up whose becca stan was relatively closed to the rest of the world kerimov died in 2016 and now the new administration is trying to do things differently a five-year plan has been put in place to turbocharge the economy that has been stagnant for years now the excitement can even be felt in the marketplaces here at a carnival a man is about to lift the 300 kilogram camel with his teeth the strongman is ambitious so too is loose Becca stands new government [Applause]

the government announced its five-year plan in 2017 the plan is around five different areas and those areas of course are covering a wide range of issues starting from the political system reform and finishing with the economy social life and others are you confident it can be achieved of course I would be honest with you as a citizen of Uzbekistan two and a half years ago I wasn’t a member of the government yet but I was rather skeptical or cautious about whether we would be able to achieve all those goals but nowadays I’m very optimistic Pakistan today is conducting very serious reforms and I can even compare that with my Japanese or Chinese historical periods when they had the opening up so so we are in a quite historical moment right now the new plan together with China’s belt and Road initiative is expected to bring monumental changes to the country not only has the Uzbek government signed some 15 billion u.s. dollars worth of investment deals on jointly developing the country’s oil gas and uranium fields the two governments also agreed to cooperate in building railways road networks telecommunications infrastructure and industrial parks Chinese our major trade partner at the moment and of course when we are talking about investments especially foreign direct investments China is also number one whose Becca Stan has captured the world’s attention this is the largest underdeveloped Central Asia market in Central Asia still 70% of the investments go to Kazakhstan and being as Pakistan second with 16% but and nowadays Pakistan is becoming one of the big players because of the first of all we have the one of the biggest markets the most dense country in the region and with 32 million population of course it’s a big market for investors a few years ago foreign journalists like myself wouldn’t even have been allowed to work here but now the country is welcoming to both media and business you can feel it in the air the country is on the cusp of change and it’s an exciting time to be here I’m traveling on China’s Silk Road in Uzbekistan and this is the capital city Tashkent one major aspect of China Silk Road arts railroads China has built railways across the world and here in Uzbekistan yet another ambitious rail connection will soon be underway but before I head to the new railway there’s an old rail system I must see man look at this metro station whose Becca Stan has a proud history when it comes to railways this is the tashkent metro built by the soviets in 1977 it was Central Asia’s first urban rail line it still is one of the most stunning metros anywhere there are 29 stations each with its own unique architectural theme for a long time there was a photography ban on the secret railway stations that’s because they served another role as nuclear fallout shelters whose Becca stands metro stations were important military installations it was only in 2018 that the photography band got lifted allowing journalists like us to bring you these gorgeous images there’s one dedicated to cotton the country’s main export one to use Beck rulers of old and this one is dedicated to more otherworldly aspirations it’s the cosmonaut station celebrating space travel the stars and

everything celestial with an array of murals and glass and light shows that confound the mind here is a painting of Gagarin the first man in space and he was Russian this whole station feels very cool and dark and evokes this feeling like you’re in outer space the Russians did a decent job getting the city of Tashkent connected but it is the Chinese who helped connect with Beca Stan to the world news Beca Stan is one of two only double landlocked countries in the world do you know the second one say Kazakhstan no that’s Liechtenstein Europe okay and double and low country means that we have to pass the borders of at least two countries to reach the sea so all our neighbors are also landlocked countries and we are double and locked country so for us the logistics transport corridors these are very important that belton wrote initiative it basically focuses on reintroduction of all these you know connectivity between Europe Asia so that the goods can you know be easily transported from the Yellow Sea for example to the Europe and who’s Becky stan is just in the center of this route in September 2016 China inaugurated a railway line that runs through is becca stan to afghanistan and pakistan now it wants to build another line connecting who’s becca Stan to Kyrgyzstan and onwards to China the railway linking Kabul which is capital of Afghanistan and Peshawar which is in Pakistan and this will allow us to link the whole railway system of Central Asia CIS Europe with the South Asian railing railways Pakistan India and this will of course open enormous opportunities you know unprecedented opportunities for boosting trade between different regions of the world especially in the Eurasian continent this is what built an Road initiative is about then Uzbekistan will be fully plugged in ah of course I mean after that we will not be concerned so much about our double landlocked status and we will become like Liechtenstein these railway links will have a huge impact on industry and one industry is perfectly poised to prosper cotton from which these clothes are made is Uzbekistan’s third-largest export earner after natural gas and food agriculture the country is one of the world’s largest cotton producers cotton is so important here that it’s called white gold on any given month 3,000 tons of cotton gets exported from Tashkent ASEAN in China along the Silk Road that’s enough to make 10 million t-shirts to see how all this fashion is made I’ve come to one of the country’s largest textile companies check out all this cotton hi Omar hello I drink good good good to meet you so this is the factory huh yes and this is step one in the long journey from bloom to fabric whole purpose of the department is to clean the quarter so this machine is defined cleaning machine so it’d be like moving particles like maybe dead insects and dust yeah it it takes some black particles

blue rats the computer scans the cotton for these particles and they get mechanically extracted the next step is to comb the cotton Automation supercharges this otherwise tedious process finally clean this like as how you comb your hair okay so the fiber basically are formed in this machine and then finally you see a product this right here yeah because here we don’t have the twist in the fibers for the next process is where we make we go towards the spinning process we have they twist six slivers are twisted into one thread from start to finish it takes five days and involves many machines and hands and that’s just to make thread how much cotton does it take to make let’s say like your t-shirt no this okay now how has the belt road initiative how has that impacted your business the fashion industry is growing fast and in fact every industry is doing doing fast so everybody needs the the products in time so definitely better for the initiative it gives up great infrastructure for the producers to supplier to their guests Just In Time strategy so shortly it will reduce your capital investment over your stocks so you can make planning with lower stocks in your warehouse and get the products fresh products just in time if you are in the geographical position where your delivery times are more definitely you will attract less customers due to your delivery time even if you are producing very high quality the output in this goes back factory feeds China’s insatiable demand for cotton China remains the world’s biggest clothing exporter despite rising labor costs it’s the New Silk Road that’s helping China stay on top of the textile trade major brands require fashion to be fast which means that runway trends should be available in shops in less than a month as of 2017 about 90% of all fast fashion worldwide is transported by either see or rail and it’s the belt and Road in its opening up of new global links and appendages that’s helping suppliers cope with growing global demand it’s making it faster for cotton in Uzbekistan to wind up in China’s textile factories to be transformed into a piece of clothing and reach the stores you shop in nowadays even if you talk about the fashion industry it’s going very fast so everybody needs to have new things very fast and to react overall to display change the infrastructure is very important the New Silk Road will set up sweeping changes not just in the fashion business but across industries some trades are up for the chop this is tour su bazaar Tashkent best-known market the dome is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks an impressive setting for an equally impressive showcase of people and produce on the move look at all these carrots they even chopped it up for you – now that’s convenient see this looks like cheese right it’s actually blocks of cow fat the food here is intriguing but it’s in the fruit trade where the sweetest deals are being made many Chinese companies have stopped importing American fruits because of the us-china trade war many have turned to Central Asia to get insight I’m meeting with the man responsible for whose Becca Stan’s food exports you are see here we export to all over the world ok for example this premium class present we

export to China please try out sure oh yeah oh very nice do you like it it on yes but we have other fruits as well now we’ll go to fresh fruit stuff currently we are exporting fresh cherries to China ah ok and what other fruits and vegetables are you hoping to export as well was based on planning to have the permission of export to China for fresh produce like apricots fresh melons hmm and then I hope that by step we increase our fresh produce exports to China such as plums peaches whatever other fresh fruits that China Marx will like I hope we’ll export that is Russia your biggest customer yes Russia’s current our biggest customer but very soon we’ll access to China market China is ten times more bigger than Russia market is then the volume will be bigger than what currently we are exporting to Russia I see so you’re hoping to make China your biggest market then yes of the many facets discussed about the belt and Road initiative the focus on agriculture is often overlooked yet food security ranks high on any country’s agenda and China is no exception China is currently grappling with a daunting conundrum how to feed nearly one-fifth of the world’s population with less than 1/10 of its farmland for example the Chinese eat nearly three times as much meat as in 1990 to keep up with demand they have had to diversify food imports according to a Chinese national action plan under the belt and Road initiative provinces in western China will work with Central Asia and fruit grain and animal husbandry pros Becca Stan which depends on agriculture for about a quarter of all jobs the Chinese plan spells opportunity what is this this is Uzbekistani 1,000 years old oh wow it’s made of rice and tasty meat and carrots raisins you know this dish looks a lot like biryani yeah so I’m sure this recipe must have travelled along the ancient Silk Road yes it is a travel from who the central truth Becky Stan and you can find the plots with a different recipe in every province of Uzbekistan and also in different parts of the world for example in Turkey pilaf they have in Afghanistan well it looks very tasty and I’m starving so let’s go try it out yes so back to our earlier topic yes how has China’s belton Road initiative impacted the agriculture sector it is boosting our agriculture sector because the market is getting water and water and we’re importing from China new agricultural machinery the new innovations new seeds in new technologies coming from China from by using this one belt and one road strategy now our Chinese companies come here to is becca stan and investing in the agriculture business yes they are investing a lot they are investing in different parts of agricultural sector from seeding up to processing storage in logistic according to Xinhua news China’s total food imports amounted to 58 point two eight billion US dollars in 2017 the figure rises 25 percent year-on-year experts believe that if current growth rates continue China will become the world’s largest food importer Chinese companies have already been buying up land and water resources along with dairies and food processing factories across the world China’s big agriculture companies are jumping on the belt and Road bandwagon they speak enthusiastically of a Silk Road of cereals and a Silk Road dairy Alliance delete rashes from super sure numbers idea that up for me – gua ions how may know more suited up and returning a solution check out your children world Christians in the US and a father should shut up ha na Macedo key juncture it should all the championship Hashanah Judah wave in the wind okay da da da da da dum diggity dear bouquet juncture that should hold you guitar for me education Judah you mean Toyota Sienna father come your window should hold that you guys sit home for sure sure how do you control the temperature well me you’re super drummy the check

Australia who logical Fonzie comments or hotel a web in the windows we should do the show whole talk about you got a from the window Josh batteries yeah don’t be an astronaut you don’t charge oh that might see okay don’t you know mahadji going to Hajj to the country though sure you NATO yeah no shank Rita knows all about the core knee and toe kick and of Giglio the torch outdoors you or your horse ami ami with you mom don’t you care about that’s both impressive and scary so Shawn hi it’s Joe sound Paul you can’t the morning goes I got your money man you’ll meet with diet your meal so much I’m gonna pitch it off I guess the workers can’t slack off then huh ok ok you know there are over 1200 Chinese companies in Uzbekistan pang Chang is the largest of them all and their business extends way beyond agriculture they’ve also built 16 factories that are churning out shoes leather products water taps and ceramic tiles and we eat hot food anyways young ongoingly and pony do sometimes don’t get that John you go one joke much Ryan yeah this is one of sixteen factories that your company is built why is your company invested so much money here so now we’ll get spanked are we to me Auguste repeat so that’s the total time Julia she he come to me all the work packages know that you’re quitting your ship and to me all that feeling waiter not much it so naturally that John German team superfluous here found a device young to a waiver and rotation Johan so grateful to the question for although you know engine about – the Jung sang-soo Yahoo poison called a Japan I feel not only the soldiers that we talk about I owe you can use your parentage to leave Maya Lahan like what hold you to a family far away yet to Thailand UCLA that come from you Sulochana stop no matter what open ah here it is so what are they also ok so two young men you gonna use your people that’s your myself yeah I’m watching for you would see to that’s routine they don’t watch what I’m a concern from Hydrofarm silly how many employees are working here you go you’re eating something funny I’m going for my portfolio the average income in many factories in this country is about 150 US dollars and money twenty-five-year-old kamal can yar makes about double that amount after five years of work experience here at ping Chang me listen to your spoil em yeah um doc oh come on I’m guessing game team all of you two are the family nothing you can do or you can hug him alone there’s another benefit to working in pain Chang free child care [Applause] [Applause] so I said bah-bah-bah so Jesus had a shock oh wow it’s of four languages huh shut up how am i you’re so drunk a younger woman oh you mean it’s actually you prefer hi – hi how are you na ho Romania kasha you uncle Jaime frustrated humming hey also don’t meow for some jolly old the school was originally set up for the workers from China who relocated their families to his Becca Stan and had no local childcare option today this kindergarten is also popular amongst the locals it is initiatives like this that win hearts and minds on China’s Silk Road to thank the kids for their time I brought a special treat this is compliments of [Applause]

this is the Tashkent campus of the management Development Institute of Singapore the school was set up in 2007 today it caters to about 2,900 students so why did you choose to study here at this school personally I choose this University because of the variety of programs they offer this is the only place in was back east on to study risk and management that’s why I came here what do you think that was Pakistani economy is going I would say we entered a new phase in our development because for last like 20 25 years we’ve been looking for stability now we enter the phase when we want to see changes there are plenty of changes reforms in taxation system in financial systems now we trying to make our country even better to rice what are your thoughts on the belt and road initiative now I have some of my friends who who’s studying Chinese now and looking for partners in China already because when the initiative will start bringing this a new organization it will be very competitive and if you have now some one partner in China that will be great for example in other local universities people are or has already started learning Chinese Mandarin some of our students are right now started like working logistics and right now our university actually provide MBA program for supply chain management so I think it’s a good initiative for us the belton Road initiative was launched in 2013 initially it was Confucius Institutes funded by China that offered training opportunities related to the Bri now many independent and state-funded schools all over Central Asia are also tweaking their curriculum to support the needs of the Bri singaporean Andrew Chiu who heads the school has lived here the last three years so what do you think are the prospects of the uzbek economy who’s Becky Stein is a developing country it’s an economy that has a lot of potential for example in terms of tourism that’s an area with a huge potential to be tapped on but before they can do that for example they need to really improve the infrastructure they have to improve the processes they have to do this very quickly very systematically very methodically and over a very short timeframe one of the top tourism sites in Uzbekistan is Samar Khan and I’ve heard there is a huge belt and road initiative by China to help the Uzbek strap up their tourism infrastructure here but before I discover the details of this plan I need to understand the city’s history some Archon was a vital stop on the ancient Silk Road where Chinese traders met their Persian Arab and European counterparts but it wasn’t always fair trade legend has it that in the year 751 the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners here this led to the first paper meal being set up outside of China the invention then spread to the rest of the Islamic world and from there to Europe being a rich trading city it was also fought over by many powers it was conquered by genghis khan in 1220 and also at one time a Tang Dynasty Protectorate but it was team or one of Central Asia’s most famous historic figures who gave some mark on these magnificent buildings Timur claimed an empire of his own in the 14th century a territory that stretched from South Asia to the Middle East extending all the way from Delhi to Aleppo he slaughtered millions and sent the skilled artisans and craftsmen back to his capital here at some mark on today thousands still come to his tomb every year to pay their respects including that was Beck’s Special Forces it is believed that team was a great conquer died while on his way to wage war against the ming emperor in the year 1405 timor had gathered an army of 200,000 men to invade China the Timur was 69 years old already at the time and he never made it to the borders of China

nowadays it is the Chinese who come to see him and it’s not just the tourists a few blocks away from Tim Moore’s tomb Chinese architects are hard at work under the Bri Chinese urban planners are working to redesign Samar Khan and it will be paid for by the Chinese silk road fund choice of the tall bounnam poor where you should see this some typical Hana villages are in Selenia somehow shakily untie my beanie and there you go hung the Macario shitty my each so in the trenches evil that from Moodle you got maybe 30 ownership so in that easy short wheeler aren’t in studying in change to the Father but it’ll change the portrait the entrepot we fart Anjali and the molten someone hoodie that we teach you to do she did have a good shelter under the plan which was made in consultation with the Uzbek government the population of Samar Khan will be doubled to 1 million we had a summer intuition that woman she want an engine we was the peak of the time what yeah dear about whom should realize what I enter the parents of the children Django the mucho are you okay coach told her she can listen to any cost function pins in the Tamiya a union jumbo Khwaja the teens estancia Raja on the villa how we watch coach hire you and Chu I hope you me a gt2 marginal China and you me at City I call dances are here get her Josh over 2500 years ago some mark on was built on the riches of the old Silk Road now perhaps a renaissance is coming for Central Asia connected to China’s New Silk Road by a network of roads rails power grids oil pipelines and an array of projects this vast land of opportunity looks poised to reclaim its place at the center of global trade you