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Uzbekistan: Investment Official Visits Projects

Washington, 26 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - The president of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Ruth Harkin, is in Tashkent today meeting with Uzbek President Islom Karimov, Prime Minister Otkir Sultonov, and National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity Chairman Rustam Azimov.

Harkin is visiting Uzbekistan through Saturday to check on American investment projects that her independent government agency has underwritten with insurance or financing. A spokeswoman in Washington says OPIC has provided $200 million in political risk insurance and financing for U.S. projects in Uzbekistan.

During her visit, Harkin will visit one of the projects -- a gold reclamation enterprise 480 kilometers west of Tashkent. Last summer, OPIC also signed protocols with two U.S. oil companies on the potential of developing Uzbekistan's gas industry, but no projects have yet been approved.