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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Department of State

Background Notes: Uzbekistan, September 1998

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Official Name: Republic of Uzbekistan

PROFILE

Geography

Area: 477,000 sq. km. (117,868 sq. mi.)--slightly larger than California.
Major cities: Capital--Tashkent (pop. 2.5 million); Samarkand (600,000); Bukhara (350,000). Terrain: Flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along Amu Darya, Syr Darya; shrinking Aral Sea; semiarid grasslands in east.
Climate: Mid-latitude desert--long, hot summers, mild winters.

People

Nationality: Uzbek.
Population (1998 est.): Approx. 24 million.
Annual growth rate: Approx. 1.87%.
Ethnic groups: Uzbek 71%, Russian 8%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 4%, Tatar 2%,Karakalpak 2%, others 8%.
Religion: Moslem 88% (Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%.
Language: Uzbek 74%, Russian 14%, Tajik 4%, other 8%. Uzbek is the state language; Russian is the de facto language of interethnic and business communication.
Education: Literacy--98% (total population).
Health (1996): Life expectancy--66 yr. men; 73 yr. women.
Work force (8.8 million): Agricultural and forestry--44%. Industry and construction--20%. Other--36%.

Government

Type: Republic.
Independence: September 1, 1991.
Constitution: December 8, 1992.
Branches: Executive--president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--Supreme Assembly (Oliy Majlis)-- unicameral (250 seats). Judiciary--Supreme Court, constitutional court, economic court.
Administrative subdivisions: 12, plus autonomous region of Karakalpakstan and city of Tashkent.
Political parties: People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (69 seats in Oliy Majlis); Justice Party (47 seats); Fatherland Progress Party (14 seats); National Rebirth Party (3 seats). Many legislators are not affiliated with any party.
Other political or pressure groups: Islamic Renaissance Party (effectively banned since independence); Birlik People's Movement and Erk Democratic Party (both de-registered 1992).
Suffrage: Universal at age 18 (unless imprisoned or certified as insane).
Defense: Total forces (army and air force) approximately 90,000. Universal 18-month military service for men.
Flag: Blue, white, and green horizontal bands separated by thin red lines; white crescent and 12 white stars representing 12 regions in upper left (on blue band).

Economy

GDP (1997/WB): $21.3 billion.
Annual growth rate (1997/IMF): 1.7%.
Per capita GDP (1997/IMF): $895.
Per capita GDP growth rate(1997/IMF): 0.
Natural resources: natural gas, oil, also large reserves of gold, copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, and uranium.
Agriculture: Products-Cotton, fourth-largest producer worldwide; vegetables, fruits, grain, livestock, and silkworm.
Industry: Types--Primarily chemical, based on by-products of cotton processing. Also automobiles, aircraft. Dependent for most industrial goods on other NIS countries.
Trade (1997): Total exports--approx. $4 billion: cotton fiber, gold, textiles, metallurgy, natural gas. Major markets--Russia, US, other NIS, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Turkey. Total imports--approx. $4.7 billion, 1997/IMF: machinery, food. Major partners--Russia, Korea, US, Germany, Japan, Turkey, NIS. (n.b.: Figures do not include informal or unrecorded trade). Principal U.S. exports--aircraft, tractors, agricultural/construction equipment, wheat. Principal U.S. imports--uranium, copper, cotton fiber. Debt--external: $2.3 billion ($510 million to Russia). Debt service/exports--14.4 % (1997/WB).

PEOPLE

Uzbekistan is Central Asia's most highly populated country. Its 24 million people, concentrated in the south and east of the country, are close to half the region's total population. Uzbekistan had been one of the poorest republics of the Soviet Union; much of its population was engaged in cotton farming in small rural communities. The population continues to be heavily rural and dependent on farming for its livelihood.

The predominant nationality is Uzbek. Other nationalities represented include Russians, 8% of the population, Tajiks 5%, Kazakhs 4%, Tatar 2%, Karakalpak 2%, and others 8% (1989 census). In terms of religion, the nation is 88% Sunni Moslem, 9% Eastern Orthodox, and 3% other. Uzbek is the official state language; however, Russian is the de facto language for interethnic communication, including day-to-day government and business use.

The educational system has achieved 98% literacy and the mean amount of schooling for both men and women is 11 years. However, due to budget constraints and other transition problems following the collapse of the Soviet Union, texts and other school supplies, teaching methods, curricula, and educational institutions are outdated, inappropriate, and poorly kept. Additionally, the proportion of school-aged persons enrolled has been dropping. While the government is concerned about this, budgets remain tight, and foreign aid for education has not been sufficient to compensate.

Similarly, in health care, life expectancy is long, but after the breakup of the Soviet Union, health care resources have declined, reducing health care quality, accessibility, and efficiency.

HISTORY

Located in the heart of Central Asia between the Amu Darya and Syr Darya Rivers, Uzbekistan has a long and interesting heritage. The leading cities of the famous Silk Road-- Samarkand, Bukhara, and Khiva--are located in Uzbekistan, and many famous conquerors passed through the land. Alexander the Great stopped near Samarkand on his way to India in 327 B.C. and married Roxanna, daughter of a local chieftain. Conquered by Muslim Arabs in the eigth century A.D., the indigenous Samanid dynasty established an empire in the 9th century. Its territory was overrun by Genghis Khan and his Mongols in 1220. In the 1300's, Timur, known in the west as Tamerlane, built an empire with its capital at Samarkand. Uzbekistan's most noted tourist sights date from the Timurid dynasty. Later, separate Muslim city-states emerged with strong ties to Persia.

Russian trade with this region grew during the 16th and 17th centuries and, in 1865, Russia occupied Tashkent. By the end of the 19th century, Russia has conquered all of Central Asia. During this time, hostilities between Russia and Great Britain were prevented by Afghanistan, which served as a buffer state between the two empires, and through an agreement that East Turkestan was to be under Chinese rule.

In 1876, the Russians dissolved the Khanate of Kokand, while allowing the Khanates of Khiva and Bukhara to remain as direct protectorates. Russia placed the rest of Central Asia under colonial administration, and invested in the development of Central Asia's infrastructure, promoting cotton growing, and encouraging settlement by Russian colonists.

In 1924, following the establishment of Soviet power, the Soviet Socialist Republic of Uzbekistan was founded from the territories of the Khanates of Bukhara and Khiva and portions of the Fergana Valley that had constituted the Khanate of Kokand.

During the Soviet era, Moscow used Uzbekistan for its tremendous cotton-growing and natural resource potential. The inefficient irrigation used to support the former has been the main cause of shrinkage of the Aral Sea to half its former volume, making this one of the world's most important environmental disasters.

Uzbekistan declared independence on September 1, 1991. Islam Karimov, former First Secretary of the Communist Party, was elected President in December 1991 with 88% of the vote; however, the election was not viewed as free or fair by foreign observers. Most government leaders are former Soviet or Communist officials; the dominant political party, the People's Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, is the former Communist Party.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS

Constitutionally, the government of Uzbekistan provides for separation of powers, freedom of speech, and representative government. In reality, the executive holds almost all power. The judiciary lacks independence and the legislature, which meets only a few days each year, has little power to shape laws. The President selects and replaces provincial governors. Under terms of a December 1995 referendum, Karimov's first term was extended to 2000 and he will be eligible to run for another five-year term then. Several political parties have been formed with government approval but have yet to show ability to or interest in advocating alternatives to government policy. Similarly, although multiple media outlets (radio, TV, newspaper) have been established, these either remain under government control, or rarely broach political topics.

Principal Government Officials (as of 6/30/98)

President--Islam Karimov
Prime Minister--Otkir Sultanov
First Deputy Prime Minister--Ismoil Jurabekov (Minister of Agriculture)

Deputy Prime Ministers

Bakhtiyor Hamidov--Macroeconomics and Statistics
Viktor Chzhen-Privatization
Kayim Hakkulov --Energy, Natural Resources; Chairman of the Board of "Uzbekneftegaz")
Dilbar Ghulomova-Women's Issues
Alisher Azizkhojayev-Science, Health, Social Welfare, Culture
Mirabror Usmonov-Trade, Communal Services
Rustam Yunosov--Transport, Construction
Lerik Akhmeton--Communications

Key Ministers

Hairulla Jurayev -Culture
Gen.-Lt. Hikmatulla Tursunov-Defense
Jura Yuldashev-Education
Bakhodir Kasymov--Emergency Situations
Jamsheed Sayfiddinov-Finance
Abdulaziz Kamilov--Foreign Affairs
Elyor Ghaniyev--Foreign Economic Relations
Shavkat Karimov-Health
Zokirjon Almatov--Internal Affairs
Sirojiddin Mirsafoyev-Justice
Okiljon Obidov-Labor
Bakhodir Umurzakov--Social Protection

Other Key Officials

Timur Alimov--Presidential Advisor, Organizational and Cadre Issues
Usmon C. Khudaikulov--Presidential Advisor, National Security
Vyacheslav Golyshev--Presidential Advisor, Social and Economic Policy
Alisher Fayzullaev--Presidential Advisor, Interstate and Foreign Economic Issues Rustam Azimov--Chairman, National Bank-Foreign Economics
Shadiatov Shoaziz Shamirzaevich--Director, Foreign Investment Agency
Fayzulla Mullajanov--Chairman, State Bank
Tulkin Shayakubov--Chairman, State Committee for Geology and Mineral Resources Rustam Inoyatov--Chairman, National Security Service
Mirakbar Rakhmonqulov--Secretary, National Security Council

Ambassador to the United States--Sadiq Safaev
Ambassador to the United Nations--Alisher Vohidov

The Republic of Uzbekistan maintains an embassy at 1746 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Tel.: (202) 887-5300; fax (202) 293-6804. Its consulate and mission to the U.N. in New York are located at 866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 326/327a, New York, N.Y. 10017. Consulate tel.: (212) 754-7403; fax: (212) 486-7998.

ECONOMY

Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan's economy was insulated from much of the economic decline that plagued most of the NIS because of its labor-intensive economy based on agriculture and mineral extraction. Rapid growth in oil and gas production allowed Uzbekistan to eliminate oil imports and increase gas exports. Additionally, Uzbekistan shifted some of its crop acreage from cotton to grains to approach grain self-sufficiency as well. However, this success has masked steep declines in some areas of industry.

GDP and Employment

GDP fell 18% from 1991-95, a remarkably good performance compared to the other countries in the NIS, and grew 1.6 % in 1996, but Uzbekistan avoided undertaking much of the systemic change that could serve as a basis for future growth. Government claims that GDP rose 5.2% in 1997, but the IMF estimates the growth at 1.7%. Official unemployment stood at 0.4% in 1996, but effective unemployment is estimated at 5%, and another 10% are underemployed in the agricultural sector.

Prices; Monetary /Fiscal Policy

Uzbekistan's inflation averaged nearly 1,000% p.a. in 1992-94, peaking at 1,281% in 1994 (12 month change in CPI). Following introduction in July 1994 of the national currency, the soum, however, the government undertook stabilization and economic reforms supported by an IMF Systemic Transformation Facility. These brought inflation down to 117% in 1995, 64% in 1996, and 45% in 1997. Annual growth in money supply (M2) fell progressively from 680% in 1994 to 158% in 1995, 100% in 1996, and an estimated 70% in 1997. The later reductions would have been sharper but for a surge in government credit at the end of 1996 to finance the cotton harvest and pay pension and wage arrears.

Also at the end of 1996, the government instituted currency convertibility restrictions which have resulted in widely divergent official and market exchange rates: the average soum/dollar rate in 1997 was 79.3 at the Central Bank and 177.5 on the parallel market. The IMF's standby facility was suspended in October 1996 due primarily to the restrictions on currency convertibility.

Uzbekistan has a strong tax collections system but has had some difficulty in controlling expenditures, estimated at 34% of GDP in 1997. While the government succeeded in reducing its budget deficit from 10.4% of GDP in 1993 to 4.1% in 1995, the deficit ballooned to 7.3% in 1996. Renewed austerity brought the deficit to an estimated 3.9% of GDP in 1997, although much GOU spending remains off-budget. External debt has grown rapidly, but remains modest at approximately $2.3 billion, and debt/GDP has declined since 1994. Debt service/exports was 14.4% at year-end 1997.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Agriculture and the agro-industrial sector contribute over 40% to Uzbekistan's economy. Cotton is Uzbekistan's dominant crop; it is the world's fourth largest producer and second largest exporter, accounting for roughly 45% of the country's exports (gold is second at 22%). It also produces significant amounts of silk, fruits, and vegetables. In recent years, Uzbekistan has switched some territory from cotton to grains in an effort to achieve self-sufficiency in the latter. Virtually all agriculture involves heavy irrigation. Agriculture faces intense competition from other states in the region, and agricultural workers receive very low wages.

Minerals and mining are another foundation of Uzbekistan's economy. Gold is most prominent; Uzbekistan is the world's seventh largest producer, about 80 tons p.a., and holds the fourth largest reserves. Uzbekistan has an abundance of natural gas, used both for domestic consumption and export; oil almost sufficient for domestic needs; and exportable reserves of copper, lead, zinc, tungsten, and uranium.

Trade and Investment

While exports and imports have both grown rapidly since independence, imports have grown faster and have left the country with a large current account deficit. In the face of this, Uzbekistan has adopted a policy of import substitution, reflected for example, in its strong focus on increased wheat and oil and gas production. However, much of the import growth has been in capital equipment related to investment projects. Currency convertibility restrictions have severely constrained trade and new investment.

Uzbekistan's traditional "trade" partners are NIS states, notably Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the other Central Asian countries. Non-NIS partners have been increasing in importance in recent years, with the U.S., Korea, Germany, Japan, and Turkey being the most active.

Uzbekistan is a member of the IMF, World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. It has observer status at the World Trade Organization, and is a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization. It is a signatory to the Convention on Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States, the Paris Convention on Industrial Property, the Madrid Agreement on Trademarks Protection, and the Patent Cooperation Treaty. The government states it is in process of acceding to the Bern Copyright Convention and Geneva Phonogram Convention. Uzbekistan has patent, copyright, and trademark laws dating from 1996.

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Uzbekistan joined the Commonwealth of Independent States in December 1991 and has supported economic ties within this bloc. However, it is opposed to re-integration and has rejected any CIS collective security arrangement or political organization. It participates in the CIS peacekeeping force in Tajikistan and in UN-organized groups to help resolve the Tajik and Afghan conflicts, both of which it sees as posing threats to its own stability. It is a member of the United Nations, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Partnership for Peace, and the Organization on Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It belongs to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (comprised of the five Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan). It is a founding member of the Central Asian Union, formed with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, and joined in March 1998 by Tajikistan.

DEFENSE

Uzbekistan's military is sizeable, with total forces of close to 100,000, but lacks sophisticated training and modern equipment. It spent approximately 3.7% of its GDP on the military in 1996. It has accepted the arms control obligations of the former Soviet Union and has acceded to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapons state. It is a contributor to the Central Asian Peacekeeping Battalion with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, which the U.S. has supported.

U.S.-UZBEK RELATIONS

The U.S. recognized the independence of Uzbekistan on December 25, 1991, and opened an embassy in Tashkent in March 1992.

The U.S. believes that its own interests will best be served by development of an independent, stable, prosperous, and democratic Central Asia. As the most populous country in Central Asia and the only one that borders all the others, Uzbekistan plays a pivotal role in the region. The United States accordingly has developed a broad relationship covering political, military, nonproliferation, economic, trade, assistance and related issues. This has been institutionalized through the establishment of the U.S.-Uzbekistan Joint Commission, which held its first meeting in February 1998.

Uzbekistan has been a strong partner of the United States on foreign policy and security issues ranging from Iraq to Cuba, nuclear proliferation to narcotics trafficking. It has sought active participation in Western security initiatives under the Partnership for Peace, OSCE, and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Uzbekistan views its American ties as balancing regional influences, helping Uzbekistan assert its own regional role, and encouraging foreign investment. The United States, in turn, values Uzbekistan as a stable, moderate force in a turbulent region; a market for U.S. exports; a producer of important resources (gold, uranium, natural gas); and a regional hub for pipelines, transportation, communications, and other infrastructure in which U.S. firms seek a leading role.

The United States urges greater reform as necessary for long-term stability and prosperity. Registration of independent political parties and human rights NGOs would be an important step. Enforcement of constitutional safeguards ensuring personal, religious, and press freedom and civil liberties is also needed. Additionally, the U.S. urges continued support of UN peace efforts in Tajikistan and Afghanistan and neutrality toward the Afghan factions.

Bilateral Economic Relations

Trade and investment. Between 1992 and 1996, United States' trade and investment with Uzbekistan grew rapidly. U.S. exports reached $352 million in 1996, concentrated in passenger aircraft, wheat, and agricultural machinery. U.S. imports from Uzbekistan reached $157 million in 1996. Both fell sharply in 1997, reflecting in part Uzbekistan's currency convertibility restrictions (enacted in late 1996); U.S. exports to Uzbekistan were $234 million, while U.S. imports were $39 million.

Nonetheless, Uzbekistan's large consumer market, educated workforce, and potential as a production/distribution base for goods for the region warrant U.S. interest. Trade relations are regulated by a bilateral trade agreement, which entered into force January 14, 1994. It provides for extension of most favored nation trade status between the two countries. The U.S. additionally granted Uzbekistan exemption from many U.S. import tariffs under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP status) on August 17, 1994. A Bilateral Investment Treaty was signed December 16, 1994; it has been ratified by Uzbekistan, but is still awaiting U.S. Senate ratification. The U.S.-Uzbekistan civil aviation agreement, signed February 27, 1998, which provides for "Open Skies," offers potential for greatly expanded air transport by U.S. carriers to the region.

Assistance. Between 1992 and 1998, the United States has provided roughly $144 million in humanitarian aid, technical assistance, and investment support in Uzbekistan. These programs were designed to promote market reform and to establish a foundation for an open, prosperous, democratic society.

--USAID provides both technical and humanitarian assistance. Technical assistance to Uzbekistan promotes sound fiscal and management policies, improved private business operations, a competitive private sector, citizens participation in political and economic decision-making, improved sustainability of social benefits and services, private investment in the energy sector, reduced environmental risks to public health, and other multi-sector reform programs.
Programs include business training, subsidies for business development, environmental and science education, and environmental preservation programs. The latter includes the Aral Sea/ Regional Water Cooperation program involving the ICKKU, the establishment of water users' associations, waste minimization demonstration programs, and the National Environmental Action Plan. Humanitarian assistance is primarily in the health sector, to alleviate effects of the Aral Sea ecological disaster.
--Peace Corps staff arrived in Uzbekistan in August, 1992, and a bilateral agreement to establish Peace Corps in Uzbekistan was signed November 4, 1992. The first volunteers arrived in December, 1992. As of May 1998, there were 55 volunteers working in education and small business development. Peace Corps also plans to start a program in health care.
-- The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps fund feasibility studies by U.S. firms and provides other planning services related to major projects in developing countries including Uzbekistan. TDA sponsored a May 1998 conference of all the Central Asian states concerning business development and expansion in the region.
--USIA exchange programs, farmer-to-farmer exchanges, and the Department of Commerce's SABIT Business Internship Program contribute to expansion of technical know-how and support bilateral relations. The U.S. also provides export finance/guarantees and political risk insurance for U.S. exporters and investors through the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC).

Principal U.S. Embassy Officials

Ambassador--Joseph A. Presel
Secretary--Michelle R. Donnelly
Deputy Chief of Mission--Joseph Limprecht
Political/Economic Officer--John Fox
SCO/FCS--Jack Tucker
Administrative Officer--David Ball
Public Affairs Officer/USIS--Karen Aguilar
Consul--Steven Giegerich
DAO--LTC Anthony Neal

U.S. Agency for International Development--Theresa Ware
Peace Corps-- Lawrence Leahy

The U.S. Embassy in Tashkent is at 82 Chilanzarskaya; tel. [998] (71) 120-5450; fax: [998] (71) 120-6335; duty officer (cellular): [998] (71) 180-4060.

The Foreign Commercial Service, U.S. Information Service, and U.S. Agency for International Development are at the Sharq Building, 41 Buyuk Turon St. FCS tel.: [998] (71) 120-6705 or 6706, 133-2880, 1870 or 0597; fax: 120-6692. USIS: [998] (71) 133-7096, 3581, or 5974; fax: 120-6224; duty officer (cellular): 180-4087. USAID tel.: [998] (71) 133-1852, 1797, or 7656; fax: 120-6309. Peace Corps is at 2 Sapernaya St. 63/65; tel.: [998] (71) 54-92-96, 54-94-84, or 54-96-60; fax: 54-98-50; duty officer (cellular): [998] (71) 180-4093.

Until March 1, 1999, a dual country/area code system is in effect, allowing use of the former country/area codes. For Tashkent, this was [7] (3712) for six-digit numbers and [7] (371) for seven-digit numbers.

TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION

The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all countries and include information on immigration practices, currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB). To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100. The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower case is required). The CABB also carries international security information from the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.

Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.

Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648)

Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at (404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.

Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal Government Officials" listing in this publication).

U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country (see "Principal U.S. Embassy Officials" listing in this publication). This may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.

Further Electronic Information:

Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet, DOSFAN provides timely, global access to official U.S. foreign policy information. Updated daily, DOSFAN includes Background Notes; Dispatch, the official magazine of U.S. foreign policy; daily press briefings; Country Commercial Guides; directories of key officers of foreign service posts; etc. DOSFAN's World Wide Web site is at http://1997-2001.state.gov.

U.S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM (USFAC). Published annually by the U.S. Department of State, USFAC archives information on the Department of State Foreign Affairs Network, and includes an array of official foreign policy information from 1990 to the present. Contact the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. To order, call (202) 512-1800 or fax (202) 512-2250.

National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the NTDB contains a wealth of trade-related information. It is available on the Internet (www.stat-usa.gov) and on CD-ROM. Call the NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.

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