Uzbekistan, officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world. Located in Central Asia, it is a secular, unitary constitutional republic, comprising 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, and a capital city.
Uzbekistan was, in ancient times, part of the predominantly Persian-speaking region of Transoxiana, with cities such as Samarkand growing rich from the Silk Road. The area was later conquered by a succession of invaders including the Arab Caliphate and Turkic states such as the Göktürk Khaganate, after which it was laid waste by the Mongols. The city of Shahrisabz was the birthplace of Timur. The region was conquered in the early 16th century by Eastern Turkic-speaking nomads, and was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century. In 1924, the constituent republic of the Soviet Union known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic (Uzbek SSR) was created. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991.
Uzbekistan’s economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. Despite the declared objective of transition to a market economy, its government continues to maintain economic controls which imports in favor of domestic “import substitution”.
Uzbekistan has GNI per capita (US$1,900 in current dollars in 2013, giving a PPP equivalent of US$3,800). In 2011, Uzbekistan was the world’s seventh-largest producer and fifth-largest exporter of cotton as well as the seventh-largest world producer of gold. It is also a regionally significant producer of natural gas, coal, copper, oil, silver and uranium.
Uzbekistan is a country with potential for an expanded tourism industry. Many of its Central Asian cities were main points of trade on the Silk Road, linking Eastern and Western civilizations. Today the museums of Uzbekistan store over two million artifacts, evidence of the unique historical, cultural and spiritual life of the Central Asian peoples that have lived in the region. Uzbekistan attracts tourists with its historical, archaeological, architectural and natural treasures. Cultural Tourism is the only major product Uzbekistan is providing to visitors since its independence. Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva are hot spots of tourism.Tourist activities in Uzbekistan range from outdoor activities, such as rock-climbing, to exploration of its rich archaeological and religious history.