The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan commented on the proposed amendments to the legislation related to mandatory membership in the CCI.
It is indicated that in Article 17 of the Law “On the Chamber of Commerce and Industry” only mandatory membership of large business entities is assumed. In practice, this is the way the rule of law is implemented. Only 218 of the 2,313 existing entities have become mandatory members of the chamber, the majority of which have a state share.
According to Article 5 of the Law “On guarantees of freedom of entrepreneurship”, small businesses are individual entrepreneurs’ micro-firms and small enterprises.
According to Article 3 of the same law, entrepreneurship is an initiative activity, carried out by business entities at their own risk and under their property liability. From this it follows that the above small businesses are also representatives of private entrepreneurship, but the Law provides for voluntary membership for them.
The CCI noted that the establishment of partial mandatory membership in the chamber does not contradict the Constitution and other laws regulating the activities of NGOs. Since the issue of membership in the CCI is regulated by a special law, partial mandatory membership does not contradict Article 2 of the law on voluntary association in NGOs.
The exclusion of the words “and private entrepreneurship” from it will expand the possibilities of attracting only large business entities to membership, and “for small businesses it remains voluntary”, the CCI emphasized.
According to the organization, to date, 20,321 business entities are members of the chamber (only 4,575 of them paid a membership fee in 2019), of which 15978 are individual entrepreneurs, 218 are large business entities and 4,125 are other legal entities.
Considering that over 663,270 business entities operate in the country, it turns out that only 3.1 percent are members of the chamber.