Uzbekistan: Clinton Visits GM Plant; Activists Say Workers Forced to Pick Cotton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toured the General Motors plant in Tashkent while visiting Uzbekistan this past weekend, plugging Washington's promise of prosperity for the region as a new "Silk Road" emerges alongside the Northern Distribution Network (NDN) supplying US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
"GM’s presence here in Uzbekistan adds to our efforts to build closer economic connections between ourselves and the countries of South and Central Asia," Clinton said yesterday in a speech from the shop floor.
The plant is a joint venture by GM, Daewoo and the Uzbek state company UzAvtosanaot (GM owns 25 percent, the Uzbeks 75 percent) and employs about 6,600 people and produces about 250,000 vehicles a year. Clinton enthused about the operation as a "symbol of friendship and cooperation," even offering US support for $20,000 prizes for eight Uzbek entrepreneurs:
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