Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 13
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Most foreign investors regretted that they had invested in free economic zones (FEZ) of Uzbekistan, Spot.uz portal reported referring to the results of a study conducted by the Center for Development Strategy together with the Swiss Foundation PeaceNexus.
The study was conducted in the Angren and Navoi FEZs. Its results were presented at the round table by the national consultant of the project Ziyodullo Parpiev.
Field studies to identify problems in the economic, social and environmental areas of the FEZs had been conducted for two months.
The results of the study showed that the FEZs did not become the locomotives of industrial development in Uzbekistan, for their share in the total industrial production is negligible. Experts noted the weak cooperation between the FEZs, the lack of a single state structure responsible for coordinating the work.
Over the past two years, Uzbekistan has created 18 free economic zones. The first free economic zones were created in 2008-2013 - Navoi, Angren and Jizzakh. In total, there are 21 free economic zones in the country, nine of which are industrial, seven are pharmaceutical, two are agricultural, as well as on tourist, one transport and logistics, and one for the production of sports inventory.
Only 112 companies of 402 registered participants have started their activities. Such a large difference between the number of registered participants and actually operating enterprises is explained by the fact that many of the special economic zones are at the very beginning of their activities.
Uzbekistan has lost two positions and ranked 76th in the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2019 report.
The country ranks 12th in Starting a Business (11th in 2017), 134th in Dealing with Construction Permits (135th), 35th in Getting Electricity (27th), 71st in Registering Property (73rd), 60th in Getting Credit (55th), 64th in Protecting Minority Investors (62nd), 64th in Paying Taxes (78th), 165th in Trading Across Borders (168th), 41st in Enforcing Contracts (39th) and 91st in Resolving Insolvency (87th).
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