World Bank Group proposes strategy for modernizing Uzbek economy
Baku, Azerbaijan, February 19
By Fakhri Vakilov - Trend:
New joint study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank states that Uzbekistan can provide an export-oriented economy with the leading role of the private sector, Trend reports via Uzbek media.
This can be achieved by reforming and modernizing promising sectors of the national economy, including the sector of civil aviation, information and communication technologies (ICT), the chemical industry and fruit and vegetable production.
Diagnostics (comprehensive analysis) of the private sector in Uzbekistan, which for the first time jointly conducted in Uzbekistan by the World Bank and IFC, offers a strategy for creating markets in these sectors that have significant needs for modernization and investment.
The report “Creating Markets in Uzbekistan”, prepared in close cooperation with public and private sector stakeholders, emphasizes that in order to attract investment in these sectors, where state-owned enterprises currently dominate, systemic reforms will be needed to develop the regulatory framework, increasing competition and improving the efficiency of these enterprises, as well as strengthening the management capacity of government in these sectors.
Uzbekistan has long remained a country with a centrally planned economy. The situation began to change significantly since 2016, when the course was set for a more open, integrated and export-oriented economy, as well as the implementation of reforms aimed at supporting private sector by the state.
“Systematic reforms, improving infrastructure and strengthening the role of private sector in combination with the richness of natural resources, favorable climatic conditions and strategic location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia will help Uzbekistan to become a regional center for trade and investment,” Vice President of IFC for Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe and Central Asia, Georgina Baker said.
The study recommends complementing the transformation processes of the above sectors with macroeconomic reforms in the country. This will allow Uzbekistan to overcome difficulties in economic development issues related to employment, as well as an increase in private enterprises, exports and energy efficiency.
“The World Bank Group is ready to assist Uzbek Government in eliminating barriers that prevent various industries from maximizing their economic potential. The financial and advisory support of the World Bank Group will be aimed at deepening the government reforms in order to stimulate investment and modernize the Uzbek economy,” the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia, Lilia Burunciuc noted.
The study also identified other industries with significant potential for creating sustainable and well-paying jobs, as well as accelerating development in Uzbekistan, including transport infrastructure, banking and financial services, tourism, retail chains and food production.
Diagnostics of country’s private sector is a comprehensive analysis and offers solutions to stimulate the involvement of private sector in economic development issues.
Diagnostics was previously conducted by the World Bank together with IFC, in Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Guinea, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, in the South Africa and Tunisia.
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