Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 20
By Fakhri Vakilov – Trend:
Uzbekistan has the potential to become an upper middle-income country by 2030 – a goal that the government is pursuing, a representative of the World Bank told Trend in an interview.
It was noted that Uzbekistan is making strong progress in implementing an ambitious economic and social reforms agenda to support development of the country and build opportunities for its citizens. The World Bank Group is committed to continue supporting the country’s reforms by providing financial and technical assistance.
“During the past two years, Uzbekistan has taken serious efforts to liberalize the economy which include eliminating control over of foreign exchange and lifting the trade and investment barriers. These steps increase the country’s attractiveness for foreign investors,” the WB representative said.
Answering the question on the participation of WB in construction of a new railway connecting Afghanistan and Pakistan, the representative stated that there is currently no financing agreement to support Uzbekistan in the construction of this railway.
It was said that the World Bank is working closely with governments in Central and South Asia to identify cross-border investment opportunities in transport, energy, and digital connectivity to facilitate trade relations and improve living conditions in the region.
The World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of financing and knowledge for developing countries. Its mission is to reduce poverty, increase shared prosperity, and promote sustainable development.
As of April 2019, the World Bank portfolio in Uzbekistan consists of 20 projects, with net commitments totaling $3.52 billion in water, agriculture, transport, energy, education, health, and urban development. The Bank’s country program is among the three largest in the Europe and Central Asia region, along with Turkey and Kazakhstan.
WB stressed that over the next several years, it will provide financial and technical assistance to sustain the government’s efforts in the following areas; the country’s sustainable transformation to a market economy; reform of state institutions and greater citizen engagement; and investments in human capital, including the development of the health and education sectors.
Earlier Trend reported that Uzbekistan plans to involve the World Bank in construction of a new railway through Afghanistan,
In December 2018, a protocol was signed on the creation of a joint working group and a financial consortium to build a railway in Afghanistan with a length of 573 kilometers. Participants in the new railway project in Afghanistan will create a financial consortium.
It is assumed that annually up to 20 million tons of cargo will be transported through the section.
Follow author on Twitter:@vakilovfaxri