Swiss company official: barriers impeding Uzbek business being removed (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 26
By Fakhri Vakilov - Trend:
Uzbekistan has embarked on a path of comprehensive social and economic reforms, Group Secretary and General Counsel of the Swiss company Rieter, Thomas Anwander told Trend in an interview.
"Uzbek Government shows strong political will and commitment towards liberalizing the economy and taking Uzbekistan to a new level of development," Anwander said.
He added that Rieter has been closely following the reforms in Uzbekistan, and fully supports newly formulated tax and customs policies, currency liberalization and other important measures.
"We can see that previous barriers that have been impeding business are now being removed," Anwander stated.
Group Secretary and General Counsel noted that Uzbekistan has a number of factors that make the country attractive for foreign investors, some of which include ample natural resources, stable infrastructure, abundant workforce and low utility costs.
"Due to ongoing reforms, we see constant changes in national legislation that happen exceptionally fast. However we believe that this phenomenon is of temporary nature and will no longer be a challenge once the country overcomes the transition period," Anwander said, while answering the question on problems in the Uzbek industry sector.
He noted that despite the efforts of the country to switch from export of raw material to manufacturing and export of finished goods, the processing levels remain insufficient. Another challenge lies in the geographical location of Uzbekistan, which is one of the two countries in the world which is double-landlocked.
"Current reforms are a turning point in development of the country. It would be beneficial to define measures and implement them in a systemic way by involving international experts and foreign investors," he said.
Finally, Anwander stated that one of the ways to resolve the challenge of insufficient local manufacturing would be to increase public investments into fundamental (basic) industries and infrastructure throughout the country.
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