EBRD talks expansion into Uzbekistan’s regions (Exclusive)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Nov. 12
By Fakhri Vakilov - Trend:
The expansion into Uzbekistan’s regions is part of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s (EBRD) strategy for the Uzbekistan, a representative of EBRD told Trend in an interview.
Recently Trend reported that EBRD opened its second representative office in Uzbekistan in the city of Andijan.
“The EBRD opened the office in the Fergana Valley recognizing the area’s significant potential. The Andijan office will mainly be supporting local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through expert advising, training and a variety of financial tools,” the official added.
With regard to the reason of choosing Andijan as a location of the second office, EBRD representative noted that Andijan is one of the largest municipalities in east Uzbekistan.
“The Fergana Valley is the most densely populated part of Central Asia with almost 14 million inhabitants – almost 20 percent of the region’s population. It is home to multiple companies, especially SMEs”.
“It is too early to say about further expansion but all regions of Uzbekistan are already well covered from the Tashkent office: we have public and private sector projects in the West, East, North and South of the country,” the representative stated.
Furthermore, EBRD representative also talked participation in Uzbekistan’s renewable energy projects:
“The EBRD is a strong advocate and supporter of renewable energy. Up to 40 percent of the Bank’s investments anywhere will be “green” by end of 2020. In this respect the EBRD is engaged in energy sector reform dialogue in Uzbekistan, which also covers the renewables sector”.
Last year, the EBRD Board of Directors approved a new strategy for Uzbekistan, which defines the bank's priorities for the next five years.
Following the adoption of a new country strategy for Uzbekistan, in 2018 the EBRD signed 12 projects worth almost €400 million, a record level of business for the Bank in the country in a single year. Significant investments were made in the municipal and power infrastructure sectors, including the rehabilitation of water and wastewater infrastructure in the Fergana Valley, as well as in banking and industry.
This year, the EBRD has already invested almost €250 million into Uzbekistan's economy.
To date, the EBRD has invested €1.3 billion through 70 projects in the economy of Uzbekistan. Support of small businesses is particularly important as the country moves to reform its economy and strengthen its private sector.
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