Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Economy sums up activities of free economic zones
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 29
By Fakhri Vakilov - Trend:
Uzbekistan is currently entering a new era of economic development with a wave of economic liberalization, Trend reports citing the press service of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Economy and Industry.
New mechanisms and tools are being developed and introduced to establish modern innovative production in Uzbekistan, to create an environment conducive to life, which will create the image of Uzbekistan in the international arena as an industrial country.
One of such mechanisms is the formation of free economic zones (FEZs), the functioning of which demonstrates the success of development of various sectors of economy in many countries of the world.
Free economic zones are the main platform for attracting investments and developing export potential.
The creation and development of free economic zones is also relevant for Uzbekistan. They can be considered as one of the ways to solve the country's economic problems and generate new ideas for introducing innovations into production processes.
To date, there are 22 FEZs in Uzbekistan, of which 11 are industrial zones, 8 pharmaceutical zones, 2 agricultural zones and 1 tourist zone.
Since 2010, 241 investment projects with a total value of $1.3 billion have been implemented in the FEZ of Uzbekistan since 2010. As a result of the implementation of these projects, 19,672 jobs were created. In addition, 442 projects with a total value of $2.1 billion are under implementation. As a result of the implementation of these projects, it is planned to create more than 35,000 new jobs.
In the near future, 90 projects will be implemented in the amount of $1.9 billion.
In addition, the Ministry said that new FEZs are created without conducting in-depth studies of the feasibility of placing investment projects, the availability and level of readiness of projects for implementation. The result is that today, out of 22 SEZs, production activities have begun at only 13 FEZs.
Of the 8 zones specializing in production of pharmaceutical products, investment projects have been implemented only in FEZ Kosonsoy-Farm, Sirdaryo-Farm and Boysun-Farm economic zones. In the newly created “Namangan”, “Termez” and “Andijon-farm” zones, potential investment projects only go through the development and examination stage.
To provide a developed road transport, engineering, communication and social infrastructure, 114 measures are planned for a total of $51.7 million.
To date, design estimates are being prepared, as well as the selection of contractors for the implementation of these measures.
Despite the fact that one of the tasks of the FEZ is development of exports and the organization of high-tech industries for deep processing of local raw materials, the analysis of the projects being implemented indicates that this task is insufficient.
Regarding industrial production, the share of industrial production of FEZ is less than 1 percent, and not more than 22 percent of manufactured products are exported from it. In foreign countries, export of products from these zones is 40-60 percent.
To increase the efficiency of the FEZ, increase their export opportunities, it is necessary to use the practice of foreign countries to transfer the function of directorate of the FEZ to foreign companies in countries that actively invest in this zone and have experience in developing and managing economic zones, the report said.
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