US Department of State requests funds to support agricultural reforms in Uzbekistan

Business Materials 20 January 2020 11:19 (UTC +04:00)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.20

By Ilkin Seyfaddini – Trend:

The U.S. Congressional Research Service has published a report with assessments of reforms in Uzbekistan, Trend reports via the country's Uzbek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the document, from the beginning, Administration of US President Donald Trump has expressed strong support for Uzbekistan's efforts to implement reforms.

The report says that the U.S. assistance to Uzbekistan is aimed at supporting reforms in the country, promoting the rule of law and further economic development, including the diversification of agriculture through the use of American technologies. The assistance is also intended to improve border control in order to ensure security and regional stability.

It is also noted that US State Department requested $14.4 million for Uzbekistan for 2020, compared to $10.6 million in 2017. The trade turnover between the two countries more than doubled in 2017-2018 (from about $150 million to $300 million).

The U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross believes that "there are significant opportunities to strengthen trade and economic ties."

Regarding economic liberalization, Uzbekistan has implemented reforms aimed at reducing the role of the state in favor of the private sector and attracting large foreign investments. The government gives priority to improving the business environment in the country and optimizing public administration. The World Bank assessed Uzbekistan's "significant progress" in implementing economic reforms.

In 2017, the government eased up the currency controls and liberalized monetary policy, removing a major obstacle to foreign investment and privatization.

Role of the parliament in Uzbekistan has significantly expanded, the elections were held in an atmosphere of unprecedented openness and interaction with voters, more than half of new deputies were elected for the first time, the number of women in the country's parliament has increased to 48.

The reform program in Uzbekistan attracts interest and support from the US Congress, as these efforts improve the human rights situation in the country, open up new economic opportunities and position Uzbekistan as a partner of the US in the development of regional cooperation and security. The restoration of relations with neighbors helps to improve regional dynamics and integration in Central Asia, which is a priority of US policy.

"President Shavkat Mirziyoyev wants Uzbekistan to become a prosperous modern state – an example for the region - with a government that is accountable to its citizens and respects their rights, with constructive relations with its neighbors, and with an open economy that welcomes and protects foreign investment. None of these reforms will be easy, but they are all necessary, and the United States strongly supports them," said Alice Wells, the Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.