BAKU, Azerbaijan, July 31
By Ilkin Seyfaddini - Trend:
The process of reforming has already been started in Uzbekistan and will bring a certain amount of positive outcomes which cannot be ignored, Consultant of Carnegie Moscow Center, Temur Umarov told Trend in an interview.
"Uzbekistan has a huge domestic market. For years artificial monopolies and import limitations did not lead to saturation of the market. Now the situation is changing. So, there always was potential in food and consumer goods manufacturing, especially after the announcement of the agrarian reform," Umarov noted.
According to him, the pandemic will make drug and medical equipment production of Uzbekistan even more interesting for the investors.
But, Umarov also noted that the second lockdown which has been extended to August 15, 2020 will make the economic consequences for Uzbekistan more tougher.
Increased government spending on coronavirus containment has expanded the budget deficit to 4.7 percent of GDP. The government established a $1 billion anti-crisis fund to increase social benefits for vulnerable groups of the society and launched a number of tax relief initiatives for key sectors of business that were heavily effected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Umarov noted.
Umarov also stressed the Uzbek government’s careful use of monetary instruments.
In April 2020 the Central Bank of Uzbekistan lowered its base rate from 16 percent to 15 percent and recommended that commercial banks restructure loans or provide loan relief to small and medium enterprises, said Consultant of Carnegie Moscow Center.
He noted that different institutions forecast a slight growth for Uzbek economy in 2020 (from one percent to 2.5 percent).
As Umarov said, in the years to come there also will be interest in healthcare, education, and tourism sectors.
"Although service industry accounts for little more than a third of the country’s GDP, there are spheres with high potential. Uzbekistan’s financial sector has shown the biggest growth rates in 2019, this was not possible without the liberalization of the foreign exchange market and reforms in banking sector. Another potentially big sector of economy is real estate, as the urban population in Uzbekistan is growing," Temur Umarov noted.
The Carnegie Moscow Center is a thinktank and research center that focuses on domestic and foreign policy, international relations, international security, and the economy. It is a regional affiliate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC and a nonprofit organization.
Carnegie Moscow Center is the number one think tank in Central and Eastern Europe and the 26th top think tank in the world, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Go To Think Tank Index.
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