European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) brings its vast experience gained over the last two decades on developing and supporting Foreign Investors Councils/Investment Councils to over ten of the countries of operations, and now to Uzbekistan, EBRD’s representative told Trend in an interview.
The Foreign Investors Council (FIC) under Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was formally established with the issuance of the Presidential Decree on 13 November 2019.
“In Uzbekistan, FIC is a flagship reform platform encouraging an open exchange amongst the Uzbek authorities, the investor community and the FICs, authorized to propose practical solutions to be endorsed by the authorities to improve Uzbekistan’s attractiveness as investment destination and good place to do business,” the official added.
The representative stated that EBRD is a permanent FIC member and member of the FIC’s Executive Committee.
Following the adoption of a new country strategy for Uzbekistan, EBRD signed 12 projects worth almost €400 million in 2018, a record level of business for the Bank in the country in a single year.
“We resumed our activity in the country in late 2017 and our level of investment reflects the demand both from Uzbekistan’s public and private sectors for our financing. Our signed commitments for 2019 stand at 475 million euros marking a 20 percent increase from last year. This is underpinned by the reform drive initiated by the authorities and our commitment to support Uzbekistan’s transition,” EBRD representative stated.
Last year, the EBRD Board of Directors approved a new strategy for Uzbekistan, which defines the bank’s priorities for the next five years.
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.