DIRECTOR OF THE INVESTMENT PROMOTION AGENCY OF UZBEKISTAN
PPPs & Privatization I Interview I Uzbekistan 2023
_BIOGRAPHY He was appointed to his current position in February 2023. Previously he worked as Deputy Director of the Center for the Development of Investment Projects under the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“NOT ONLY IS UZBEKISTAN THE FASTEST GROWING COUNTRY IN CENTRAL ASIA, BUT IT IS ALSO BECOMING THE MOST ATTRACTIVE FDI DESTINATION IN THE REGION, WITH RECORD-BREAKING INVESTMENTS.”
WHAT IS BEING DONE TO POSITION THE AGENCY AS A THE PARTNER OF CHOICE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS?
The President of Uzbekistan H.E. Shavkat Mirziyoyev has initiated a new pace of administrative reform to ensure qualitative implementation of all undertaken transformations in social, political, and economic areas. This reform has also reflected on the Agency, whose main tasks are the promotion of investment and building awareness of the competitive advantages of investing in Uzbekistan among the international business community.
The Agency plays an important role as a single window for all interested investors and partners by providing them with value proposals based on the sectorial and regional potentials and advantages, information on incentives provided by the government, liaison with the governmental offices and regional authorities, and accompanying and expediting investors until the projects launch.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN OBJECTIVES IN TERMS OF FDI ATTRACTION?
Within the framework of the Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, further reforms will be conducted to achieve 100 strategic goals, including doubling GDP, raising industrial production by 1.4 times, and increasing the export volume up to U$30 billion. It is planned to attract U$120 billion of investments to the economy, including FDIs worth U$70 billion. The aim is also to attract U$14 billion of investments in energy sector, transport, healthcare, education, environment protection, communal services, water management, and other sectors based on public-private partnerships.
The Agency recognizes that FDI attraction requires continuous work on improvement of investment climate, institutional development, and governance. Therefore, numerous reforms were undertaken in the past five years to facilitate doing business in Uzbekistan, such as strengthening the legal framework of investment activities, digitalizing the processes of licensing and giving permits, launching a visa-free regime for over 90 countries and an e-visa system for more than 70 countries, and introducing a new Tax Code that improved general tax administration.
The Agency continues to introduce corporate governance in state-owned enterprises, which makes it possible to boost Uzbek capital market and make companies more attractive for both direct and portfolio investors.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR MESSAGE TO FOREIGN INVESTORS INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING OF UZBEKISTAN'S GROWTH?
Foreign investors interested in participating in Uzbekistan's growth should not be late, as Uzbekistan provides great business opportunities. Uzbekistan is reopening, and the Agency is ready to support investors on that journey. Uzbekistan's main asset is its young, educated, talented population, and it provides prospects in various sectors, such as agriculture and food processing, textile industry and garment, manufacturing and machinery, mining and strategic commodities, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, electronics and IT, and many more.
The World Bank defined renewable energy, electronics, banking and packaging materials sectors as "ready-to-go" sectors and pharmaceutical, industrial machinery, footwear & leather, pesticides & fertilizers, software & IT services, agriculture, and oil & gas processing sectors as "aspirational" sectors. The Uzbek economy is not just a 72 million people of Central Asia, but more than 260 million markets beyond the region. Uzbekistan has free trade agreements with CIS countries and recently joined the GSP+ agreement with the EU.
Moreover, Uzbekistan continues to expand its physical infrastructure through many large-scale modernization and rehabilitation projects. Depending on the amount of investments, enterprises are exempted from property tax, land tax, and taxes for water resources use. Companies are also exempted from customs duties on imported equipment and raw materials. There are more than 20 special economic zones created in Uzbekistan waiting for their small- and large-scale business residents. Invest in Uzbekistan and be part of the country's growth and development.