MINISTER OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES
Industry & ICT I Leader I Uzbekistan 2023
_BIOGRAPHY He was born in 1977 and graduated from Tashkent State Technical University and Yale University (usa). Previously, he was the First Deputy Minister for the Development of IT and Communications. He was also the rector of Inha University in Tashkent. He also worked at the State Committee for Communications, Informatization and Telecommunication Technologies.
“UZBEKISTAN IS A PLATFORM FOR LEADING IT AND OUTSOURCING COMPANIES WITH A FREE TAX REGIME AND SKILLED HUMAN CAPITAL AND RESOURCES. COMPANIES CAN INCREASE THEIR INCOME AND SERVICES AND OPTIMIZE COSTS.”
WHAT ARE THE KEY INITIATIVES TO TRANSFORM THE ICT SECTOR INTO ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST SUCCESSFUL?
The ICT sector is actively supported by the Government. In 2019, at the initiative of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the first Technological Park of Software Products and Information Technologies (IT Park) was created in cooperation with STPI (India). It will create favorable conditions for the development of IT entrepreneurship, a startup ecosystem, digital literacy, and IT culture.
Residents have received many tax benefits and customs preferences such as full exemption of corporate taxes, and exemption of customs duties for import of hardware for own needs, among others. An IT-Visa has been introduced with multiple entry visas for foreign citizens with the possibility of obtaining a residence permit in a simplified manner. We have launched the "Virtual Office" service that allows residents to work remotely and established a single data processing center of the E-Government system.
The IT Park can be called a startup on a national scale. It is an innovative cluster that includes 205 IT centers on the territory of the republic (each region of the country has its own center), which has already trained more than 110 thousand people. It offers incubation and acceleration programs for start-ups, where more than 100 participating projects received investments in the total amount of U$10 million. To date, 10 branches of IT Park are already operating in the country, which have co-working zones, IT laboratories, and other necessary conditions. Until 2024, it is planned to open such branches in all regions of the country.
Thanks to the conditions created in the country for IT companies, today more than 1,000 companies that operate in the field of software development, business process, and knowledge outsourcing services (BPO & KPO), as well as IT education are residents of IT Park. To form a digital ecosystem, by the end of this year, it is planned to bring the level of coverage of settlements with a broadband mobile communication network to 98%, and the level of coverage of fiber optic communication lines to 80% by building 40,000km of fiber optic communication lines and creating the possibility of connecting an additional 800,000 households to high-speed internet. Only in the last two years, significant work has been carried out to support the development and create favorable conditions for the telecommunications sector by providing various benefits and preferences in telecom operators.
HOW IS UZBEKISTAN BEING POSITIONED AS A COMPETITIVE MARKET FOR THE OUTSOURCING INDUSTRY?
All the necessary conditions are being created to position Uzbekistan as a new market for outsourcing. These include legislation that meets international standards, modern infrastructure, benefits, and education. We pay special attention to the training of highly qualified specialists and the development of digital skills.
More than half of Uzbekistan's population, around 19 million people, are young and we plan to attract them to the IT sphere through the implementation of 50 universities. To improve digital skills among the population, especially among young people, specialized educational BPO institutions are being organized in all regions and districts, and their capabilities are expanding. Since the beginning of the year, 15 such centers have already been established.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO INVESTORS LOOKING TO EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE ICT SECTOR OF UZBEKISTAN?
A wide system of legal guarantees and benefits for business entities created a favorable investment climate in the country. Foreign companies come to the Uzbek market, open their offices here, and most importantly, their number is increasing every year. Thanks to these steps, the number of foreign IT companies that have received the status of IT Park residents has increased from 12 to 132 since 2019, and the number of export-oriented companies - from 48 to 276.
The volume of IT services provided by IT Park residents over the last 9 months increased 7 times compared to 2019, and the volume of exports of residents increased 13 times and amounted to U$85 million. Uzbekistan is a platform for leading IT and outsourcing companies with a free tax regime and skilled human capital and resources. Companies can increase their income and services and optimize costs. Uzbekistan is the next IT and BPO outsourcing destination for IT companies and ever-growing human capital.