Investments in Uzbekistan saw a massive surge year-on-year in the first half of 2019, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev told a meeting of top officials on August 14, claiming the development as a vindication of his economic reform agenda.
According to a statement on the presidential website, Mirziyoyev stated that the volume of investments as a share of gross domestic product had hit 38 percent over that period, far outstripping the previous ceiling of 25 percent.
Drumming up interest from foreign companies is a leading priority for Tashkent, so any indication that money is being plowed into modernization and boosting productivity stands to aid that cause.
In keeping with a regional tradition, the government branded 2018 with a theme. And the current annual mantra is Year of Active Investment and Social Development.
To fulfill the second half of that mandate, Mirziyoyev has given repeated instructions for senior government officials, heads of committees and business associations to fan out into the country. At this week’s meeting, the president said travel to the regions should be occurring on a quarterly basis.
Mirziyoyev has previously registered disappointment that the regions are doing too little to sustain the export agenda.
“Every khokim (governor), every minister should be involved with this – exports and investments. Again, I say – exports and investments,” he said in another government meeting on August 12.
This insistence is showing some returns. The value of exports of goods and services hit $7.3 billion in the first seven months of this year, a rise of 23 percent over last year, according to the president’s office.
Regional investment is a recurrent leitmotif for the government. Prospective partner nations are allotted specific regions in which it is strongly suggested their businesspeople might wish to invest. This insistence is paying off too. Around 75 percent of utilized foreign direct investment is directed toward regional projects.
We can say that Uzbekistan's centrally located Syrdarya region hosted an international investment forum on Thursday to attract more foreign direct investment and promote export.
Organizers have said that over 150 representatives of companies from China, Russia, India, Belarus and Kazakhstan took part in the forum.
Syrdarya region has already attracted 100 million U.S. dollars of foreign direct investment since the beginning of this year, officials said during the forum.
The region has a free economic zone. A total of 45 projects have absorbed 305 million U.S. dollars of investment, and nearly 50 million dollars are from foreign countries.
Uzbekistan has been carrying out economic reforms in the past two years to attract foreign investment.
By Sher Karimov