Now the time is right to invest in Uzbekistan, because the business climate is changing, the economy is gaining momentum, which makes doing business easier, the chairman of the Uzbek Committee for Investments Azim Ahmedkhadjayev said at a meeting with South Korean business executives in Tashkent on Monday, gazeta.uz said.
Korea Republic government delegation led by Deputy PM/Minister of Strategy and Finance Kim Dong-yeon comprising about 60 people is visiting Uzbekistan from February 11-14.
Before, Uzbekistan was associated with strict control of the foreign currency outflows, it is not the case any more. In September 2017, we liberalized foreign exchange system, which will facilitate doing business and foreign direct investment inflow, he said.
Before, exporters were obliged to sell part of their revenues to the government at a very low rate set by the CB. This requirement was scrapped. The income that you earn is yours, and you can spend it however and wherever you want, he added.
The exchange rates are now regulated exclusively by the market mechanisms. In the past, repatriation of profits and purchases of foreign currency were limited. Now foreign investors can buy as much currency as needed at the free exchange rate, he stressed.
We believe in a free market economy and we are adjusting our legislation accordingly, he said.
About 160 licensing and 19 bureaucratic procedures have been dropped. We want businesses to do business, not paperwork, said Azim Ahmedkhadjayev.
With its 19 million people strong labour force, Uzbekistan is the largest country in the region, and it is a stable country, both politically and economically, he reassured. He also pointed to an attractive macroeconomic situation: external debt not exceeding 18% of GDP, and with no domestic debt.
We are very serious about securing the rights of investors, he continued. More than 5,000 companies with foreign capital operate in Uzbekistan. About 50 of the world's leading brands have invested in the country.
At the moment, the portfolio of investment projects includes US$ 9 billion worth of over 300 projects in various industries.
The volume of investments from the Korea Republic surpassed US$ 5 billion, with more than 440 companies operating, he said, adding: We will be happy to see more South Korean companies in Uzbekistan.