Uzbek Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov hosted a delegation of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), led by the Managing Director for Central Asia and Russia, Natalia Khanzhenkova, the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The sides reportedly discussed the prospects for finalizing the cooperation areas between Uzbekistan and the EBRD, as well as the practical aspects of opening the bank's office in Tashkent. The new office will support a broad range of opportunities for development partnerships, with a focus on promoting the EBRD’s know-how and best practices. The office in Tashkent is an important step to extend the EBRD’s business reach, identify local partners, boost the creation of high-quality private-sector jobs and develop a resilient economy.
The sides also exchanged views on the progress of drafting of EBRD 5-year Strategy for Uzbekistan, as well as the Bank's participation in the forthcoming International Investment Forum in Tashkent and the "Central Asia in the System of International Transport Corridors: Strategic Perspectives and Unrealized Opportunities” conference.
Earlier in March President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held talks with the head of the EBRD Suma Chakrabarti, when they pointed to the importance of readying a bilateral cooperation program and the measures to support Uzbek SMEs.
The relations between the EBRD and Uzbekistan deteriorated in 2003, when the bank's criticism of poor human rights record in Uzbekistan effectively pushed the EBRD out of Uzbekistan, a year later the bank stopped lending in Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan joined the EBRD in 1992. The Bank has implemented 55 projects in the country, investing a total of nearly 900 million euros. The last EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan was adopted in the summer of 2005, and the last project was completed in 2007.