Saturday, 28, May, 2022

Finances

Uzbekistan’s total public debt at the end of 2021 is projected at US$ 28.3 billion (45.3% of GDP), according to the Citizens Budget, compiled by the Ministry of Finance.

Uzbekistan has made a promising start integrating PPPs into its infrastructure development agenda. Bold policies and efficient project delivery are needed to take the country’s ambitious program to the next level.

Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan will set up a US$ 50 million joint investment fund, which could be pumped to US$ 200 million in the future, stated the Uzbek Deputy PM/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov and the Kyrgyz Deputy PM/Minister of Finance and Economy of Ulukbek Karmyshakov.

The statement was made at the Uzbek-Kyrgyz business forum, which took place today as part of the visit of Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov to Uzbekistan.

Sardor Umurzakov noted that the fund "will become a catalyst for the development of our cooperation", adding that it will support a number of new joint projects, primarily in the field of industrial cooperation. “This is the point of growth that we must take advantage of today,” said the Deputy Prime Minister.

RAEX-Europe has confirmed the sovereign government credit ratings (SGC) of Uzbekistan at ‘BB-’ (Sufficient level of creditworthiness of the government) in national currency and at ‘BB-’ (Sufficient level of creditworthiness of the government) in foreign currency. The rating outlook is stable, which means that in the mid-term perspective there is a high probability of maintaining the rating score.

Uzbekistan plans to draw two loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) totaling US$ 333.4 million, according to the draft resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers developed by the Ministry of Finance.

As of January 1, 2021, Uzbekistan's public debt topped US$ 23.3 billion. 21.1 billion of them - public external debt. Over the past two years, the state external debt has doubled.

The Ministry of Justice approved the 2021 Action Plan to introduce gender responsive regulatory impact assessment system (GR-RIA) developed in close collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the National Commission on Gender Equality. This is a revolutionary development for the country and Central Asia as Uzbekistan will become the first state in the region to introduce “gender lens”, a specialised tool, which will investigate how new regulations may increase, maintain, or reduce inequalities between men and women.

Uzbekistan’s adoption of a new Banking System Reform Strategy in December 2020 signals a turning point for the country’s credit sector. Thedecree charts the course for the industry’s proposed makeover in the next five years and should go a long way toward liberalizing Uzbek banking, introducing greater discipline and transparency, modernizing consumer and corporate lending, and potentially empowering a new class of private investors.

The Central Bank unveiled plans to hold the Global Money Week in Uzbekistan between March 22-28. Global Money Week Within is expected to hold feature financial educational and entertainment events throughout the country, with all activities to be coordinated by the Central Bank.

On February 20, the Deputy PM/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov held a meeting with a delegation of SUEZ (France) led by Senior Executive Vice President Eric Ghebali, the ministry reported.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff team led by Ron van Rooden conducted a remote mission from January 25 to February 16, 2021 in the context of the 2021 Article IV consultation with Uzbekistan. At the conclusion of the mission, Mr. van Rooden issued the following statement:

For the first time in Uzbekistan’s history, the Governor from the Republic of Uzbekistan - the Deputy Prime Minister/Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade S. Umurzakov was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, the highest governing body of the Bank.

Fiscal stimulus package and the effects of relative easing of monetary conditions in 2020 will help support economic activity in the first half of 2021 on the demand side, the Central Bank noted.

The level of dollarization of the Uzbek economy is planned to be cut from 50% to 45%, announced the Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank Behzod Khamraev.

The volume of Uzbekistan’s gross foreign exchange reserves as of January 1 topped US$ 34.9 billion, an increase by US$ 2 billion compared to December, the Central Bank said.

Today, the Board of the Central Bank decided to keep the interest rate at 14% per annum. in September 2020 the regulator lowered the base rate by 1 pp. to 14% per annum.

Despite the lockdown and pandemics, the volume of remittances to Uzbekistan in 2020 topped US$ 6.03 billion, an increase by US$ 17 million dollars or 0.3% to 2019, the Central Bank said.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) responded to the coronavirus pandemic challenges in Central Asia’s most populated country by pledging US$521 million (€429 million) through 18 projects in various sectors of the national economy. The EBRD resources were used to support the country’s banking sector and SMEs access to finance, upgrade key infrastructure and promote the development of renewable energy.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and the Republic of Uzbekistan are proud to announce that they are expanding their partnership through Uzbekistan’s support for the Abraham (Ibrahim) Fund.

US$ 40.7 million will be provided for the reconstruction of two sections of the M39 Tashkent-Termez highway with a total length of 21 km, the Dec. 31 Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers stipulated.