While the pandemic hit Uzbekistan’s economy especially hard in the first half of 2020 and inflicted considerable hardship, the recession was moderated by strong and timely containment and support measures. These included a forceful public health response and the deployment of a set of fiscal, monetary, and financial measures, made possible by substantial buffers owing to prudent macro-economic policies in preceding years, and thanks also to sizable international support.
On April 22, Uzauto Motors, with the support of the Ministry of Finance, announced the upcoming issue of US$ 300 million worth of maiden international bonds and holding teleconferences with potential investors, the Ministry of Finance said in a statment.
On April 22, the Board of the Central Bank decided to keep the interest rate at 14% per annum, the Bank said. “This decision was aimed at balancing the decline in inflation and supporting economic activity in the context of economic recovery, as well as to maintain the slowing inflation and inflation expectations against the backdrop of risks of rising food prices in foreign markets,” the Central Bank said in a release.
On April 16, Deputy Finance Minister Odilbek Isoqov and the Japanese Ambassador Yoshinori Fujiyama signed US$ 195 million worth of exchange notes to implement a development policy support program, the Embassy said.
The President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a decree on measures to further develop the capital market. The Decree approved the program for development of the capital market for 2021–2023, the target figures to be achieved as a result of the implementation of the program, the roadmap for the implementation of the development program, as well as the list of enterprises whose shares are subject to public offering through the stock exchange in 2021–2023.
The Chairman of the Roseximbank Azer Talibov offered Uzbekistan to develop settlements in national currencies. “We all have different trading modes, we understand what trends are taking place and who dominates in this segment. If we want to build a serious platform for the development of our bilateral and multilateral relations, it is important for us to develop a system of settlements in national currencies,” Talibov said.
The Ministry of Finance, Uztransgaz, VEB.RF, the Russian Agency for Insurance of Export Credits and Investments and Gazprombank have agreed to cooperate on the implementation of the Uzbekistan’s gas transportation system modernization project, VEB.RF’s press service said.
On March 31, Otabek Nazirov was appointed adviser to the Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade/Director General of Direct Investment Fund of Uzbekistan, the MIFT reported.
Zsuzsanna Hargitai has been appointed new Managing Director, Central Asia for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). In this role she will oversee the Bank’s operations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, a vast and diverse region where the EBRD has invested US$ 16.5 billion (€13.7 billion) through almost 890 projects to date.
The Japanese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Yoshinori Fujiyama and the Finance Deputy Minister Odilbek Isoqov signed exchange notes totaling 15 billion yen (US$ 136.5 million) on March 26, the Embassy said.
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.