Sunday, 14, April, 2024

Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the launch of the Business Support Project, a groundbreaking initiative aimed at fostering sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Uzbekistan. The launch event marks the beginning of a five-year journey towards enhancing the competitiveness of small and medium enterprises across four key sectors: information and communications technology (ICT), tourism, textiles, and the green economy.

The project is designed to partner with key stakeholders, including the government of Uzbekistan and the private sector, to facilitate investment and foster business-to-business relationships. This initiative underscores the U.S. Government’s continued commitment to supporting Uzbekistan’s economic development and regional economic integration.

Speaking at the event, USAID Mission Director to Uzbekistan David Hoffman highlighted the significance of the activity, “Today, we embark on a transformative journey with the Business Support Project. This initiative represents a pivotal moment in our shared pursuit of a prosperous, inclusive, and sustainable future for Uzbekistan. By addressing critical barriers to growth and leveraging the dynamism of the private sector, we aim to unlock new opportunities for businesses, especially those led by women and youth. Our collective efforts through our Business Support Project will pave the way for a more resilient and competitive economy, benefiting not just Uzbekistan but the entire region.”

USAID plans to provide $17.7 million over five years to the Business Support Project. The activity aims to achieve two primary objectives: reducing barriers to private sector growth and increasing private sector investment and access to finance. By focusing on these objectives, the program seeks to create a more enabling environment for business growth and innovation, thereby contributing to the overall economic prosperity of Uzbekistan.

The program features the announcement of the project’s Annual Program Statement which outlines opportunities for grants and funding support worth $1.8 million for local enterprises and initiatives aligned with the program objectives. During this event, the spotlight also shone on the announcement of 10 new grantees as part of another USAID program, Future Growth Initiative. These selected entities are set to receive grants totaling $1.1 million. The overarching objective of this initiative is to bolster the engagement and competitiveness of women entrepreneurs, foster increased youth participation in entrepreneurship, and further develop the startup ecosystem in Uzbekistan.

Through the Business Support Project, USAID reaffirms its commitment to fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable economic landscape in Uzbekistan. The collaboration among government entities, private sector partners, and international partners is crucial to achieving the long-term success and impact of this initiative.

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