American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce

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Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and signed loan agreements totaling $573 million. Mr. Nakao expressed confidence in the country's economic prospects and reiterated ADB's support for the government's development agenda.
Mr. Nakao's 3-day visit to Uzbekistan included meetings with the First Deputy Chairman of the Senate Sodik Safaev, First Deputy Prime Minister Achilbay Ramatov, Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov, Minister of Finance and ADB Governor Batir Khodjaev, and other senior officials.
Uzbekistan's economic performance has remained strong, despite a difficult external environment marked by slower trade due to reduced demand for key commodities. In 2016, the economy expanded by 7.8%. Public investment has driven much of the growth, as the government continued implementation of large scale infrastructure and industrial modernization programs. Mr. Nakao said "Uzbekistan's midterm economic outlook is favorable, given abundant skilled labor, rich natural resources, and reform efforts by the government."
During discussions with President Mirziyoyev, Mr. Nakao congratulated the government on its recently approved medium-term national development strategy, which aims to increase growth and job creation across the country. "I am highly encouraged by the government's determination to diversify its economy and to maintain strong support for good governance," said Mr. Nakao.
In line with the government's strategy, Mr. Nakao mentioned that ADB is planning to provide $2.6 billion in sovereign loans during 2017-2019 to expand infrastructure development in energy (power generation and transmission), transport (roads and railways), and urban sectors (water supply and sanitation), increase support for rural housing, and improve access to finance for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and agribusiness. He expressed his intention to strengthen ADB's support for health, in particular primary healthcare, and education, including technical and vocational education and training. ADB may consider additional financing depending on further discussion with the authorities.
ADB is also ready to increase non-sovereign operations through equity investments and loans to private companies. Currently, ADB is implementing the trade finance program, which facilitates credit for Uzbek businesses to access regional and global markets.
In the area of energy infrastructure, important ADB investment includes the construction of the Talimarjan high-efficiency combined cycle plant. In the transport sector, ADB is supporting the development of roads and railway networks to increase connectivity within Uzbekistan and with neighboring countries.
ADB is working with the government to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2001, ADB-financed projects have benefited more than 4.5 million people with the provision of water supply and sanitation services. Since 2011, an ADB-financed rural housing program has provided affordable housing-with modern amenities-to more than 41,000 Uzbek families living in rural areas.
During the visit, Mr. Nakao signed loan agreements for four projects totaling $573 million. The Small Business Finance Project will provide $100 million to help expand access to finance for rural and women-owned small businesses. Tashkent Province Water Supply Development Project in the amount of $121 million will improve the lives of over 3 million people. The Horticulture Value Chain Development Project will provide $154 million to upgrade and establish intensive orchards, modern and efficient greenhouses, and processing and storage facilities nationwide. The Kashkadarya Regional Road Project will revitalize and upgrade 77 km of regional roads through a $198 million loan.
Mr. Nakao visited a solar energy facility in Samarkand, where ADB is financing the construction of a 100 megawatt solar power plant. He also visited small businesses in Samarkand and Bukhara related to SME financing, jointly provided by ADB and the Uzbek government through local commercial banks.
During the meetings, ADB agreed with the government that joint efforts will be enhanced to improve project readiness and expedite project implementation including procurement procedures on both sides.
Since joining ADB in 1995, Uzbekistan has received 63 loans totaling $5.7 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million, $6 million in equity investment, $200 million in guarantees, and $74 million in technical assistance grants.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members-48 from the region.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is launching a new program in Uzbekistan in order to help cotton farmers improve their production efficiency, safeguard the environment, and improve labor practices. This program is part of an effort by IFC to accelerate Uzbekistan's economic growth by modernizing one of the country's most important industries.
The program will help farmers to improve the quality and productivity of cotton production through the implementation of responsible cotton production principles. IFC will begin by introducing sustainable production practices and a continuous improvement system at 12 farms in the Fergana and Jizzakh regions as a pilot project. After the trial run, the program will be expanded to 3,000 farms before ultimately being rolled out nationwide.
"Cotton from Uzbekistan has been recognized in international markets for its good quality," said Moazzam Mekan, IFC Regional Manager for Central Asia. "By introducing sustainable cotton production principles, IFC will help to address concerns over the risk of forced labor, supporting investments in the sector and allowing producers to access valuable export markets. This will help to modernize the agriculture sector, create jobs and strengthen economic growth across the country."
To roll out the project, IFC will partner with the holding company Uzpakhtasanoatexport, the Ministry of Agriculture, the Association of Farmers, the Federation of Trade Unions, and the International Labor Organization, and IFC's investee client, Indorama Kokand Textile.
The project will be implemented with financial support provided by Hungarian EXIM Bank, IFC's long-term donor partner.
Uzbekistan became a member of IFC in 1993. Since 1996, IFC has invested $144.7 million in Uzbekistan, including $12.9 million in mobilized funds, to support 28 private sector projects in the financial, agribusiness, and food processing sectors. In addition, IFC has supported $34.1 million in foreign trade in Uzbekistan through its Global Trade Finance Program. As of June 30, 2016, IFC's committed portfolio in Uzbekistan stood at $50.7 million with investments in the financial and manufacturing sectors.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it's needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise, and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

Japan has allocated grants worth $551,100 to Uzbekistan for the implementation of eight social projects, the Japanese embassy said March 7.
The grants are allocated through the Japanese governmental program "Official Development Assistance" (ODA), the embassy said.
Uzbek Deputy Minister of Healthcare Elmira Basitkhanova, the country's First Deputy Minister of Public Education Bakhtiyor Daniyarov and Japanese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Nobuaki Ito signed the grant contracts March 7.
Japan is one of the biggest investors in the Uzbek economy. In total, Japan allocated more than $4.1 billion to Uzbekistan. Thirteen representative offices of Japanese companies and 10 joint ventures successfully operate in Uzbekistan.

Turkey and Uzbekistan have signed cooperation agreement to boost economic relations, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said Monday.
The cooperation agreement was signed at the Turkey-Uzbekistan Business Forum organized by Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) in Istanbul.
"We identified nine to 10 economic sectors such as agriculture, textile, electric-electronic, chemistry, tourism, and logistics. We will reevaluate cooperation in these sectors according to their trading volume and importance," he said at the forum.
Zeybekci regretfully noted that trade volume between Turkey and Uzbekistan stood only at $1.2 billion.
Turkey's exports to Uzbekistan rose to $533.3 million last from $488.5 million in 2015, according to official data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
In 2016, imports from Uzbekistan amounted to $709.2 million against $711.5 million the previous year.
Zeybekci said there should be free trade agreement or a preferential trade agreement between both countries to meet this need. 
Uzbekistan seeks for cooperation in petrochemistry
He added that Turkish constructors in Uzbekistan had completed 110 projects worth $2 billion.
"However, I do not find these investment adequate. There is huge potential in every field and we will expand," he said. 
Uzbekistan Deputy Prime Minister Rustam Azimov, who was also at the forum, also said Turkey and Uzbekistan could collaborate in petrochemistry. 
He said there were two petroleum refineries in Uzbekistan and a third in the development phase. 
"We hope to cooperate in petrochemistry with our Turkish partners. We can work together in extracting and processing mines such as gold, silver and uranium," he added. 
*With writing and contributions by Dilara Zengin from Ankara
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