Uzbekistan: Economic reforms. Outcomes
World rankings confirm the effectiveness of the reforms carried out in the country and assess Uzbekistan as an attractive country for doing business.
Calling 2018 the Year of Support for Active Entrepreneurship, Innovative Ideas and Technologies, 76 thousand projects worth 21 trillion sums and 1 billion dollars were implemented under the corresponding State program.
Due to the fact that in September 2017, the country embarked on monetary liberalization, the exchange rate of sum was depreciated almost twice against the dollar and amounted to 8,100 sums. Previously - 4,210 sums. As a result, the Uzbek exporters, having gained a price competitive advantage in foreign markets, used it to strengthen their market positions and conquer new markets. The main goal is to reduce government influence on the activities of commercial structures, which together with other expected actions of the government will stimulate the development of business initiatives and contribute to the dynamic development of all sectors of the economy.
Currency policy is used as a means of export promotion. At the same time, this measure did not allow for the strengthening of the national currency and sharply increased the cost of all imported goods and services. However, together with measures to reduce customs duties, excise taxes and tax privileges, new currency policy allowed to increase sharply the attractiveness of Uzbekistan in the eyes of investors and foreign trade partners. The volume of investments and foreign exchange earnings from exports in 2017 increased by more than 20%, and the authorized capital of banks increased by more than 40%, as a result of which the total capital of the banking system increased significantly. As a result of cooperation with the World Bank, the Asian and Islamic Development Banks, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and other international financial institutions, the volume of the investment portfolio reached $ 8.5 billion.
Currently, 456 projects worth $ 23 billion are being implemented through foreign investment in the country. Also, the number of operating enterprises with foreign capital increased by 33.8%. Among the newly created enterprises with the participation of foreign capital, the majority was created jointly with the Russian Federation (391), the Republic of Turkey (329), the People’s Republic China (302), the Republic of Kazakhstan (222) and the Republic of Korea (153).
Together with the measures taken to simplify the processes of registration/business and redistribute industry priorities, Uzbekistan was able to ensure GDP growth by more than 5% and increase nominal wages by 12.3%. The number of newly created enterprises and organizations in 2018 was 12.6 thousand more compared to 2017.
According to IMF forecasts in 2018–2019, the country will continue steady GDP growth of around 5%, which will be facilitated by favorable external demand conditions, the dynamics of commodity prices, an increase in agricultural production (due to ongoing reforms and expected yield normalization), as well as a high level of activity in the construction industry (due to construction housing and public infrastructure). In 2018, services accounted for 45.1% of GDP, industry 30.3%, agriculture, forestry and fisheries 17.5% and construction 7.1%.
• For the third time, Uzbekistan entered the top ten world leaders in improving the business climate in the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2018 rating.
• According to the World Bank's Global Economic Perspectives, in 2017 Uzbekistan ranked 2nd in the ranking of the fastest growing economies in the world.