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The first meeting of the Economic Council takes place in Tashkent

Botschaft Usbekistan, July 22, 2019

The first meeting of the Economic Council on ensuring the implementation of the Road Map of the main directions of the structural reforms of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the period 2019-2021 was held on 18 July in the capital hotel Hyatt Regency Tashkent.

The Council was created in accordance with the Decree of the President UP-5614 "On additional measures to ensure the further development of the economy and improve the efficiency of economic policy" dated 8 January 2019.

The Council, chaired by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, includes the Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Finance Jamshid Kuchkarov, First Deputy Advisor to the President B. Mavlonov, Deputy Advisor to the President Galina Saidova, heads of the Central Bank M. Nurmuratov and the Trade and Industry Chambers Adkham Ikramov, Business Ombudsman under the President D. Kasimov and others.

The meeting was attended by members of the International Expert Group under the Council. Among them are Danny Leipziger, Professor of International Business and International Relations at George Washington University, Managing Director of the Growth Dialogue company (USA). Previously, he served as vice president of the World Bank and is an expert on emerging economies and finance, industrial policy, banks and globalization.

Another participant was already visiting Uzbekistan and familiar with the situation in the country, Eduardo Bitran, a professor at Adolfo Ibáñez University and the Institute for Corporate Innovation Support (Chile). He previously served as Minister of Public Works, Chairman of the National Innovation Competitiveness Council of the Government of Chile.

Another member of the expert group is Marcelo Tokman, from 2015-2018. served as CEO of the National Petroleum Company (Chile), former Minister of Energy of this country. Also, the meeting was attended by representatives of a number of ministries and departments, international financial institutions, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the United Nations Development Program.

The event identified and discussed in detail the priority areas of reform for implementation in 2019-2021:

- Strengthening macroeconomic stability. It includes tax reform, improving the management of public finances, debt and inter-budgetary relations, as well as bringing statistics into full compliance with international standards. The role of the World Bank “Supporting Economic Reforms” project worth US$500 million will play its role in achieving these goals.

- Improving the energy sector. This includes: introducing the principles of competition, an integrated strategy for the development of the electricity and gas sectors, financial recovery of enterprises, transition to the production of clean energy, improvement of the quality of services and potential for new market actors. With the support of international partners, 16 projects for the construction and modernization of thermal power plants, hydropower plants and power grids in almost all regions worth almost 1.9 billion, as well as the introduction of an automated system for monitoring and metering the consumption of electrical energy in Bukhara, Jizzakh and Samarkand regions for US$150 million .

-The development of human capital and social protection. To do this, it is necessary to bring all levels of the training system in line with the international standard classification, increase the coverage of higher education, develop a strategy for the long-term development of the sphere, new models for its financing and quality assurance, join the Bologna process, strengthen integration with production and the market, and continue the reform of the secondary special, professional level. Other areas are the introduction of a social register and the revision of the system of payment of benefits, activation of the labor market and the legalization of the informal sector of the economy. This is aimed at joint projects with the World Bank and the Islamic Development Bank for US$139.7 million.

The development of agriculture. We are talking about the development of tools and rationales for the formation of the value chain, the analysis of its components, and the improvement of the quality and safety of goods. 15 projects for more than 2.5 billion to modernize the agricultural sector, including livestock, horticulture, milk production and water management were presented.

-Increase access to finance for private sector development. This will be the privatization of individual banks, the reduction of their dependence on state financing and the improvement of regulation of the sphere, a phased transition to lending at market interest rates. Assistance is provided by the World Bank, in the framework of technical assistance to the financial sector.

-The development of competition and entrepreneurship. It envisages strengthening the fiscal transparency of state-owned enterprises, reducing their targeted lending and maximizing revenues through initial public offering, developing a strategy for phasing out price controls, identifying restrictive market regulation in key sectors, revising legislation on privatization and investment, stimulating the growth of the private sector, and the competitive environment and foreign direct investment, infrastructure upgrades and data collection systems. The relevant projects of international financial institutions are designed for 770 million dollars.

- Development of foreign and domestic trade and transport. This includes a critical analysis of the time of release of goods and the customs clearance regime during import and export, revision of the Customs Code to ensure transparency and predictability of policies in this area, the creation of a National Trade Facilitation Committee and a profile medium-term strategy, the conclusion of an updated Memorandum on foreign trade to enter WTO. It is also necessary to reform the transport sector with the adoption of a national strategy, increase in logistics indicators, liberalization and incorporation of air transport with the completion of the downsizing of Uzbekistan Airways. 10 projects are being implemented for the development of roads, railways and subways, the modernization of the aircraft fleet and other facilities for more than US$1.8 billion.

- Accelerating sustainable urbanization and urban development. It covers the provision of more suitable, greener and more energy-efficient living conditions, a review of current planning practices and the development of a national urban strategy with the coordination of efforts of all stakeholders and investment in investment. Initiated 10 projects to improve infrastructure, water supply, sewerage and waste management in different regions of almost 807 million dollars.

Representatives of the responsible ministries and departments, prominent foreign scientists and specialists shared their views on these issues. In particular, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan - Minister of Finance J. Kuchkarov and Professor of the American University of George Washington D. Leipziger spoke about the priorities of structural reforms, energy strategy - First Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry R. Gulyamov and former Minister of Energy of Chile M. Tokman, on microfinance development - Chairman of the Central Bank M. Nurmuratov and representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Following the meeting, the Joint Statement of the first meeting of the Economic Council was adopted.


Original-Inhalt von Botschaft Usbekistan und übermittelt von Botschaft Usbekistan