Uzbekistan overview

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A new approach by the Uzbekistan authorities has allowed the EBRD to re-engage in the country, open a new Resident Office in Tashkent and prepare a new Country Strategy adopted by the Board of Directors in September 2018.

The document identifies the following operational and strategic priorities for the EBRD’s work in Uzbekistan:

  1. Enhancement of competitiveness by strengthening the role of the private sector’s role in the economy
  2. Promotion of green energy and resource solutions across sectors
  3. Support increased regional and international cooperation and integration.

The Bank’s new phase of engagement with the country was prompted by a major reform programme launched by the authorities in February 2017 moving towards a more open, integrated market economic model, improving international relations, strengthening the rule of law and judicial independence and achieving the liberalisation of the foreign exchange rate. Reducing the state’s presence in the economy, improving the business environment and facilitation of foreign direct investments are among the top priorities of the Uzbek authorities.

The new EBRD strategy for Uzbekistan recognises the need to strengthen the country’s democratic institutions, expand the role of civil society, provide greater freedom to mass media and promote women’s entrepreneurship. The Bank will also continue monitoring progress on the eradication of forced and child labour in sectors such as the cotton growing industry.

The EBRD's latest Uzbekistan strategy was adopted on 19 September 2018.

Uzbekistan's policy response to the coronavirus crisis

The EBRD is monitoring Uzbekistan's policy response to the coronavirus pandemic. Our biweekly publication identifies the major channels of disruption as well as selected impact and response indicators.

Learn more

Current EBRD forecast for Uzbekistan's Real GDP Growth in 2020: 1.5%

Current EBRD forecast for Uzbekistan's Real GDP Growth in 2021: 6.5%

In 2019, Uzbekistan’s GDP grew by 5.6 per cent, slightly accelerating from 5.4 per cent in 2018. In the first quarter of 2020, the economy expanded by 4.1 per cent but is likely to contract in the second quarter as the impact of virus containment measures (lasting for at least two months) kicks in. Exports declined by 11 per cent year-on-year in the first three months of 2020, despite being much more diversified in terms of products and markets compared to other countries in Central Asia. Commodity exports constituted about 50 per cent of Uzbekistan’s total exports in 2019, with gold, which accounts for more than a half of those, providing a natural hedge in turbulent times. China was Uzbekistan’s largest export market in 2019, but its share in total exports was only 14 per cent (mostly gas). Rapid expansion in credit to the private sector (up
26 per cent year-on-year in December 2019) is a source of vulnerability given higher probability of businesses defaulting at a time of a major slowdown in the economy, with
negative implications for the stability of the banking system. Remittances from Russia (accounting for 8 per cent of GDP) are expected to shrink affecting the most vulnerable parts of the population. In addition, the tourism and hospitality sector (about 6 per cent of GDP), will be among the hardest hit by coronavirus-related disruptions. GDP is still expected to grow in 2020, albeit at a modest rate of 1.5 per cent. Much stronger growth performance, of 6.5 per cent, is expected in 2021, reflecting a recovery in both exports and domestic demand.
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