President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference session April 8 to scrutinize the implementation – in the first quarter of this year – of projects involving foreign direct investments and international financial institutions, as well as the tasks for the first half of the year.
In recent years, a new system has been set up for the development and realization of investment projects, with government ministers and industry managers working “in the field” across the country to ensure the creation of new enterprises and permanent jobs. Numerous benefits and preferences have been introduced to perfect the investment climate.
Highest-level talks with heads of foreign states and international financial organizations as well as leading business representatives produced about 700 investment agreements to attract dozens of billions of dollars to our country.
The outcomes of these measures have been conspicuous in terms of growth rates. In particular, last year the volume of investments in fixed assets grew by more than 18 percent. This, in turn, ensured the growth of industrial production by 14.4 percent.
An important qualitative change was the fact that half of the foreign direct investments mastered in the current year have been designated for provinces.
Under the 2019 Investment Program, capital investments in the amount of almost 14 billion US dollars are set to be realized for more than 3.2 thousand projects. In particular, 320 schemes are projected to consume over 4 billion dollars in foreign direct investments.
The meeting participants analyzed these investment projects in the context of industries and regions, and attended to the reports of managers of sectors on the efforts undertaken thus far. They discussed challenging aspects of projects that are lagging behind in implementation.
In the first quarter, the amount of funds planned for realization was fulfilled; nonetheless, as it was pointed out at the session, the situation in some industries and regions is far from reasonable. The Minister for the Development of Information Technologies and Communications, chairmen of Uzavtosanoat Joint-Stock Company, Uzagrotekhsanoat Holding and Uzeltekhsanoat Association, deputy governors of the Kashkadarya, Samarkand, Surkhandarya, Namangan, Ferghana and Khorezm regions for investments received disciplinary warning.
The head of our state proposed to introduce a new control system to ensure the timely realization of investments. In accordance with it, all projects involving foreign direct investment would be divided into four lists to be monitored separately.
Thus, the first directory will include 27 strategic projects designed to be implemented in the current year for 3.6 billion dollars of foreign investment. Their realization will be under the constant control of the President.
The second catalog is to contain 65 major projects totaling 1.3 billion dollars, and their execution will be under Prime Minister’s supervision.
The third register, to be monitored by Deputy Prime Ministers, would include 65 projects envisaging the disbursement of 407 million dollars of foreign investment.
The heads of central government agencies assigned to corresponding regions along with hokims are assigned with control over the performance of projects in the fourth listing.
Officials involved in the process are anticipated to attend regular discussion of the course of execution of investment projects and the prompt resolution of emerging issues.
The President drew attention to the availability of untapped opportunities to attract foreign direct investments and cooperate with international financial institutions. The head of state stressed the need to work out new investment projects along industries and provinces.
The Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade was tasked with developing – jointly with interested ministries – additional investment projects for each district and town, taking into account the available potential and resources in the oil and gas, chemical, energy, engineering, electrical engineering and building materials industries, as well as in the regions.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev instructed the officials to arrange, building on proposals and in conjunction with our embassies overseas, business forums in Uzbekistan and abroad, and hold presentations of domestic investors.
The head of our state pointed to the necessity of establishing robust bonds with foreign investors who have expressed desire to work in Uzbekistan, of helping them from the start to the end of the project, in other words, of holding them “by the hand” to ensure the expected result.
The meeting also served to deliberate on the efforts directed at boosting the inflow of investments to Tashkent and allocating the land and state-owned facilities for investment projects. It was stressed that the capital city should set an example in attracting foreign direct investments.
The President underscored the need to monitor the execution of projects along industries and regions, to secure the soonest launch of an electronic information system to quickly identify and address emerging problems.
The analysis of cooperation with international financial institutions highlighted the importance of timely and high-quality implementation of projects in the social sphere. It is indicated, meanwhile, that works were late on 4 projects in the system of the Ministry of Health, 4 projects in the system of the Ministry of Water Management, 3 projects in the system of the Ministry of Housing and Public Utility Services.
To improve the coordination of such projects, ministries and departments have been identified that will work directly with international financial institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Also reviewed at the videoconference meeting was the implementation of “roadmaps” approved following the visits at the highest level.
As noted above, about 700 investment agreements have been signed as part of such visits. Uzbekistan’s Accounts Chamber has created a suitable database and established monitoring and control over the implementation of agreements.
The President noted that it is essential to ensure the rapid and consistent execution of measures provided for by the “roadmaps” and to bolster the activities of intergovernmental commissions in this direction.
The Cabinet of Ministers was tasked with reviewing the composition of intergovernmental commissions with an eye to key areas of cooperation with every country.
It was reported that starting from next year, investment programs will be shaped for a three-year period, and that all sectors and regions should launch appropriate preparations.
On issues discussed at the meeting, important tasks were outlined for the future.