On January 12, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on the activities of the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade and the Agency for Strategic Development.
Thanks to stability and an enhanced investment climate, foreign economic relations of our country are consistently developing. In particular, more than $10 billion in foreign investment, including $8,1 billion in direct investment were attracted in 2021. As a result, 318 large and more than 15 thousand regional projects have been launched. Over 273 thousand jobs have been created. These enterprises are able to provide $1 billion in exports and replace $530 million in imports.
Certainly, the coronavirus pandemic continues to assert a serious impact on economic processes. Nevertheless, a dynamic export growth has been achieved. Thus, while in 2020 the volume of exports amounted to $9 billion, in 2021 it amounted to $12 billion. It is noteworthy that the share of finished and semi-finished products in its structure has grown significantly.
This year, it is planned to attract foreign direct investments for more than $9.5 billion, launch 282 large and more than 9,000 regional projects, and increase exports to $14 billion.
At the meeting, the responsible officials informed about the measures to be taken by sectors and regions to achieve these indicators.
The President instructed to establish a constant control over each investment project, to assist the initiators and ensure their timely launch.
It was noted that there is a low level of foreign investment in the fields of tourism, medicine and engineering, and among the regions - in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Navoi and Khorezm regions. In this regard, the task was set to develop separate programs for them and direct additional investments.
The President has dwelled separately on the development of industrial production and cooperation. The instructions were given to expand the product range of domestic manufacturers, support and stimulate entrepreneurs. In particular, it was indicated that the products of local enterprises that have mastered the production of goods – not produced in our country will be guaranteed to be purchased. The importance of involving khokims’ assistants in this process is also noted.
The instructions on the development of industrial cooperation and increasing the level of localization have been given.
The importance of ensuring transparency and strengthening public monitoring of projects in the field of education, healthcare, water supply, road and other infrastructure, which directly affect the quality of life of the population, was emphasized.
The need to attract foreign grants to the healthcare sector, the trust fund for the Aral Sea Region and other socially key areas was indicated.
The issue of joining the World Trade Organization was also touched upon.
Prior to the Presidential elections, Shavkat Mirziyoyev pointed out that project groups and holding companies would be created in each district. The presentation of the ongoing work on the implementation of the system took place at the meeting.
The President has emphasized the need to train project team specialists to work according to a single system and methodology.
The export issues were analyzed in detail. The significance of paying a special attention to the industrial development and using additional opportunities to fulfill the forecast in this area was emphasized.
As it is known, by the Presidential Decree of July 19, 2021, the Agency for Strategic Development was established. The agency is entrusted with many tasks, including the study of strategic issues of attracting investments and implementing projects, identifying promising areas of investment activity, developing proposals for reforming economic sectors based on international experience and increasing the investment potential of the regions.
The information on the structure of the agency, the work already accomplished and plans for the current year were provided the meeting.
At present, the departments of the agency have been formed. They are staffed with high qualified and initiative specialists - graduates of high-respected foreign universities.
The Agency’s work plan for the current year consists of 18 major events. They include the introduction of a new investment promotion mechanism, improvement of the investment climate by reducing the shadow economy, introduction of a regional investment climate rating, the launch of an online platform to identify and solve systemic problems of entrepreneurs, as well as the development of a strategy to attract foreign direct investment with the World Bank.
“This agency will create the basis for expanding investment and export potential. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a road map for the strategic development of regions and industries, to involve the highly-qualified specialists and advisers from abroad in this process”, - said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The specific tasks were identified for the development of a strategic development methodology and its implementation in each region and industry.