On November 16, the first plenary session of the Foreign Investors Council chaired by President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev was held at the «Kuksaroy» Residence.
The President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Odile Reno-Basso, heads of such leading companies and banks as «Suez», «Calik Holding», «Cengiz Enerji», «Halyk Bank», «VEON Group», «TBC Bank», Abu Dhabi Development Foundation, «ACWA Power», «Zeppelin International AG», «EDF», «AME International», «CNH Industrial», «Youngone Corporation», «Procter & Gamble», «Mitsui», «Sojitz Generation DMCC», «KIA Motors», «General Electric», «John Deere», «Silverleafe», «Knauf», «White&Case», as well as representatives of international financial institutions - the World Bank, International Finance Corporation, Asian Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank attended the event.
The Foreign Investors Council was established according to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on November 13, 2019, its main task is to consult the government of Uzbekistan on the most important areas of investment, industrial-technological and innovative development of the country based on the most successful experience and achievements of world practice.
The issues of further expansion of long-term and mutually beneficial investment cooperation, implementation in Uzbekistan of specific cooperation projects in priority areas for collaboration were discussed at the first session of this consultative and advisory body.
In his speech, the president stressed significance of today’s meeting against the zbackdrop of global crisis developments, amid a growing demand for tight cooperation based on mutual trust and respect.
It was emphasized that in recent years Uzbekistan has been carrying out large-scale reforms, one of the priorities of which is to ensure the openness of the national economy and create the necessary conditions for its integration into the international market.
Thus, the currency market was liberalized, opportunities for private investors in the energy, geological exploration, chemistry and petrochemistry, medicine, education and other fields were expanded.
Groundbreaking decisions were made to support private entrepreneurship. More than 200 types of licenses and approvals were eliminated in this field. The tax burden on business has been reduced and the most comfortable conditions for foreign investment have been created.
As a result, despite the pandemic and the difficult situation in the world markets, it was possible to maintain and continue the positive dynamics of economic growth. Over the past five years, the foreign investment inflow has increased ten-fold, reaching nearly $40 billion.
The President noted the existence of specific projects and programs to further expand investment in the economy, primarily in the modernization and transformation of industries, accelerated development of production, public utilities and transport infrastructure.
The Leader of Uzbekistan outlined the main guidelines within the Council and the priority directions of further expanding partnerships with foreign investors.
This is about, first of all, strengthening guarantees for the ensurance and protection of the investors’ rights and interests. In this context, the President suggested setting up the Committee on Protection of Investors’ Rights at the Council.
It is highlighted that Uzbekistan intends to deepen reforms in the banking and financial sector and is open to initiatives of investors aimed at further enhancing the banking sector.
Important direction of economic policy of Uzbekistan is a further reduction of state involvement and expansion of privatization. Public-private partnership mechanisms are being introduced in all sectors.
It is also pointed out to the enormous natural resource potential of Uzbekistan, created for foreign investors ample conditions for participation in their development.
The strategy «Digital Uzbekistan – 2030» has been adopted and is being implemented, which pays a special attention to the active involvement of foreign capital and technology in the process of digitalization in our country.
A particular attention is paid to the development of «green» economy, effective measures are taken to develop scientific and technical capacity and train specialists in the field of renewable energy.
The President of Uzbekistan invited all present investors and partners to actively participate in these projects and programs.
Speaking at the meeting, the members of the Council emphasized the high achievements of the reform program of recent years in the New Uzbekistan, the results of which were the creation of a truly favorable environment for business and implementation of promising projects. They expressed deep gratitude to the head of our state for his comprehensive support for the activity of investors, as well as willingness to further expand mutually beneficial investment partnerships.
Following the meeting, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan gave a number of instructions to responsible officials to organize a system of cooperation with foreign investors, to develop a «roadmap» with specific deadlines and performers regarding proposals sounded at the meeting.