New survey assesses business environment in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (TCA) — The Ijtimoiy Fikr Center for the Study of Public Opinion has conducted a poll entitled “Business Environment in Uzbekistan through the Eyes of Entrepreneurs”. The survey questioned Uzbekistan’s entrepreneurs and farmers, 84.7% of which positively evaluated the business environment in the nation, the Jahon information agency reported.

In their opinion, the transfer of centers of ‘one window’ government registration of entrepreneurship entities from the structure of hokimiyats (state administrations of different levels) to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice was of particular importance for further improving the quality, accessibility and transparency of rendering public services to businesses. They pin great hopes on the creation of the State Fund for the Support of Business Development under the Cabinet of Ministers, whose resources can be used as a guarantee for small business entities taking loans from commercial banks.

More than half of the respondents (54.1%) said that over the past year they managed to achieve significant positive results in their activities, that is, to obtain the expected profit or to ensure the projected level of development of their enterprise.

Effective economic activity allowed entrepreneurs to enter a qualitatively new level of development: from the accumulation of profits to investing in fixed assets. 50.8% of respondents during the last 12 months invested in the fixed assets of their enterprises. And in some regions, the figure exceeds 70%.

In the opinion of 66.4% of the respondents, all entrepreneurs have the same opportunities for successful business. However, 33.6% hold the opposite viewpoint, that is, every third entrepreneur or farmer excludes the equality of opportunities for doing business.

The survey has shown the availability of reserves for further improvement of the business environment in the country. Among them, respondents called the availability of loans, stable water, gas, electricity and heat supply, and tax reductions.

68.9% of entrepreneurs characterize the taxation system in Uzbekistan as “fairly simple” and “very simple”, 31.1% as “rather complicated” and “very complex”. In the opinion of 73.7% of the respondents, the tax system stimulates business structures to show all proceeds, 4.5% suggest it makes them hide incomes, and 21.8% refused to respond.

The majority of business people (80.5%) positively assess the quality of banking services. Thus, 91.6% of entrepreneurs and farmers exclude the fact of extortion from banks in obtaining loans. At the same time, the study showed that banks are not interested in long-term lending to businesses, without which it is impossible to modernize production on the basis of high technologies and ensure the production of competitive products.

The study showed that 43.2% of entrepreneurs and farmers encountered facts of corruption on the part of supervisory bodies.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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