President of Uzbekistan Sets Economic Tasks for 2024

On January 16th, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a government meeting on priority tasks for the country’s economic development in 2024. It was stated that in 2023, economic growth was at 6%, and this year the plan is to maintain growth at the same level and bring gross domestic product to $100 billion.

The head of state stated that with an increase in industrial production, the added value of products did not exceed 40%, which is mainly due to dependence on imports, high energy consumption, and excessive production costs. The President ordered that 2024 be a year of efficiency and production cost reduction for leaders of the economic sector and all state-owned enterprises. This year, the task is to increase the added value of domestic products to 45%, reduce production costs by 15%, and ensure industrial growth of 7%.

Another source of budget revenue is privatization. However, 484 state assets included in the privatization program have yet to be put up for auction. Therefore, the President ordered the Cabinet of Ministers to prepare a new privatization program which aims to earn $1.6 billion in revenue this year.

The meeting emphasized that a pressing issue today is the shadow economy, especially in the services sector, construction, and industry. Mirziyoyev stated that the shadow economy is an obstacle to fair competition, and outlined new measures to combat it. In particular, the powers of the Department for Combating Economic Crimes under the Prosecutor General’s Office will be expanded, and a separate department to tackle the shadow economy will be created within the General Prosecutor’s Office.

Another important issue discussed at the meeting was inflation, which was at 8.77% last year, its lowest level since 2016. This year the plan is to keep inflation below 9%. Issues of lending were also discussed, with the task being set to develop a program to lower bank interest rates on loans by at least 2-3%.

Times of Central Asia

Times of Central Asia

 Stephen M. Bland is a journalist, author, editor, commentator and researcher specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Prior to joining The Times of Central Asia, he has worked for NGOs, think tanks, as the Central Asia expert on a forthcoming documentary series, for the BBC, The Diplomat, EurasiaNet, and numerous other publications.
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Published in 2016, his book on Central Asia was the winner of the Golden Laureate of Eurasian Literature. He is currently putting the finishing touches to a book about the Caucasus.
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www.stephenmbland.com

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