USAID supports development of free economic zones in Uzbekistan

TASHKENT (TCA) — The U.S. Agency for International Development Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs Activity and the State Committee of Uzbekistan for Assistance to Privatized Enterprises and Development of Competition held a business event on September 18 in Tashkent to support further development of Free Economic Zones (FEZs) in Uzbekistan.

More than 100 representatives from the government, private sector, business associations, and international organizations involved in FEZs were at the day-long workshop to discuss global best practices in zone development and strategies for attracting foreign investment.

Jose Ceron, a leading international expert in developing industrial and special economic zones across the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America headlined the event. He was joined by experts from Khorgos — East Gate, an FEZ on the Kazakh-China border, who shared their experience establishing this zone in Central Asia.

“By supporting the Development of Free Economic Zones in Uzbekistan, USAID is helping to facilitate private sector investment, export growth, and job creation,” said Ryder Rogers, USAID/Central Asia Senior Regional Trade Adviser.

Free Economic Zones are specially designated areas which offer incentives such as reduced taxes and other benefits in order to encourage investment and production in those locations. To attract foreign and local investment a number of such zones have been established throughout Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan now has three FEZs — in Navoi, Angren and Jizzakh, and the government plans to establish more new FEZs in the country.

The USAID Competitiveness, Trade, and Jobs Activity facilitates exports and employment in horticulture and strengthens transport and logistics services across the five Central Asian economies. By incentivizing firms to become more regionally competitive and by addressing cross-border impediments to trade, USAID helps to develop a more diverse and competitive private sector and to generate export-driven growth.

Sergey Kwan