Uzbekistan moves to floating exchange rate for national currency

TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan announced it will no longer restrict citizens from purchasing foreign currencies and will end a cap on the soum’s daily fluctuations, removing the last roadblocks to a fully floating currency, RFE/RL’s Uzbek Service reported.

The announcement on August 20 was the latest in a series of liberal economic policies that are attracting foreign investors to the once-closed Central Asian nation.

“The exchange rate will be formed by vendors and buyers only, due to economic necessity,” Uzbekistan’s central bank said in a statement.

Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev is seeking to jump-start economic growth and boost living standards for his nation of nearly 33 million people after a quarter-century of isolation under his predecessor, Islam Karimov.

Mirziyoyev, who took power three years ago following the death of autocrat Karimov, in September 2017 ended currency controls, which had been seen as the greatest barrier to foreign investment and economic growth.

Prior to lifting the currency controls, Uzbekistan had a dual-currency market, with an official rate for the U.S. dollar that was half the black-market rate, making investing in the nation more expensive for foreigners.

Sergey Kwan


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.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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