Uzbekistan president orders new measures for small business support

TASHKENT (TCA) — President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a videoconference meeting on August 2 to analyze the government’s work on the promotion of small business and entrepreneurship in the country, the president’s official website reported.

It was said at the meeting that most of the problems faced by Uzbek businesspeople are related to land allocation and connection to utilities infrastructure.

The Cabinet of Ministers, the Ministry of Economy and Industry, the State Assets Management Agency have been tasked to set up small industrial zones (SIZ) on the basis of unused facilities of large enterprises, and also introduce a procedure providing that 65 percent of the costs of connection of the SIZs to electric grids, water and natural gas networks, and access roads will be covered from the national budget.

A study has showed that over a thousand entrepreneurial projects funded by bank loans in 2017-2018 encountered problems related to the allocation of land, connection to public utilities infrastructure, obtainment of permits, and import of equipment.

The head of state said that banks should radically change their work style, support entrepreneurs throughout their activities, and become real business partners of their customers.

Mirziyoyev also emphasized the necessity of wider attraction of funds of international credit lines to business and development of corresponding proposals in the context of each region of the country.

At a government meeting late in July, President Mirziyoyev said that heads of administrations of the regions, districts, cities and their first deputies should work in a completely new way and devote 70 percent of their time to development of entrepreneurship.

Small business produces almost 60 percent of Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product, a third of industrial output, 98 percent of agricultural products, as well as provides half of the investment. In many regions, small business accounts for between 70 percent and 90 percent of exports.

Sergey Kwan