Uzbekistan sets up state fund to support private entrepreneurs, small business

TASHKENT (TCA) — The President of Uzbekistan has signed a Decree “On the establishment of the State Fund for Support of Entrepreneurship”. The document is aimed at further strengthening the financial support of private entrepreneurship, especially micro and small enterprises, and creating favorable conditions and opportunities for their accelerated development, the Jahon information agency reports.

The new Fund will render Uzbek small businesses and entrepreneurs financial support in the form of:
– providing resources by commercial banks in national and foreign currency, including at the expense of attracted foreign credit lines;
– guarantees on loans of commercial banks in the amount of up to 50 percent of the loan amount but not exceeding $500 thousand or its equivalent in the national currency;
– compensation to cover part of expenses on interest on loans from commercial banks.

Today, more than half of Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product (GDP) is produced by small businesses. Small business accounts for over 45 percent of industrial production and 98 percent of agricultural production in the country.

In 2016, the share of small businesses in GDP increased to 56.9% (against 56.5% in 2015), and around 32,000 new small business entities were established.

A total of 78% of the employed population is engaged in the small business sector.

Over the past four years, Uzbekistan has adopted more than 15 laws to enhance the role and protection of private property, further improve the business environment and conditions for doing business. Hundreds of permissive and licensing procedures for entrepreneurial activities have been abolished.

Sergey Kwan