World Bank pledges support for Uzbekistan’s ambitious reforms

TASHKENT (TCA) — World Bank Chief Executive Officer Kristalina Georgieva on January 18 welcomed Uzbekistan’s wide ranging reforms to boost the country’s economy and improve the lives of all Uzbek citizens. Georgieva met with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, senior government and parliamentary leaders, and representatives from the private sector and civil society. She offered World Bank Group support to the country’s reform program, in particular in the areas of agriculture modernization, public service delivery, and private sector development.

“Uzbekistan’s leadership is pressing ahead with ambitious reforms. The country is on a positive track with growth this year projected at 5.6%. Continuing on the path of bold economic and social reforms, improving the business environment, and strengthening institutions will generate private sector investments, economic growth, and create jobs,” said Georgieva.

Uzbekistan has announced major steps to liberalize its economy, including currency convertibility and lifting trade and investment barriers. In agriculture, the Government is undertaking important reforms to modernize and diversify the sector, such as improving labor practices, lowering or removing import tariffs on major agricultural inputs, facilitating agricultural exports, and granting horticulture farmers and agricultural enterprises access to domestic and foreign markets.

“The speed and the breadth of reforms are impressive, and the World Bank Group is committed to continue supporting the country’s reform agenda with financial and technical assistance. Already, we are working closely with the authorities on improving access to water, energy, education, and healthcare. We firmly believe that Uzbekistan has the potential to become an upper middle country by 2030, which is the government’s goal,” said Georgieva.

Georgieva also met with several high-ranking officials, including Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Djamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister Sukhrob Kholmuradov, and Deputy Prime Minister and Chair of the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbayeva.

Sergey Kwan

TCA

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

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