Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov in the format of a video conference discussed with representatives of the expert community, entrepreneurs and bloggers the preparation for the upcoming open dialogue of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan with entrepreneurs and investors, as well as current trends in the spheres of economy, finance, the banking sector and other areas.
During the event, which was held in the format of a "brainstorming", proposals were put forward and considered on the formation of the agenda of the upcoming event. They also discussed the problems and proposals of entrepreneurs, received by the Headquarters for the collection and analysis of applications, created by the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Experts and bloggers shared their vision of the further development of the business climate in the country and indicated priority areas in which it is necessary and important to continue consistent reforms. In particular, they touched upon issues of increasing the efficiency of public administration and tax and customs administration systems, privatization of state-owned enterprises and the banking sector, strengthening mechanisms for protecting the rights of entrepreneurs and investors, creating new instruments for their financial support and other issues.
During the conversation, the importance of establishing close interaction between government agencies on the one hand and experts and business representatives on the other hand was noted, meaning the latter are more actively involved in the development of proposals for the accelerated economic development of the country. It was proposed to create a discussion platform for generating ideas and multilateral exchange of views on further improving the business climate and promoting socio-economic reforms. The purpose of this platform is to build a constructive dialogue between the state and business, aimed at ensuring a clear understanding of common interests, as well as developing specific solutions to existing problems.
Following a confidential and constructive conversation, the participants determined the format for further cooperation and agreed to hold regular discussions on topical issues on the country's economic and social development agenda.
The Wall Street legend is eyeing hotels, airlines, metals, and other sectors.
“I am a big fan of the new Uzbekistan, although it is still almost unknown in the West. There used to be a dictatorship in the country, but the new government seems to know what it is doing. What they have achieved over the past few years is commendable, ”says Rogers.
He notes that the economy has finally opened up and international investors will surely take advantage of the new opportunities.
“I will be closely monitoring their announced plans for privatization and IPOs,” Rogers said.
The American investor is primarily interested in energy, metals, and agriculture, but in Uzbekistan, he is ready to go further:
“I am especially interested in their tourism potential. When their airlines are finally privatized, I will definitely think about it. Uzbekistan Airways is an interesting investment case, ”says Rogers.
He also expressed interest in hotels, as Uzbekistan occupies an important place in China's Belt and Road Initiative.
“There are some very attractive tourist destinations there. Uzbek airlines is an interesting investment case. I’m looking.” summed up the head of Rogers Holdings.
Jim Rogers is one of the most famous investors in the world. In the 1970s, he, along with George Soros, founded the Quantum Fund, which brought in 4200% earnings to investors in ten years. Despite this, in 1980, Rogers left Wall Street and became interested in travel. Since 2014, Rogers has been actively investing in Russian assets - in particular, the Moscow Exchange, PhosAgro and Aeroflot.
According to the State Statistics Committee, the GDP growth rate in Uzbekistan reached 6.2%. Whereas, the indicators for the same period last year were only 1.1%.
The index of physical volumes of industrial production also increased compared to 2020. According to State Statistics Committee, the indicators were negative 0.3% while this year they increased by 8.5%. The number of operating companies has also increased from 433 868 last year to 515 342 in half of this year.
Notably, according to forecasts of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the GDP of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2021 should grow by 5.6%. The major factor of such improvement will be due to recovery in private consumption and investment.
"In January-June 2021, the volume of foreign trade turnover оf Uzbekistan amounted to $ 18.013 billion and, compared to the same period in 2020, increased by 13.6%," State Statistics Committee noted.
The largest increase in foreign trade occurred in May, which almost doubled, reaching $ 4.25 billion.
The volume of exports from Uzbekistan in the first half of the year increased by 12.3% to 7.056 billion dollars, imports - up to 10.957 billion (+ 14.35%).
The negative balance of foreign trade amounted to $ 3.902 billion against a negative figure of $ 3.303 billion a year earlier.
The main foreign trade partners of the republic are China (18.2% of the total turnover), Russia (17%), Kazakhstan (10.4%), Turkey (8.7%) and South Korea (4.6%).
The main export items of Uzbekistan were industrial goods (28.8% of total exports), gold and precious metals (19.7%), services (16.1%), textile products (19.2%) and food products (8, 6%).
The main import items of Uzbekistan in January-June were machinery and equipment (32.8%), industrial goods (18.9%), chemical products and plastics (13.8%), food products (10%).
According to the State Statistics Committee, as of June 1, 2021, the number of enterprises with foreign capital in the country is 12,654, including 5,993 joint ventures and 6,661 foreign enterprises.
As of June 1, 2021, the number of enterprises with foreign capital by industry are as follows:
Industry - 4,064 units
Trade - 3 440 units
Construction - 1,046 units
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries - 693 units
Accommodation and catering services - 540 units
Information and communication - 352 units
Transportation and storage - 326 units
Health and social services - 197 units