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Prospects for deepening cooperation between Uzbekistan and the World Bank were discussed

On September 30 this year, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov held negotiations with Vice-President of the World Bank for Europe and Central Asia Anna Bjerde to discuss the current state and prospects for deepening further cooperation.

The results of the implementation of the World Bank’s Partnership Program with Uzbekistan for 2016-2021 were considered. It was noted that during the implementation of the Program a constructive dialogue was established on the selection of priority projects for financing by the World Bank, taking into account the interests of Uzbekistan.

A.Bjerde noted the consistency of reforms implemented in the country and the positive macroeconomic indicators achieved despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bank’s management expressed high appreciation to the initiative to establish the Agency for Strategic Development under the President of Uzbekistan and readiness to establish close cooperation in the implementation of further reform programs through the provision of technical assistance and organization of direct interaction between the World Bank experts and the Agency’s team.

The sides discussed the development of a new World Bank partnership program with Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, which will be based on priority areas of the country’s reform program – the transformation of state enterprises and banks, financial sector, energy, housing and transport services, agriculture, education and healthcare, as well as the private sector and small business development.

An agreement was reached on joint work to analyze the export support system created in Uzbekistan for developing a strategy for its promotion, implement programs to support young entrepreneurs, as well as study the development potential of regions for developing new approaches and techniques to identify key drivers of growth in industry, agriculture and services.

Joint actions were on the acceleration of the approval process by the World Bank’s management of four new projects aimed at supporting entrepreneurship, modernizing the statistical system and developing the financial sector.

The possibilities of the World Bank’s participation in the activities of the Economic Empowerment Fund established in Uzbekistan, with a view to co-financing projects in the field of small and medium-sized businesses and promoting poverty reduction, were considered.

At the end of the meeting, the parties outlined the format for further practical cooperation in the implementation of agreed projects and initiatives.