Investments in Uzbekistan's economy should reach $17 billion next year, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said Friday (Dec. 28) during his annual address to the Houses of Parliament.
Moreover, authorities plan to increase the volume of foreign direct investment by 150 percent and bring it to $ 4.2 billion which is 1.5 times more than in 2018, Kabar News Agency reported.
Mirziyoyev called investment "the driver of economic growth" as new technologies, advanced experience and highly qualified specialists come with investments into all sectors and regions.
The President also noted that everyone should work to attract investment in the Central Asian country and improve the business environment and investment climate.
“We will achieve accelerated development of our economy only by actively attracting investment, introducing new production capacity. Positive results in the economy will allow to consistently solve the accumulated problems in social sphere”, Mirziyoyev said.
It should be noted that 2019 has been declared the “Year of Active Investments and Social Development" in Uzbekistan while 2018 was declared by the government “Year of support of active entrepreneurship, innovative ideas and technologies”.
As a result, the political environment underwent a number of positive changes. Several reforms were introduced in 2018 to tax policy. Particularly, electronic system of declarations, payments, and taxes were introduced, corporate income and development of social infrastructure taxes were reduced by 1.4 % and a total number of taxes decreased from 58 to 10.
(GRAPHIC SOURCE: WORLD BANK) Uzbekistan Foreign direct investment, net inflows (BoP, current US$)- Hover to see change
In 2018 Uzbekistan implemented 76 thousand projects worth 21 trillion Uzbek soums (UZS) and 1 billion USD, according to Mirziyoyev. More than 2,600 business projects have been implemented at places within the framework of “Every family is an entrepreneur” and “Youth is our future” programs.
Deputy Chairman of the State Investment Committee of Uzbekistan Shukhrat Vafayev told Trend News Agency that by Oct. 1, 2018, the number of companies with foreign capital operating in the country reached 6960, which is 29.6 percent (1,590) more compared to 2017.
(PHOTO BELOW: UZ REPORT) Vafayev Shukhrat, Deputy Chairman of the State Investment Committee of Uzbekistan
Vafayev added that the top five investor countries are Russia, Turkey, China, Kazakhstan and South Korea while the most popular sectors of the economy among foreign investors are tourism, agriculture, light, construction and the oil and gas industry.
Afghanistan, India, Germany, Ukraine and Azerbaijan are also keen on investing in Uzbekistan.
According to Vafayev among the most promising areas for investment are in the spheres of energy, aircraft, transport, water management, chemical industry and the processing of agricultural products and food production.
“The average annual growth rate of food production in our country is 9-10 percent. In addition, the consistent implementation of measures to develop and diversify the industry over the past five years has ensured the expansion of the resource base and increased production volumes," Vafayev told Trend.
Uzbekistan ranks as the 76th in the 2019 Doing Business report by the World Bank, including a ranking as the 12th easiest country to start a business in.