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Statement by the IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang at the Conclusion of a Visit to Uzbekistan

www.imf.org
15 May 2018

Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), visited Tashkent on May 12-14, 2018. During his visit, Mr. Zhang met with the authorities and representatives of the private sector. The discussions focused on the latest regional and global economic developments and Uzbekistan's economic reform efforts. At the conclusion of his visit, Mr. Zhang made the following statement:

"It was my pleasure to visit Uzbekistan during a very exciting and important time. I would like to thank Prime Minister Aripov and members of his team for their generous hospitality and fruitful series of discussions. During our meetings, I welcomed recent economic reforms, especially liberalization of the foreign exchange market. By promoting a more efficient allocation of resources across Uzbekistan's economy, these reforms will help stimulate much-needed growth and job creation.

"During our meetings, I also welcomed the policies that are being pursued in a range of areas. The Central Bank of Uzbekistan has made commendable progress in improving monetary and exchange rate policies, and the IMF supports the envisaged switch to inflation targeting over the medium term. The government's commitment to reduce the overall fiscal deficit in 2018 is appropriate. The fiscal position will then be well-placed for the introduction of the planned comprehensive tax reform, which should be implemented gradually while preserving fiscal stability. Successful implementation of the authorities' suitably ambitious structural reform agenda will improve the performance of state enterprises, promote resilience of the banking sector, and foster domestic competition.

"While experience shows that such wide-ranging reforms can be difficult and present many challenges, these efforts are needed to increase Uzbekistan's growth rate, create jobs, and raise standards of living. The IMF stands ready to provide policy advice and technical assistance to support Uzbekistan and its people in their reform efforts."

IMF Communications DepartmentMEDIA RELATIONS

PRESS OFFICER: RANDA MOHAMED ELNAGAR

PHONE: +1 202 623-7100EMAIL: MEDIA@IMF.ORG