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Atabek Nazirov: Many foreign investors are still afraid to invest in Uzbekistan

25 December 2019

Some restrictions still discourage foreign investors from investing in Uzbekistan, although interest in the country is growing, Director of the Capital Markets Development Agency Atabek Nazirov said.

“Today’s financial architecture in the republic scares many investors off,” Nazirov said Wednesday at a meeting with professional participants in the securities market.

He emphasized that “interest of foreign investors for Uzbekistan is growing” due to the fact that the country’s economy has potential for growth. 

“GDP per capita today is about $1.5 thousand, at purchasing power parity – $6-7 thousand. The world average is about $35-40 thousand. The gap is huge. What does this mean? If investment and macroeconomic policies are conducted correctly, the economy will grow. Accordingly, investors will want to invest,” the head of the agency said. 

He added that the draft Strategy for the development of the capital market in 2020-2025 proposes a number of measures, “where the agency wants to completely remove restrictions, simplify the ability to open accounts and give the opportunity to deposit/withdraw capital without any barriers”. 

According to Tursun Makhkamov, head of the agency’s department, in Uzbekistan there is still “no clear and convenient procedure for managing capital flows”, which worries investors. 

“Investors agree to certain restrictions on the movement of capital, but they need to know more about what restrictions exist and how they need to act correctly in order to take into account all their risks, which is very difficult to do,” Makhkamov said.