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Uzbekistan leads in foreign direct investment sector

24 September 2020

Uzbekistan has significantly fewer regulatory restrictions on foreign investors' activities compared to other Central Asian countries, Trend reports with reference to uzdaily.uz.

Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan Sardor Umurzakov took part in the regional webinar of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the topic "Enhancing the legal environment for entrepreneurship in Central Asian countries".

This year, Uzbekistan for the first time was included in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Index of Regulatory Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment, which is an indicator of the degree of openness of the economies of various countries to foreign investors.

The position of a country in the Index is determined based on the absence of existing restrictions on the equity participation of foreign investors in enterprises, the need to obtain additional permits, restrictions on the hiring of key personnel, and other factors that may impede the attraction of foreign investment into the country's economy.

Following the institutional improvements and large-scale reforms in the investment and economic spheres, effective interaction of the relevant ministries and departments to improve the business environment and investment climate, Uzbekistan ranked 43rd among 83 countries included in the Index, ahead of its nearest neighbors -- Kazakhstan (56th place), Tajikistan (58th place) and Kyrgyzstan (62nd place).

According to the rating, Uzbekistan has significantly fewer regulatory restrictions on foreign investors' activities than in countries such as Poland (44th place), Switzerland (49th place), USA (52nd place), South Korea (61st place), Canada (66th place) and Russia (77th place).

At the same time, the first place in the ranking went to Luxembourg, followed by Slovenia, Portugal, Romania, and the Czech Republic, and the last places were shared by the Philippines, Palestine, Algeria, and Libya.

Umurzakov also outlined the main areas of systematic work to eliminate barriers hindering investment and innovation in Uzbekistan such as the formation of a competitive model of the economy through the gradual privatization of the banking sector, the development of public-private partnership tools to attract investment in infrastructure, digitalization of interaction between the state and investors.

As a result of the event, the conference participants expressed their strong interest in the further implementation of joint projects with the OECD and the EU aimed at improving the legal environment for small and medium-sized businesses, developing mutual trade, as well as further increasing the export potential of Central Asian countries.