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ADB VP Lavasa Reaffirms Support for Uzbekistan’s Private Sector Development

www.adb.org/
7 September 2021

TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (7 September 2021) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President for Private Sector Operations and Public–Private Partnerships Ashok Lavasa met with senior government officials and key stakeholders in the past week in Tashkent, reaffirming ADB’s support for Uzbekistan’s reform agenda and efforts to strengthen the private sector.

Mr. Lavasa met with Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, and ADB Governor Sardor Umurzakov; Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Jamshid Kuchkarov; and other government and private sector partners to discuss ADB operations in the country.

“The Government of Uzbekistan has made remarkable progress in developing public–private partnerships in the past few years, particularly given the huge challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mr. Lavasa. “ADB reaffirms its comprehensive and integrated support to Uzbekistan including through policy advice, capacity building, transaction advisory support to prepare bankable PPP projects, lending to the government, and direct financing to key private sector entities. Building an enabling environment for a strong private sector and mobilizing the private sector’s resources, expertise, and innovation are crucial for sustainable development. ADB will also emphasize diversification by focusing on private sector investment in health, education, and agribusiness.”

Mr. Lavasa commended the government for mitigating the adverse impact of the pandemic on the economy. Mr. Umurzakov thanked ADB for its budget support which enabled increased spending on social protection and was instrumental in Uzbekistan’s economic recovery. They also discussed their mutual intentions to incorporate private sector development into ADB-supported operations, including through public–private partnerships, local currency financing solutions, and credit enhancement products to attract foreign investors.

During his meeting with Mr. Kuchkarov, Mr. Lavasa commended the government’s progress in preparing public–private partnerships and reiterated ADB’s support. They discussed the importance of macroeconomic stability, consistency in reforms, and development of infrastructure and institutions to build the trust of the private sector. They highlighted the potential for private sector engagement in transportation and municipal services. Mr. Kuchkarov welcomed ADB’s support to improve the environment for small and medium businesses to grow.

Mr. Lavasa also met with CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector Ayman Amin Sejiny; CEO of Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit Oussama Abdul Rahman Kaissi; Vice-President, Sector Operations at the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Mansur Muhtar; and other officials of banks and companies to discuss areas for collaboration and ADB support for the private sector. Mr. Lavasa participated in the panel discussion “PPP Investment in the Post-COVID-19 Era” at the IsDB’s Annual Meetings which took place in Tashkent from 3 to 4 September.

Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995. Since then, ADB has committed loans, grants, and technical assistance amounting to $10.1 billion for Uzbekistan. Supporting private sector development is a key strategic priority under ADB’s country partnership strategy for Uzbekistan, 2019–2023, which will help to move the country toward a vibrant and inclusive market economy.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.