Invest in Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan’s economy grew rapidly over the past decade and lifted significant parts of the population out of poverty. Today, the challenging external environment suggests that Uzbekistan will need to find new drivers for economic growth in the future. Increased exports of gas, gold, and copper, combined with high commodity prices, have generated revenues that have financed large increases in investment and salaries to bolster consumption. However, the commodity export volumes will likely plateau, and world prices are not expected to return to the levels of the past decade anytime soon. Uzbekistan’s reform agenda therefore needs to offset the downside risks and put the economy on a more sustainable path of income growth and job creation.
Uzbekistan needs to unleash the potential of the private sector at the same time as it reduces the footprint of the very large and inefficient SOEs in the manufacturing, trade, and financial sectors. There needs to be a shift toward a business environment that is conducive to private investment that supports both vibrant small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with the potential to grow in number of employees and the larger private companies, which facilitate export performance and productivity improvements and can deliver the much-needed formal private sector employment with high-paying jobs. At the same time as addressing these imbalances in the country’s economic model, there is also a need to ensure the environmental sustainability and social inclusiveness of future growth.