AKIPRESS.COM - Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Diwakar Gupta reiterated ADB’s support for the government’s development and reform agenda during his 2-day visit to Uzbekistan from 20 to 21 September, the ADB reported.
Mr. Gupta met with the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Elyor Ganiev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr. Djamshid Kuchkarov, Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Mr. Sardor Umurzakov, Minister of Energy Mr. Alisher Sultanov, First Deputy Chairman of Central Bank Mr. Ilkhom Norkulov, and other government officials.
As ADB’s Vice-President responsible for its private sector operations, Mr. Gupta commended the government on its bold reforms to strengthen the country’s macroeconomic stability, while promoting better investment climate and business environment for private sector development. Mr. Gupta also congratulated the government on the significant progress made in advancing the public–private partnerships (PPP) agenda and committed ADB’s continuous support to PPP projects in various sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy.
“ADB is here to support and accompany Uzbekistan in the process of transition, be it for stimulating private investments and other sector reforms, or for driving up the uptake for renewable energy through public–private partnerships and private sector investments,” said Mr. Gupta.
In June 2019, ADB approved a new 5-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Uzbekistan to support the government’s ongoing reforms to help the economy’s transition towards a more inclusive and market-driven growth path. The strategy supports private sector development, addresses social disparities, and promotes regional cooperation and integration. ADB plans to mobilize more than $1 billion a year in the next three years to improve the country’s water supply and sanitation, transport infrastructure, energy generation and distribution, and youth employment. This will help create jobs in rural areas, broaden people’s access to modern health care, and support the government’s reform program in economic management, financial markets development, and social protection improvement.
During the visit, Mr. Gupta also spoke at the first Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Energy Ministers’ Dialogue and Energy Investment Forum. He underlined strong momentum for energy sector reforms in Uzbekistan, and timeliness of the events to help unlock and guide private investments in the region.
Since Uzbekistan joined ADB in 1995, ADB has committed 73 loans totaling $7.9 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million. ADB also provided $6 million in equity investment, $218 million in guarantees, and $97.7 million in technical assistance grants. Until now in 2019, ADB committed three loans totaling $472.3 million to develop horticulture value chain infrastructure, improve efficiency of railway transport, and access to drinking water supply.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.