AKIPRESS.COM - In 2023 Uzbekistan remained the leading recipient of the EBRD funding in the region for the fourth year running by attracting over €700 million (US$ 760 million). The EBRD financed 27 projects in sectors ranging from renewable energy to sustainable infrastructure. 69 per cent of them were in the private sector and nearly 70 per cent of these investments were green.
The Bank’s funds were used to create inclusive employment opportunities as well as to promote good entrepreneurial initiative and for the deployment of climate-resilient technologies.
The EBRD continued rolling out its flagship programmes such as Green Economy Financing Facility, designed to promote 'green and innovative solutions, and Green Cities, helping to tackle environmental challenges and encouraging investment in municipal infrastructure. The Bank addressed the issue of youth entrepreneurship and employment in Central Asia and Uzbekistan by launching a seven-year Youth in Business programme.
The EBRD continued to invest in renewable energy power generation and low-carbon technologies. It financed the construction of three greenfield solar power plants developed by Masdar with total installed capacity of nearly 900 MW. The Bank also provided funds to ACWA Power Wind Karatau to finance the construction of a 100MW wind power plant (WPP) in the republic of Karakalpakstan.
It provided a sovereign loan to modernise 118 pumping stations across the Fergana Valley and improve sustainability of irrigation in this densely-populated region.
Uzbekistan’s major municipality Samarkand became the first city in the country to join the Bank’s Green Cities programme. As part of this engagement, Samarkand is planning to deploy ecologically friendly electric buses.
In the financial sector the Bank continued working with the local financial intermediaries such as SQB, Hamkorbank and Ipoteka Bank to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and promote green lending.
One of 2023 highlights was the EBRD’s 32nd Annual Meeting and Business Forum, which took place in Samarkand. The event, largest of its kind in Central Asia for more than a decade, brought together government officials, financial and corporate executives, entrepreneurs, civil society and media from all over the world.