On March 20, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev held a meeting on accelerating the implementation of investment projects and efforts on attracting direct investments.
Investments constitute the driving force of the economy. In recent years, attracting foreign investment has become increasingly difficult for countries all over the world. Thus, in 2018, the global flow of investment declined by 19 percent.
Therefore, it is important to effectively use foreign investments that have already been drawn, to establish proper and systemic activities in this area.
During the videoconference session held on January 8 this year, the President of Uzbekistan identified specific objectives for attracting investments and creating a favorable investment climate. In accordance with them, the Investment Program was approved with the indication of exact sources of funding. This year it is planned to master foreign direct investments totaling 4.2 billion US dollars.
At the meeting, a critical analysis of activities undertaken over the past two months was held. The Head of the state, noting in general the unsatisfactory state of foreign investment, voiced serious warning to those in charge. The absence of proposals, in some industries and regions, for foreign investors built on accurate calculations was criticized.
The President has set specific tasks for appropriate ministries and khokimiyats. Thus, the Ministry for Investments and Foreign Trade was tasked with forming a portfolio of investment projects with the attraction of foreign direct investment in the energy, oil and gas, chemical industries, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, information technology and others.
It was emphasized that the meetings of intergovernmental commissions have not become an effective platform for the formation of investment projects, suggesting thus that it is essential to develop target indicators for each commission for attracting direct investments.
Today, one of the important factors of attracting investment in the world is the system of public-private partnership. Taking this into account, the Agency for the Development of Public-Private Partnerships was established at the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan. At the meeting, attention was paid to the organization of activities of this Agency, and responsible persons were instructed to design projects in the field of transport, energy and provision of services, which are scheduled to be implemented with participation of foreign investments on the basis of public-private partnership mechanisms.
The newly established Agency for Public Assets Management was given specific instructions on accelerating the attraction of foreign direct investments to public enterprises.
The need for holding overseas presentations in the format of “road shows” to attract foreign direct investment in the above mentioned industries was noted.
In accordance with the Investment program for the current year, it is envisaged to implement construction and repair work on about 3 thousand objects at the expense of centralized sources. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev instructed to complete the works within a short period of time on financing and development of design and estimate documentation and speed up the start of construction works.
It was noted that to improve the development of investment programs, it is crucial to widely introduce international experience in the management of design institutes.
As it was emphasized at the meeting, in the regions, the state of attracting investment in production is unsatisfactory. Pharmaceutical and hygienic products, foodstuffs and children’s clothes are imported to Uzbekistan in large quantities. And this is despite the fact that there are ample opportunities for the production of these goods in the country.
In this regard, the President ordered the heads of ministries and agencies to visit regions assigned to them and take measures on accelerating the projects implemented there, attracting investors, including into free economic zones, for the production of consumer goods.
The state of the use of funds of international financial institutions was also considered. Poor work of the ministries of housing and public services, healthcare, water management in implementation of annual plans was indicated. Responsible persons were given instructions to accelerate activities in this area.
At the meeting it was noted that the lack of necessary infrastructure in some regions impedes investment attraction. There are problems associated with the allocation of land for projects, connecting to the networks of electricity, gas, water supply and sewerage. In this regard, the ministries of Economy and Industry, of Investment and Foreign Trade were tasked with developing a three-year program for infrastructure facilities development in the regions.
Practical measures have been outlined for ensuring the execution of these instructions and eliminating the existing problems.