Uzbekistan intends to carry out 846 new investment projects totaling more than $40 billion under the program on implementation of structural reforms, modernization and diversification of production by end of 2019. This is just a part of a huge complex of ongoing measures on the development of the real economy. The Head of the Central Administration of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Economy, Otabek Sharipov, has provided more details about plans and prospects of development of domestic industry.
“The key long-term objective of the Uzbek economic policy comes to the creation of a competitive, sustainable and structurally balanced economy through the development of breakthrough industries with comparative advantages in the formation of long-term raw material processing chain, strengthening of resource saving and innovative factors for the advanced development of high-tech manufacturing industries that provide the increase of products with high added value.
The localization of industrial production is the pivotal component of industrial development in Uzbekistan. More than 2,600 projects totaling $5.5 billion have been implemented since the adoption of the localization program in 2000. Industrial enterprises have developed the production of over 5,000 kinds of the products that annually substitute imports of their counterparts worth $7 billion. In the last two years alone, the localization of production has allowed to completely stop imports in 97 product groups, and more than twice reduce imports of products in 306 positions.
Development of intra- and inter-industrial cooperation has also contributed to the establishment of preferential treatment in contract system when placing orders for the purchase of domestic products in the framework of the annual International Industrial Fair and Cooperation Exchange. For example, during the last year’s fair, Uzbekistan concluded more than 13,300 contracts for the delivery of products totaling 11.9 trillion soums this year, which exceeded the outcomes of the previous fair by 38%. Of these, more than 2.1 trillion soums were contracted for the purchase of previously imported products, which, according to estimates, should reduce imports of industries for the main production at $637.5 million in 2016.
Today, Uzbekistan is developing long-term programs of industrial development by 2030, providing for an accelerated scale up of manufacturing industries based on the implementation of investment projects on enhanced 3-4-stage processing of raw materials and the production of finished products with high added value.
The country has all the prerequisites to ensure the three times increase of production of petrochemical and chemical products, to establish the production of new types of complex polymers, olefins, synthetic rubber, synthetic fiber, aromatic hydrocarbons and other high-tech products, complex mineral fertilizers on the basis of enhanced diversification of production, as well as a wide range of the chemicals that are demanded in other sectors.
There are real opportunities to increase the production in mechanical engineering and electrical engineering by 3.7 times, pharmaceutical - by almost 10 times, food industry - 5 times, the construction materials industry - by 4 times.
Implementation of the abovementioned programs opens up broad prospects for joint investment cooperation between foreign companies in the implementation of the whole range of investment projects. Undoubtedly, the focus will be retained on streamlining the industries that push the progressive development of the national economy, and on the fulfillment of the target goal that was put forward by the country’s leadership – to not less than double the gross domestic product, achieve the accelerated growth of the industry through radical structural reforms and bring its share in GDP to 40% by 2030.”