In the coming months, the need for a more cautious approach in attracting external debt is increasing, the Central Bank’s report reads.
Thus, in the first half of 2020, the negative current account balance amounted to $2 billion ($1.8 billion in the corresponding period of 2019).
At the same time, according to the Central Bank, the main source of financing the current account deficit in 2020 will be the attraction of external debt from international financial institutions. In the first quarter of 2020, Uzbekistan’s external debt amounted to $24.8 billion, of which $16.1 billion (65% of the total external debt) is public external debt and $8.7 billion (35%) falls on the private sector.
During 2017-2019, the cost of servicing the country’s external debt increased 1.4 times (from $1.9 billion to $2.7 billion), including the volume of payments on the state external debt increased 1.6 times (from $465 million to $760 million).
“Given the growing demand for foreign exchange in the domestic foreign exchange market to service external debt and possible additional pressure on the foreign exchange market in the future, the need for a more cautious approach in attracting external debt will increase in the coming quarters. At the same time, it is advisable to determine the volume of new loans under the state guarantee within the amount of repayment of previously received loans and direct them exclusively to finance infrastructure projects,” the Central Bank said.