11:25 / 02.03.2021
Uzbekistan’s foreign debt exceeds 40% of GDP  

 As of January 1, 2021, the public debt of Uzbekistan amounted to $23.3 billion. Of this, 21.1 billion – external debt, which has doubled in the last 2 years.

The Ministry of Finance has published a review of the current state and dynamics of public debt for 2020.

Foreign debt exceeded $21 billion

According to preliminary estimates, as of January 1, 2021, the balance of debt (public debt) attracted on behalf of and under the guarantee of Uzbekistan amounted to $23.3 billion or 40.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).

Compared to the end of 2020, the external debt increased by $5.4 billion or 34.4% compared to the beginning of the year, reaching $21.1 billion as of January 1, 2021, or 36.5% of GDP.

Of this, the republic’s foreign debt amounted to $15.1 billion, the state-guaranteed external debt – $6 billion.

The country’s domestic debt is 23.3 trillion soums ($2.2 billion) or 3.9% of GDP. Of this, 4 trillion soums ($0.4 billion) are government securities, and 19.3 trillion soums ($1.8 billion) are government-guaranteed domestic debt.

Public debt dynamics

“Despite the dynamics of growth of public debt in recent years, according to international standards, the public debt of Uzbekistan (40.4% of GDP), including external debt (36.5% of GDP) remains moderate,” the report said.

The safe level of external debt for Uzbekistan is estimated at 60% of GDP.

According to the Law “On the State Budget of Uzbekistan for 2021”, the amount of public debt raised on behalf of the government and under state guarantees should not exceed 60% of the annual GDP.

According to the Law “On the State Budget”, the limited volume of new contracts signed in 2020 to attract foreign debt was set at $5.5 billion.

The limited annual volume of new agreements to attract domestic and foreign debt for 2021 is also set at $5.5 billion, including $2.2 billion to finance the state budget deficit and $3.3 billion to finance investment projects.

External debt

The volume of external debt as of January 1, 2021, amounted to $21.1 billion or 36.5% of GDP.

At the same time, the external debt attracted on behalf of the republic is equivalent to $15.1 billion or 71.4% of the total public debt. In addition, the country’s guaranteed foreign debt is equivalent to $6 billion, or 28.6% of the country’s external debt.

In 2020, 17.5% of the total external debt, or $3.7 billion, was spent to support the state budget. Also last year:

  • $2.6 billion was spent on the energy sector;
  • $2.9 billion – on the electricity sector;
  • $2.4 billion – on the transportation and transportation infrastructure;
  • $2.3 billion – on housing and communal services;
  • $1.7 billion – on sovereign international bonds;
  • $1 billion – on the chemical industry;
  • $0.7 billion – on education and health;
  • $0.3 billion – on the financial sector;
  • $0.2 billion – on communications;
  • $1.1 billion – on other areas.

Most of the government’s external debt is long-term and has received preferential interest rates.