Investment projects worth $1.2 billion can be implemented in Uzbekistan in cooperation with the Turkish Ostim Group. The Uzbek side plans to create 200,000 jobs.
The Uzbek business community is cooperating with Ostim, Turkey’s largest industrial zone manager. The cooperation meeting was held on October 4 at the Hilton Hotel in Tashkent.
Chairman of the Economic Assembly of Uzbekistan Mukhtor Umarov talked about details and answered questions from Kun.uz.
- 200,000 jobs are promised, how will this be achieved?
- About 1,000 Turkish companies will be invited to Uzbekistan. If we create industrial zones that work under Turkish law, we will be able to attract new companies not only from Turkey but also from Europe.
In this regard, the head of the Ostim industrial zone has 6,200 companies. We can attract at least 1,000 of them to Uzbekistan. They have already expressed interest in this. If we create conditions for about a thousand companies and train them to world standards through Ostim industrial managers, we will be able to ensure their arrival in Uzbekistan.
We have calculated that if about 200 workers are employed in about a thousand companies, 200,000 jobs will be created. This is a five-year project. We have no intention to invent a new bicycle, this work will be based on the Turkish experience.
- You said that the government has allocated 3 industrial zones for the project, where are they located?
- Now we have the right to choose. The first industrial zone is a furniture cluster in Yukori Chirchik, Tashkent region. Another one is in Andijan and we got the right to choose the third.
We have decided to select 2 different industrial cluster zones: one is currently developing, and another is lagging behind. We work on the basis of experience exchange.
- How much money will be spent on the project and what are the sources of funding?
- The first source for the project is Ostim’s own investment fund. This special fund provides for the allocation of funds for entrepreneurs going abroad.
The second is the Uzbek government’s direct funding fund. This is a Direct Investment Fund. Through this fund, up to 30% of investments will be made in the projects of our entrepreneurs in areas that are important for the country’s economy. There is a condition that the government will withdraw from the project after 5 years.
Third, various international financial institutions have also expressed readiness to finance such projects. Such organizations include candidates from Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates and Hungary.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $1.2 billion. These funds will be disbursed to small and medium-sized businesses within five years. The development of small and medium enterprises is a complex issue. We rely on the experience and knowledge of our Turkish partners.
- It was said that 7 clusters will be created in industrial zones, what will they be like? In what direction will there be a change in the next year?
- It is planned to create clusters in IT, railway, construction, healthcare (pharmaceutical), furniture and food industries.
In the next year, we will focus more on the furniture industry than these areas. We have been working on this project for six months. In the furniture industry, we expect furniture prices to fall by up to 20%. The reduction in our cost after cluster production in the special zone will increase our export-competitiveness. Our exports have grown by 8% compared to last year, and we aim to increase them while maintaining this growth.
Turkey’s Ostim industrial zone was established in 1967. The zone is located in Ankara, it is the largest manufacturing industrial zone in the country for small and medium enterprises.
The industrial zone covers 17 sectors and 139 business areas, where 6,200 companies operate.