The first plenary session of the Council of Foreign Investors under the President of Uzbekistan was held.
On November 16, the first plenary meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors under the head of our state was held in the “Kuksaroy” residence under the chairmanship of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
In his speech, the President emphasized that serious global changes are taking place in the world today, the world community is facing new challenges before getting rid of the pandemic, various conflicts and antagonisms are intensifying, the importance of close cooperation based on mutual trust and respect is increasing in such difficult and complex conditions.
According to the head of Uzbekistan, the volume of foreign investments entering the country’s economy increased 10 times over the last 5 years and amounted to nearly $40 billion.
“We aim to double the volume of the gross domestic product over the course of 10 years. We have the will and the opportunity to achieve this,” he noted.
In order to achieve these goals, Uzbekistan has calculated to increase the volume of investments to $120 billion in the next 5 years, including attracting at least $70 billion of foreign investments.
“We have specific projects and programs to direct these investments, first of all, to the modernization and transformation of industrial sectors, to the rapid development of production, utility and transport infrastructure. Also, attracting private investments to traditional state-owned sectors such as education and health care is on our agenda,” the President said.
“We call on foreign investors to develop and jointly implement new mutually beneficial projects. I assure you that in New Uzbekistan, we will create all the opportunities for investors to feel free and work stably looking to the future with great confidence. That is why we are establishing a new Council with the participation of the most reliable investors who are our close friends and benefactors. I am sure that we will take the long-term, mutually beneficial investment cooperation with you to a new stage,” the head of state said.
The President briefly touched on a number of areas that the Uzbek side wants to develop within the framework of the Council.
“We defined the rule of law as one of the main principles of the development of New Uzbekistan. In recent years, unprecedented measures have been implemented in our country to ensure the privacy of private property and protect the rights of owners. From now on, the unconditional provision and protection of property rights to citizens and entrepreneurs will be guaranteed by a transparent and fair legal system,” the President said.
The head of state proposed to establish a committee for the protection of the rights of investors under the Council of Foreign Investors in order to introduce advanced foreign practice and experience in Uzbekistan.
“We intend to further deepen reforms in the banking and financial sector. We are talking about creating a healthy competitive environment in this field, actively attracting foreign banks to Uzbekistan, and forming an effective stock market,” the President said.
Mirziyoyev noted that Uzbekistan is open to proposals and initiatives of foreign investors aimed at further improving the banking and financial sector.
“Reducing the state’s share in the economy and deepening privatization will remain one of our main goals,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted.
In recent years, 1,200 state enterprises have been privatized in Uzbekistan. About a thousand more enterprises and real estate objects are planned to be privatized next year.
At the same time, the public-private partnership mechanism is being actively applied to all sectors of the economy. Significant results have been achieved in this direction in a short period of time. In the energy sector, Uzbekistan has attracted more than $8 billion using these mechanisms. The President invited the members of the Council to actively participate in privatization and public-private partnership programs.
“There are great opportunities in the development of rich natural resources of Uzbekistan. As you know, our country ranks 2nd in the world in terms of gold reserves, 7th – in copper, 8th – in tungsten, 9th – in silver, and 12th – in uranium.
In order to attract large investments in the development of mineral deposits, we have made public geological information. We have reduced tax rates for the development of more than 10 types of strategic minerals, canceled land tax, and exempted special equipment from customs duties,” the President said.
It was noted that Uzbekistan has prepared concrete projects for deep processing of raw materials.
“Just one example: 150,000 tons of copper are mined in Uzbekistan per year, and only 70,000 tons of it are processed. In the coming years, we will increase the copper production to 500,000 tons. In this regard, we have started to establish a copper cluster. In its territory, we have started implementing projects for the production of copper foil, electric motors, solar panels, cable-conducting products and other high-value-added goods. In addition, we intend to establish a network for the production of electric cars,” the President said and invited investors to practical cooperation in these directions.
It was noted that special attention is being paid to attracting investments in the field of digitization in Uzbekistan, and the country is actively participating in the process of developing the “green economy”.
“I believe that it is necessary to organize work with foreign investors in the following order.
An Investor Support Working Group will be established under the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade to implement each of the above-mentioned priorities. This working group operates under the Council of Foreign Investors and provides comprehensive and systematic support to foreign investors. In particular, it provides all services from meeting the investor at the airport to issuing the necessary permits and licenses for business based on the “single window” principle,” the head of Uzbekistan said.
The Council members, who spoke at the meeting, noted the high success of the reform program in New Uzbekistan in recent years, as a result of which favorable conditions were created for doing business and implementing promising projects. Deep gratitude was expressed to the head of our state for providing all-round support to the activities of investors, and readiness for mutually beneficial partnership from now on.
Following the meeting, the President of Uzbekistan gave relevant tasks to the officials to establish a systematic cooperation with foreign investors, to develop a “roadmap” based on the proposals presented at today’s meeting, specifying a specific deadline and executors.
The activities of the new working group will be coordinated by the First Deputy Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade, Laziz Kudratov. He is freed from all other matters and focuses only on working with investors.
Deputy Prime Ministers J.Khojayev, J.Kuchkarov, J.Mirzamakhmudov ensure positive resolution of appeals received in their directions.
“The working group together with the Secretariat of the Council, based on the proposals of foreign investors, should develop a “roadmap” with specific projects, improvement of the legislation for their implementation, deadlines and responsible executors,” the President said.
“We will take all measures for your business to be successful in Uzbekistan, for you to feel confident, free and comfortable in our country,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said, addressing the investors.