16:38 / 08.02.2023

Uzbekistan’s public debt increased almost 4 times over 6 years 

Information on the dynamics of the external debt of the republic in recent years and forecasts of the emergence of a public debt crisis have been published.

According to the Agency for Strategic Reforms under the President, over the past 6 years, an acceleration in the growth of external debt has been observed in Uzbekistan. If at the end of 2016 the external public and publicly guaranteed debt was 8% of GDP, then as of October 1, 2022, it already amounted to 30.14% of GDP, or $23.16 billion.

Of this amount, $17.0 billion is debt raised on behalf of Uzbekistan, and $6.16 billion is state-guaranteed external debt.

It is noted that the peak of the increase in GDP-related external debt occurred in 2022, and then its gradual decline is expected. According to the IMF, the risk of an external debt crisis in Uzbekistan is low, and the ability to service debt is high.

“The main sources of Uzbekistan’s foreign exchange income remain stable: export volumes are growing, the volume of cross-border transfers to the country is growing, the main indicators of the current balance of payments are stable and there is no threat of default,” the report reads.

Along with this, in 2020, Uzbekistan legally adopted restrictions on attracting external debt. Now the law limits not only the maximum amount of borrowing for each year, but also the maximum level of external public debt (no more than 60% of GDP).

It is emphasized that during the past year, at the expense of external debt, in particular, important infrastructure projects were financed: the reconstruction of roads with a total length of 269 km, the construction of 243 km of drinking water conduits and 83.8 km of irrigation networks, 15 drinking water distribution points (pumps, filters), reconstruction of 817 hydraulic structures.

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