A new cooperation agreement between the IFC and the government of Uzbekistan aims to help improve the country’s legal and regulatory frameworks to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) and help drive economic growth.
The goal is to align Uzbekistan’s current investment law with global best practices to boost foreign investment. To do that, IFC, in partnership with the government of Japan, will help the government of Uzbekistan to prepare a new investment law that clearly states market entry rules, ensures foreign investors and their investments are treated equally, gives investors access to international dispute settlements, and focuses only on FDI and private investments.
IFC will also help the government implement rules to enable private sector participation in building and operating special economic zones (SEZs) - including ensuring site selections are carried out with proper feasibility and environmental and sustainability analyses. Current rules are based on the state management of the zones, which is deterring private sector participation and hampering FDI inflows.
“Attracting potential strategic private investors to bring new technologies and create new high-skilled jobs is one of the priorities for the government today,” said Oybek Khamraev, Deputy Minister of Investment, Industry and Trade of Uzbekistan.
“Uzbekistan has enormous potential for increasing its FDI inflows. These regulatory reforms are key building blocks for the country in realizing its full potential and attract international investors with the capital, know-how and technologies to support the government's economic transition and sustainable economic growth objectives,” said Wim Douw, Acting Manager with IFC's Creating Markets Advisory unit for the Middle East, Central Asia, Turkiye, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan is undergoing an economic transformation. As of August 1, 2023, IFC's portfolio of investment commitments in the country stood at $500 million.