The AfDB is ready to deepen its cooperation with Uzbekistan in a wide range of areas
On February 2 this year, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov held talks by videoconference with the President of the Asian Development Bank Masatsugu Asakawa, during which issues of bilateral cooperation and implementation of joint projects were discussed.
It was noted that the AfDB’s cooperation with Uzbekistan is multifaceted and long-term, and that the country’s project portfolio, worth more than $10 billion, is the largest of all other development partners. While financing projects of social and economic importance, the Bank also provides technical and advisory assistance in the implementation of program reforms in Uzbekistan.
In this spirit, ways to continue cooperation on the implementation of the goals and objectives of the AfDB’s partnership strategy with Uzbekistan for 2019-2023, which are correlated with the development strategy of Uzbekistan for 2022-2026 adopted this year, were discussed. Common priorities, in particular, are supporting the private sector, promoting regional cooperation, reducing inequalities by promoting inclusive growth and other important areas.
The current status of 29 projects implemented jointly with the AfDB with a total value of $5 billion in the areas of infrastructure development, energy, housing and communal services, health and agriculture was examined. Under the AfDB National Operations Business Plan for 2022-2024, Uzbekistan plans to implement 27 projects worth $2.8 billion, including 3 projects worth $524 million will be implemented in 2022. The parties agreed to close cooperation to accelerate the implementation of approved initiatives. and coordination of projects under consideration.
Measures have been outlined to further improve the efficiency of the preparation and implementation of joint projects, within the framework of which the mechanisms for interaction between the AfDB and the Agency for International Cooperation and Development under the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade, which is designed to be the main coordination link at all stages of the project cycle: prioritization, design, project appraisal, procurement and practical implementation. An agreement has been reached to provide AfDB technical assistance by sending experts to Uzbekistan to advise on capacity building and institutional development of the Agency.
Particular attention was paid to cooperation in the promotion of projects implemented in the country on the basis of public-private partnership (PPP). The progress made in the preparation and implementation of large-scale PPP projects in the energy sector with the AfDB was highlighted: a separate AfDB solar energy development program in Uzbekistan with a capacity of total of 1 GW is currently being actively implemented. The parties noted the significant potential for expanding cooperation in this field and expressed their readiness to explore the possibilities of expanding the introduction of PPP tools in the areas of water supply, network modernization distribution of electricity, health and the development of transport infrastructure.
Issues of expanding cooperation with the AfDB in terms of financial support for private sector projects and commercial banks in Uzbekistan, implementation of road infrastructure expansion projects, development of the secondary education system and professional through improving curricula in technology, engineering and mathematics, increasing employment, modernizing the health sector, empowering women and promoting female and youth entrepreneurship.
During the dialogue, the Bank’s management was invited to participate in the work of the Tashkent International Investment Forum and related events.
As a result of the talks, agreements were reached to intensify cooperation in a number of priority areas for both parties.