TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (19 April 2019) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Shixin Chen has commended the government on its reform agenda and its management of the country’s transformation to a market-based economy during a 4-day visit to Uzbekistan from 16 to 19 April.
Mr. Chen, who took office at ADB in December 2018 and was on his first visit to Uzbekistan, met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr. Djamshid Kuchkarov, Minister of Foreign Investments and Trade Mr. Sardor Umurzakov, First Deputy Minister of Economy and Industry and ADB Alternate Governor Mr. Ravshan Gulyamov, and other government officials.
Mr. Chen reiterated ADB’s strong support for the government’s development and reform agenda and expressed confidence in the country’s economic prospects. He also discussed ADB’s ongoing and planned operations in Uzbekistan and said that ADB is committed to further support the country’s economic development.
“For more than two decades, Uzbekistan and ADB have worked together to bring prosperity to the people of Uzbekistan,” said Mr. Chen. “We hope to strengthen our partnership further by investing in key sectors of the economy and by developing knowledge partnerships and innovative financing approaches.”
ADB is preparing a new 5-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Uzbekistan to establish a stronger foundation for inclusive, diversified, and sustainable economic growth, improving governance and institutional capacity and promoting regional cooperation and connectivity. The proposed 2019–2023 CPS supports the government’s development and reform strategy. ADB plans to mobilize more than $1 billion per year in the next three years to improve water supply and sanitation, transport infrastructure, energy generation and distribution, and youth employment; create jobs in rural areas; broaden access to modern health care; and support the government’s reform program in economic management and social protection improvement.
During the visit, Mr. Chen spoke at ADB’s regional gender workshop organized jointly with the Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan. He underlined the role of gender in sustainable development and ADB’s experiences of mainstreaming gender equality into projects. Mr. Chen also visited ADB-funded projects and met with local governments and project beneficiaries, including horticulture enterprises, affordable rural housing program and advanced electricity metering project.
Since joining ADB in 1995, Uzbekistan has committed 70 loans totaling $7.4 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million. ADB also provided $6 million in equity investment, $218 million in guarantees, and $87.3 million in technical assistance grants. In 2018, ADB committed five loans totaling $1.1 billion to improve power generation efficiency, primary health care services, access to finance for horticulture farmers and businesses, access to drinking water in the western part of Uzbekistan, and economic management in the country.