By Kamila Aliyeva
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Uzbekistan have signed a framework agreement in Washington.
The EIB will now be able to support public and private sector projects in such areas as public infrastructure, energy and energy efficiency and small business development, podrobno.uz reported.
"I welcome the accession of Uzbekistan to the family of countries in which the bank operates. The signed Framework Agreement is a symbolic document which allows us to start financing projects that are mutually beneficial for Uzbekistan and the European Union. This will improve the living standards of citizens and strengthen the country's competitiveness. We are determined to move quickly from this important official step in our bilateral relations to concrete support for projects," vice-president of the European Investment Bank Vazil Hudak said.
The republic attaches significant importance to the signing of the agreement, which opens additional opportunities for attracting European investments and technologies to Uzbekistan’s economy, according to Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Jamshid Kuchkarov.
"We hope that the interaction with the EIB within the framework of the document will allow the implementation of investment projects with practical impact on the promotion of reform of various sectors of the economy, including the use of advanced European technologies. The development of cooperation with the bank corresponds to the priorities of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s reforms aimed at improving the business investment climate in the framework of Strategies for the development of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021," he said.
The launch of the bank's operational activities in the country will be a new stage of the EU Strategy for Partnership with Central Asia, according to the experts. This strategy reflects the growing importance of the region for the European Union and aims to strengthen the ties between the EU and the Central Asian countries by promoting prosperity, stability and security.
"The launch of EIB activities in the country, which is a strategically important partner of the European Union in Central Asia, will be a positive moment for relations between Europe and Uzbekistan. The EU is ready to provide technical assistance and join efforts with European and international financial institutions in order to attract additional funding for promotion of private sector development and corporate governance improvement as well as to promote the use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency,” Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, said.
In his opinion, close cooperation with the bank will allow the authorities of the country to provide more effective support to the extensive reform processes, which will directly benefit the people of the republic.
Uzbekistan is the fourth state in Central Asia cooperating with the EIB. Similar agreements have already been signed with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. These signatures were followed by financing in the amount of more than 700 million euros.
The EIB is the only bank owned by and representing the interests of the EU member states. It works closely with other EU institutions to implement EU policy. More than 90 percent of the bank’s activity is in Europe. The bank is also are a big investor around the world.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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