By Kamila Aliyeva
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) intends to allocate another $300 million to Uzbekistan by the end of next year.
This was stated by the first vice-president of the European Bank, Philip Bennett, at the opening of the EBRD representative office in Tashkent on November 8.
He noted that the bank could resume its work in Uzbekistan in a very short time.
"Since the EBRD shareholders decided to resume work in Uzbekistan, we managed to prepare a number of projects that will be signed before the end of this year and next year. This allows us to look to the future with confidence," the bank’s representative said.
However, he noted that the activities of the bank are aimed not only at providing financial resources.
"We will also do things in areas where we have great experience, for example, in public-private partnership, renewable energy and preservation of cultural heritage," Bennett said.
The current and future work of the financial institution in the country is directly related to the reforms that are being led by the leadership of Uzbekistan, and their success will affect the financing of certain projects, according to the bank’s official.
"This week we will sign three projects worth $120 million. In addition, before the end of 2018 we plan to allocate another $300 million to Uzbekistan. We were able to develop a large number of projects in various sectors of the economy, which we intend to implement in the coming years. They are about municipal infrastructure, support of financial institutions, agriculture, commerce and other areas," Bennett said.
At the same time, according to the European bank representative, the EBRD does not have such a concept as the distribution of a fixed budget for the country.
Therefore, if there is market demand, if the situation permits, the bank intends to continue investing money, attracting investors to work in Uzbekistan, he added.
Previously, the bank approved a $120 million credit line to the republic for three projects.
Of these funds, $70 million will be used by the Uzbek National Bank to finance final borrowers of small and medium-sized businesses while the remaining $30 million - to support trade finance. The purpose of this loan is to improve the possibility of medium-term financing of representatives of small and medium-sized businesses, including in the regions of the country.
The remaining amount will be shared between Agromir Juice JV LLC and the pharmaceutical company Jurabek Laboratories.
Currently, the Bank together with the involved ministries and departments of Uzbekistan is in the process of development a draft of the EBRD country program for Uzbekistan, which will further expand the Bank's interaction with the Central Asian nation.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to approve a new country program for Uzbekistan next summer.
"If we talk about the next stage of our work, we plan to develop a comprehensive plan, where our priorities will be described, we call this document the country strategy, and we expect that the first preliminary document will be ready by the end of March next year," Bennett said.
After that, he added, a series of consultations with partners in Uzbekistan will begin, where, in addition to government structures, the private sector will also be involved.
"Approximately in mid-summer, we expect that the final version of this country strategy will be adopted," the vice president stressed.
Uzbekistan joined the EBRD in 1992. According to the EBRD, the bank invested almost 900 million euros in the country and implemented about 54 projects in energy, entrepreneurship, transportation, construction, development of mineral resources, etc.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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