By Kamila Aliyeva
The World Bank (WB) and Uzbekistan signed loan agreements totaling $940 million on May 17.
The agreements were concluded during the meeting of the World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev within the framework of his first official visit to the United States, the website of the WB said.
The allocated funds will be used to finance four new projects in Uzbekistan in the field of improving energy efficiency, fruit and vegetable production and emergency medical services.
These loans have increased the WB project portfolio in Uzbekistan to $ 2.8 billion. To date, it includes projects in the field of transport, education, agriculture, irrigation and water supply.
“I’m very impressed with Uzbekistan’s wide ranging and ambitious reforms,” Kim said. “The World Bank Group will continue to provide expertise and financing to support the country’s ambitious development agenda and advance the government’s efforts to build a brighter future for all the people of Uzbekistan.”
In addition, an advisory services agreement was signed with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the WB Group. It will assist in the development of public-private partnership in order to attract private investors to finance, design, build and operate solar power plants in Uzbekistan. Moreover, the corporation will help in mobilizing investments up to $ 1 billion to implement similar projects.
A memorandum of understanding between the World Bank and Uzbekistan, which confirmed the main directions of bilateral cooperation, was also signed.
“Uzbekistan is on the right track. Continuing bold economic and social reforms, improving the business environment, and strengthening institutions will bring private sector investments, create jobs, and help the country join the leading economies of Central Asia and the world,” Kim said. “I strongly support the government’s efforts to continue reforms that will benefit all people in Uzbekistan.”
The World Bank Group is currently reviewing its concept of cooperation with Uzbekistan in order to support the bold reform program of the government.
The main task of the bank, according to its representatives, is to assist Uzbekistan in building a market economy, reforming state institutions, increasing citizen participation in decision-making, and investing in the development of human capital through the further development of education, health and social protection systems in the country.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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