By Abdul Kerimkhanov
President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Takehiko Nakao has said that ADB will provide the Government of Uzbekistan with loans and technical assistance worth $5 billion under the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for 2019-2023.
Nakao participated at the 18th Ministerial Conference on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation in Tashkent.
"This year, ADB approved a partnership strategy with the country for the period 2019-2023, committing to allocate $5 billion in new aid for this period," Nakao said at a conference.
He said that in 2017-2019, the bank provided the Uzbek authorities $600 million to support ongoing economic reforms. As he added, this aid helps to improve economic governance, create fiscal sustainability, and strengthen government.
The Minister of Investment and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov met with Nakao on November 13, during which the current state and prospects for further strengthening cooperation were discussed.
During the dialogue, Umurzakov emphasized the Bank’s role in providing support to developing countries in Asia, and in particular the extent of its presence in Uzbekistan - ADB has been and remains a strategic partner involved in the implementation of major industrial, infrastructure and social development programs.
In turn, Nakao said the processes of accelerated transformation of Uzbekistan offers great opportunities both for the development of the country itself and for strengthening its position in the economic field of the region and welcomed the systematization of cooperation enshrined in the CPS for 2019-2023. At the same time, he underlined that the mandatory factors of sustainable development are macroeconomic stability, the availability of infrastructure and qualified personnel.
Speaking about the long-term prospects of relations with Uzbekistan, Nakao expressed his readiness to continue and expand the range of mutual interests in order to support the economic transformation in Uzbekistan on an integrated basis by providing additional investment resources.
At the same time, it was noted that the priority areas of the partnership - agriculture, health, education, water management and the financial sector do not currently cover the existing potential, and therefore a proposal was voiced to consider the possibility of implementing new joint projects.
In addition to projects in the field of economic regulation and the development of the mortgage market in the amount of $500 million, which are expected to be approved before the end of this year, new directions for further portfolio expansion were separately considered and practical measures were discussed within the framework of the approved cooperation programs.
In addition, within the framework of the meeting, a presentation was made on the investment and industrial potential of the energy sector, reforms being carried out in this area and ongoing projects aimed at diversifying energy sources and introducing innovative technologies, which will allow for the long-term sustainable development of the sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz