Uzbekistan is looking for innovative solutions to the challenge of economic and social reforms and has turned to the West, and in particular the US, to help meet these challenges, Information Officer of US Embassy in Tashkent Susannah Wood told Trend in an interview.
"In response, US Agency for International Development (USAID) has expanded its programming in the areas of rule of law, governance, judicial reforms, and strengthening civil society; preventing the spread of and improving treatment of tuberculosis; improving learning outcomes and expanding English language instruction to increase access to education and improve prospects for success in the global economy; and structuring the economy to be more in line with international standards," Susannah Wood noted.
The USAID’s partnership with Uzbekistan is improving and expanding quickly, and the assistance of US is strengthening Uzbekistan’s democratic and social policies that will have an impact for generations to come, the information officer added.
"The administration of Shavkat Mirziyoyev has made a concerted effort to implement a 'good neighbor' policy to build relationships with its four Central Asian neighbors plus Afghanistan. Uzbekistan has also been pursuing comprehensive economic reforms aimed at opening up its economy, boosting growth, expanding international relations, and creating favorable legal conditions for foreign direct investments. The country’s strategic geographic position, abundant with diverse natural resources, and sizable domestic market of 33 million people represent enormous potential for investment and growth," Wood stated.
She noted that Uzbekistan’s economic outlook, according to the World Bank, has significantly worsened as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, creating challenges for the market transition and significantly increasing the risk that poverty levels will rise.
The information officer stressed that USAID’s economic growth programs, as well as its assistance in rule of law, are helping improve the investment climate, making Uzbekistan more attractive for foreign businesses.
"Our agricultural development programs have led to the diversification of the agriculture sector toward higher-value commodities through the introduction of new technologies and innovative practices, and exports to new, premium international markets.," she said.
The US Agency for International Development is an independent agency of the US Federal Government that is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.
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