Uzbekistan: Achievements of economic reforms and outlook
September 29-30, 2021
The Forum is held with the support and high level participation of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank and will bring together in an in-person setting around 300 participants -including high level representatives of the Uzbek Government, international business and financial communities, international and regional multilateral development institutions, policy makers, NGOs and international media.
While economies the world-over continue to grapple with COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic consequences, Uzbekistan has demonstrated economic resilience, responding to the crisis with a host of support measures. These emergency measures signal Uzbekistan’s unwavering commitment to continue its reform agenda, launched in 2017.
The Forum offers a unique occasion to discuss and deliberate plans to maintain the economic liberalization course and build a more open, internationally integrated and competitive market economy. Moreover, participants will have the opportunity to engage policymakers about initiatives to improve the investment climate and maintain macroeconomic stability with the aim of bettering living standards and fostering sustainable, inclusive economic growth.
COVID-19. The health and well-being of participants is our absolute priority. From the outset, the Forum has been planned with COVID-19 measures in place, including limiting the number of in-person participants, adopting a socially-distanced layout, mandating mask wearing and offering testing throughout.
Official Opening Video of the Forum
Address of the President of Uzbekistan
Panel Discussion: Realizing the New Growth Agenda
Building Momentum for Growth: Confronting Old and New Challenges
Uzbekistan is aiming at increasing GDP per capita by 1.6 times next 5 years, with a goal of getting into upper middle income group by 2030. This goal requires leapfrogging in certain sectors, resulting in jump start growth. On the other hand, maintaining macroeconomic stability is a key condition. Reform directions to create conditions for business and investment climate improvement: as such energy supply and energy efficiency, transformation and privatization, land and urbanization, agriculture sector reforms (choice of farmers, stimulate R&D, new and modern technologies), capital markets development, transport and logistics services liberalization, trade liberalization, opening new markets and access to integrations, human capital development (education, health, poverty reduction), development of digital economy, bringing knowledge and science in every aspect (AI, IT), improve labor factor productivity and to apply green economy principles to every aspect of socio-economic situation (green finance, water, energy, land efficiency, agriculture, industry). How to make these ambitious targets viable in pandemic era? How sustainability can be attained? How to tackle the issues of climate change, jobs and poverty?
General Audience Lunch
VIP Lunch & “Fireside Chat” – The Global Context and the Development of the Uzbek Economy
Roundtable: Developing Human Capital Potential to Drive Inclusive Growth and Poverty Relief
Over the past decades the poverty rate in Uzbekistan has dropped from 27% of total population to less than 11% in 2018, and some half a million Uzbekistan youth join the labour market annually. In order to create needed jobs, policymakers, with the support of business leaders, must combine the strong traditional grounding in basic education with technical skills development, entrepreneurship, SME development, and research and innovation. What should be done to assure that growth opportunities remain inclusive and that poverty alleviation and social safety nets are sustained? What are the types of skills and jobs that are needed to assure the most economically disadvantaged into the mainstream economy? What’s the role of education in the poverty relief? How can strengthening regional trade factor into further economic growth? What further steps should be taken to create the jobs of tomorrow in sectors ranging from digitalization, chemical engineering, transport and logistics management to professional services and communications?
Interactive Panel: Prospects of Regional Economic Cooperation
The Uzbek economic reform agenda does not only have implications domestically – a prosperous, thriving Uzbekistan can strengthen Central Asian and wider CIS stability and act as a catalyst for wider regional growth. What are some of the key sectors that can foster stronger trade and investment ties? What are some of the major logistics infrastructure projects and policy prescriptions that can deepen regional connectivity and what new transport corridors might be created? What steps should be taken to assure a more rational use of water and other shared regional resources?
Opening the Economy to Maintain Competitiveness – Financial Times Live virtual panel co-hosted by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Having experienced early success in instigating market-oriented economic reforms, Uzbek policymakers now face new challenges as they seek to balance the risks in gradually opening to international competitive pressures while maintaining overall stability and public support for reforms. What are the key sectors set for liberalization and what approaches have proven most effective? How can increased private sector participation in the economy stemming from privatization and new PPP approaches coupled with SOE reforms lead to greater competition and competitiveness?
Dinner hosted by the Government