On 27 of April, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev addressed the attendees with an inaugural speech at the second Tashkent International Investment Forum.
He said that in order to bring foreign trade and competition to a new level, to enter new markets, Uzbekistan has accelerated the work on accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“I would like to separately emphasize that the requirements of the World Trade Organization are fully compatible with the content of our reforms, and we are interested in becoming a member of this authoritative organization as soon as possible. Negotiations with [WTO] member countries and harmonisation of national legislation with the rules of the World Trade Organisation are now in full swing,” he said.
The head of state also noted the country’s “courageous administrative reform” aimed at reducing bureaucracy, eliminating corruption and introducing compact, efficient management in the executive branch.
He also spoke about the creation of a “one-stop shop” to assist investors and the Foreign Investors Council under the President.
“I want to communicate more with foreign companies and entrepreneurs… Your ideas, suggestions and initiatives give me strength and spur me on to new reforms. Therefore, I am ready to hold frequent meetings with new investors and personally guarantee your success in our country,” the president said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev also assured of guaranteed protection of investors' rights in court.
“From now on, entrepreneurs and investors don’t have to prove their claim in court. From now on, a government agency will have to prove the legality of its decision. Most importantly, any ambiguities that arise will be resolved in favour of investors,” he stressed.
The president also said that Uzbekistan’s legislation has strengthened the mechanisms aimed at mandatory enforcement of international arbitration court decisions.
“This year we will continue our reforms to protect the rights of entrepreneurs. In particular, for the first time in our history, the International Commercial Court will be launched with the support of international experts,” the head of state said.
The President also said that Uzbekistan will continue the transition to a “green economy”. In particular, international companies like ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia), Masdar (UAE) and Total Eren (France) are implementing projects to build solar and wind power plants in the country. This year it is planned to commission energy facilities with a capacity of over 2000 MW, next year — 8000 MW.
The Head of State invited investors to participate in industrial projects of the “green economy”, where enterprises are being set up to produce solar panels, wind generators, inverters and other electrical engineering products. The market for such products is estimated at $8 billion, he said.
In 2023 Uzbekistan plans to implement the program “1000 + 1000 + 40” to privatize state property. This is a discussion of selling government stake and shares in 1,000 companies, sale of 1,000 state-owned properties at public auction, and 40 companies of strategic importance for the economy will be put up for IPO.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev said the priority for Uzbekistan is to bring the industrial development to a new stage. For example, the textile, leather and footwear, electrical engineering, machine-building and construction materials industries currently have sufficient raw materials and qualified personnel, he said.
“In other words, we have enough opportunities to make a 'big leap' in these areas and double their production and exports. This requires cooperation with major brands, access to foreign markets, investment and modern technology. We are ready to create all conditions for investors who will be willing to bring all this, to set up separate technoparks and industrial zones, to provide additional preferences. Therefore, I have given relevant instructions to ministers. They will present you 160 large and mutually beneficial projects at the forum sessions,” the President said.
The head of state once again said that he “guarantees success to investors”.
“In our country, you will find everything you need for business — peace, stability, a favourable investment climate and reliable guarantees. As president, I act as your guarantor. I am confident that the new Uzbekistan will be the best country for your business activities and will leave a bright mark on it,” he said.
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The President said earlier that Andijan, Namangan, Bukhara and Urgench airports are planned to be transferred to private sector management in 2023.