On February 19, Japanese Ambassador to Uzbekistan Takashi Hattori and Uzbekistan’s First Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Ilkhom Norkulov signed exchange notes to provide a 37 billion yen (about $246.2 million) loan in the framework of the “Program to Support Sustainable Economic and Social Development,” the press service of the diplomatic mission shared with Gazeta.uz.

Additionally, a loan agreement for the project was signed by Ilkhom Norkulov and Bito Yoshibumi, the head of JICA’s representative office in Uzbekistan. The 30-year loan includes a 10-year grace period, with a fixed interest rate of 1.8% annually.

The objective of the project is to support the continuous implementation of economic reforms in Uzbekistan’s transition to a market economy, as well as fostering social inclusion and stability by supporting vulnerable groups.

“The project is expected to contribute to socioeconomic stability and sustainable development of the country,” the statement read.

This initiative aligns with Japan’s commitment to establish cooperative efforts emphasizing “Investment in People” and “Quality of Growth” for sustainable development in a free and open Central Asia, as announced at the 9th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the “Central Asia + Japan” Dialogue in December 2022. The project reflects the concept of “Quality of Growth.”