EBRD on talks with Uzbekistan government on ways of increasing its engagement in the country

EBRD on talks with Uzbekistan government on ways of increasing its engagement in the country

Discussions with government on ways to increase EBRD engagement in the country

LONDON, 15-Mar-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — An EBRD delegation, headed by President Suma Chakrabarti, will visit Uzbekistan on 15-17 March 2017.

The visit will include high-level meetings with the authorities to discuss ways of increasing EBRD engagement with Uzbekistan. The Bank has worked in the country since 1993 and has a portfolio of investments there but since 2010 there have been no fresh operations.

Discussions with the authorities will focus on exploring opportunities to deepen cooperation in order to develop entrepreneurship and competitiveness of the Uzbek economy, for example by attracting foreign direct investment, which brings in technology and know-how.

There is also a mutual interest in providing advisory services and financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); in addressing the legacy of Soviet-era uranium mining and processing in the region; in exploring ways to support cross-border trade, and other areas.

President Chakrabarti commented: “Uzbekistan is important for the successful regional cooperation and economic development of Central Asia. I look forward to our dialogue and discussing ways of increasing the EBRD’s work in Uzbekistan where the Bank currently retains a small portfolio of projects. We already see several areas of interest, such as regional connectivity and integration, advisory services and finance for SMEs, and the financing of green energy and energy efficiency projects.”

The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Central Asia, with close to €11.6 billion (US$ 12.3 billion) committed to projects in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure to agriculture, with a focus on private sector development.

The Bank has invested €894 million in Uzbekistan; its current portfolio of €8 million in the country is managed from Tashkent and London.

SOURCE: EBRD

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