Four-day trip reviews progress made during 20 years of partnership
TASHKENT, May 26 - Mr. Philippe Le Houérou, World Bank Vice President for the Europe and Central Asia region completed a four-day visit to Uzbekistan. The visit is part of a 16-day, five-country tour of Central Asia, which also includes visits to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
During his visit to Uzbekistan, Mr. Le Houérou met with officials from the Ministries of Finance and Economy to discuss key strategic and operational issues, addressed the current economic and regional situation with development partners and the business community, and visited projects the Bank is supporting in the country.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of cooperation between the World Bank and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“The World Bank is greatly encouraged by Uzbekistan’s strategic long-term development goal to become an industrialized, high middle-income country by mid-century. The country has witnessed a good economic performance, but there are important things that remain to be done,” said Mr. Le Houérou.
This was the Vice President’s first visit following the adoption of the new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Uzbekistan in December 2011. The Country Partnership Strategy includes programs that reflect the reform priorities of the Government and are broadly aligned with the World Bank Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region’s three strategic pillars: competitiveness, social inclusion, and climate change. The CPS provides an envelope of about US$1.3 billion to finance development programs over the next four years.
In South Karakalpakstan, Mr. Le Houérou visited the World Bank supported Drainage, Irrigation and Wetlands Improvement Project. The Project has managed to lower groundwater table which led to desalinization of irrigated lands, to improve the quality of water in the Amu Darya river, and to reduce energy consumption related to pumping operations. He visited project sites in Beruni district and had a talk with a farmer benefiting from the project.
“I am pleased to observe first-hand the progress that the country has been making. The World Bank is ready to support the Government’s ambitious reform agenda by contributing not only with financial resources but also with the Bank's technical expertise and international experience”, highlighted Le Houérou at the conclusion of his trip to Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan joined the World Bank in 1992. Since then the Bank has been working to improve people’s livelihoods by supporting economic reforms, assisting in the modernization of the country’s social sectors and infrastructure, and sharing its knowledge and global experience in support of Uzbekistan’s development priorities. The World Bank’s active financing commitments include US$633 million for 10 projects.