WASHINGTON DC, June 26, 2018 – Uzbekistan’s transformational economic reforms, aimed at improving people’s lives, will be supported by a US$ 500 million development policy financing loan, approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.
The Development Policy Operation (DPO) will help finance Uzbekistan’s efforts to develop a successful market economy. Through market-oriented reforms that open up the country’s highly regulated economy, the country will be able to create good jobs, especially for young people. Citizens and international observers have expressed widespread support for the breadth, depth and speed of these reforms.
The DPO supports the country’s 2017 Development Strategy, which focuses on three key areas: building foundations for sustainable economic growth and stability; creating markets to boost private sector development and create jobs; and expanding social protection for vulnerable groups to mitigate potential adverse impacts of economic reforms.
“Uzbekistan is at a critical juncture in this historic transformation. This loan will support fundamental economic and social reforms to reinforce Uzbekistan’s ambitious new development trajectory,” said Cyril Muller, World Bank Vice President for Europe and Central Asia. “These broad economic reforms will boost growth, promote transparency and accountability, and improve services for citizens. The biggest priority for Uzbekistan is to make these reforms sustainable.”
“This DPO complements the lending and technical support that Uzbekistan is receiving from other development partners, and is expected to encourage greater private sector investment as market reforms take hold,” said Lilia Burunciuc, World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia.
During the past 12 months, the Government of Uzbekistan has taken significant steps to transform its economy by liberalizing its currency, lifting trade and investment barriers, reducing business regulations, and opening markets to attract investment and boost imports and exports. The Government is also expanding support to disadvantaged people through safety nets, while making citizen engagement a priority in helping to shape the reforms.
In addition to the DPO the World Bank is supporting the implementation of 17 projects in Uzbekistan, totaling over US$ 2.8 billion. These projects contribute to the improvement of agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, urban development, water supply and sanitation services, which support the country’s economic growth and higher living standards.