Uzbekistan’s Future Policy Goals and Priorities

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

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The Republic of Uzbekistan is celebrating its 23rd Independence Day. Under the visionary leadership of President H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov, it has already achieved high ratios of GDPs, current account surplus, political stability and high ratios of exports.

The Republic of Uzbekistan’s future policy, goals and priorities are result oriented and innovated. It is based on development, production and prosperity. It upholds the importance of common people by pledging all basic necessities of life. It works of economic independence. It promotes elements of stability and sustainability in the country. It increases trust of people and businessmen alike. It promises a qualitative life, peace and harmony in the country.

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It comprises of development of infrastructure, massive industrialization and diversification of macro-economy. It also consists of rapid social development through quality education and health. It stresses the need to have lesser taxes and widespread of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Salient features are given below as:

Different Sectors/Sub-Sectors of Macro-Economy Details
Infrastructure Increase the efficiency of infrastructure, especially of energy, transport, and irrigation.
Qualitative Industrialization Enhance the competitiveness of specific industries, such as agro-processing, petrochemicals, and textiles.
Diversification Diversify the economy and reduction its reliance on commodity exports.
Social Development Improve access to and the quality and outcomes of education, health and other social services
Reduction of Taxes Income growth and decreasing tax burden.
Small and Medium Enterprises Stimulating and developing small business and private entrepreneurship bear concrete positive benefit.

Strategic Way-Forward

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Strategic way-forward for the Republic of Uzbekistan mostly relies on further strengthening of political and macro-economic stability. Despite weak global economic conditions in the recent past its GDP constantly exceeded 8 percent during 2008-2013, while this indicator is projected at 8.1 percent in 2014. Gradual politicization and democratization ought to be institutionalized.

Economic liberalization and its reforms would necessary for achieving high ratios of FDIs, joint ventures and GDPs in the days to come. Free market traditions and controlled global exposure combination would be ideal for a strategic planning in the days to come in Uzbekistan.

More needs to be done to achieve desired targets of economic diversification. Diversification of exports and value-addition should be priority of the government. It has vast range of raw materials which needs to be tapped and developed properly. Uzbekistan is among the ten countries in gold reserves, natural gas, uranium, silver, copper, molybdenum and other rare metals. There are more than 1644 deposits and 100 types of mineral resources.

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Energy security is the mantra of every country in the world. It guarantees socio-economic development in the country. It is must for maintaining current account surplus. Moreover, its production and consumption sufficiency is must to be remained competitive. Today Uzbekistan is one of the few energy-independent countries of the world due to the stable activity of oil and gas industry. Further diversification of energy resources and production would pave to achieve energy self-sufficiency. To maintain this position and to provide the economy with resources for years ahead, it is necessary to work actively with renewable energy sources (RES). It has reserves of raw materials for the preparation of crystalline silicon, which is used in the production of photovoltaic modules components of photovoltaic systems (PVS), which are considered the most efficient in converting sunlight and heat into electricity. For the next four years, the introduction of renewable energy in ginning factories, medical and educational institutions, as well as in the objects of the Association “Uzpakhtasanoat” is planned.

Ours is the age of free market economy and liberalization of economy where rigorous commercial diplomacy plays very important role. It has advantageous geographical location in the centre of the largest regional markets, proximity to biggest markets and developed transport infrastructure of Uzbekistan. Foreign companies, investing in Uzbekistan, get an access to the major growing markets of CIS countries, Asia and Europe. Agreements on Most Favoured Nations Treatment with 45 countries, including USA, Japan, China, Korea, EU countries, and Free trade agreement between CIS countries, allow enhancing competitiveness of goods, produced in Uzbekistan on external markets.

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Rapid and diversified Industrialization is also one of the main pillars of its strategic way-forward. Uzbekistan has the most diversified and knowledge-based economy in the CIS. It produces wide range of automobiles and trucks, high quality agricultural machinery, chemical, textile, pharmaceutical, food products and building materials which should be further developed.

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We are living in the era of e-commerce and free market economy where educated human resource plays deceives role in the achieving the high ratios of socio-economic development. Qualitative Human Resource Management is the key of its future growth: Humans are the real assets of Uzbekistan. Almost 100 percent literacy, significant human and intellectual potential, system of education corresponding to international standards ought to be further developed.

There are so many factors to attract more and more ratios of FDIs and easing of “Doing Business and Attraction of FDIs & FPIs” is one of the them. The investment legislation of Uzbekistan is one of the most advanced among CIS countries which must be further streamlined to attract more and more inflows of FDIs and FPIs.

Concept and formation of ”Free Economics Zones” plays an important role in greater regional socio-economic integration and speed-up prospects of having joint ventures in many parts of the world, China, UAE, Brazil are the prime examples. It Uzbekistan has many free economic zones in the different parts aiming at establishing high-tech joint ventures connected to modern transport and logistics infrastructure enabling direct exports to the markets of the CIS, South and Southeast Asia, Middle East countries. More free economic zones should be built as soon as possible.

Uzbekistan’s strategic way-forward revolves around joint ventures. Cooperation with different regional countries and global power brokers for initiating different joint ventures in the field of oil & gas exploration, SME, infrastructure, ICT, technology, and the last but not the least, space sciences.

We are living in the age of information and knowledge based economy which transforms a vibrant and dynamic society. Uzbekistan needs to have general society informatization in the country. The last but not the least, establishment of innovation institutions is the need of the hour which may reduce the elements of uncertainty, instability, dead-lock, low productivity, corruption, lax attitudes, monopoly and slow progress in the country.

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