TASHKENT (TCA) — Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice-President Mr. Wencai Zhang reiterated ADB’s support for the Uzbek government’s development and reform agenda, and expressed confidence in the country’s economic prospects during his 4-day visit to Uzbekistan from 19 to 22 September. Mr. Zhang met with the Prime Minister Mr. Abdulla Aripov, First Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Achilbay Ramatov, Deputy Prime Minister, Chairman of the State Committee for Investments, and ADB Governor Mr. Sukhrob Kholmuradov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mr. Djamshid Kuchkarov, and other government officials. He congratulated the government on its bold and far-reaching reforms to strengthen macroeconomic stability and resilience, and promote inclusive and sustainable development.
“This is an important stage in Uzbekistan’s history,” said Mr. Zhang. “ADB values our long-standing partnership with Uzbekistan and shares the government’s vision of bringing prosperity to the people of Uzbekistan.”
ADB is preparing a new 5-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Uzbekistan to establish a stronger foundation for inclusive, diversified, and sustainable economic growth, improving governance and institutional capacity, and promoting regional cooperation and connectivity. The 2019–2023 CPS supports the government’s development strategy and priorities for Uzbekistan. ADB plans to mobilize more than $1 billion a year in the next three years to improve water supply and sanitation, transport infrastructure, energy generation and distribution, and youth employment to create jobs in rural areas; broaden access to modern healthcare; and support the government’s reform program in economic management and social protection improvement.
During the visit, Mr. Zhang spoke at an international transport conference organized by the Ministry of Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan. He underlined Uzbekistan’s support for regional cooperation and ADB’s commitment to improve transport networks in Central and West Asia. Mr. Zhang also gave a guest lecture on the economic benefits of regional cooperation to students and professors at the Westminster International University in Tashkent.
During his visit, Mr. Zhang will also visit ADB-supported projects and meet with local government and project beneficiaries, including horticultural and other small businesses that received SME financing jointly provided by ADB and the Uzbek government through local commercial banks.
Since joining ADB in 1995, Uzbekistan has committed 67 loans totaling $7.0 billion, including two private sector loans totaling $225 million. ADB also provided $6 million in equity investment, $218 million in guarantees, and $83.6 million in technical assistance grants. Until now in 2018, ADB committed two loans totaling $750 million to improve power generation efficiency and support ongoing reforms through better economic management in the country.