TACHKENT, October 2, 2021 – Anna Bjerde, World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia, visited Uzbekistan on September 29-30, where she met President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and senior government and parliamentary officials. Ms. Bjerde also attended the first Uzbekistan Economic Forum and a recently launched Uzbekistan National Platform meeting.
In Tashkent, Ms. Bjerde attended the Uzbekistan Economic Forum which brought together local and international participants. With other experts, Ms. Bjerde reviewed the progress Uzbekistan has made in transforming its economy since 2017 and discussed additional steps the government could take to ensure the successful transition to a market economy. inclusive and sustainable.
“The World Bank welcomes Uzbekistan’s plans to halve poverty by 2026 and achieve upper-middle-income country status by 2030. The next generation of reforms will help achieve these goals if they focus on accelerating private sector growth to create new and better jobs. Equally important is transforming the role of the state from a key producer of goods and services into a facilitator of competition and the growth of businesses and private enterprises, ”said Mrs Bjerde. “The government will also need to invest more in people by improving health, education and social protection services, as well as in greater environmental sustainability. We stand ready to support these reforms through the World Bank’s new country partnership program for Uzbekistan, which sets out the priority areas for our support over the next five years.
During her visit, Ms. Bjerde had fruitful talks with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Senate Speaker of Oliy Majlis (Parliament) Tanzila Narbaeva, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Jamshid Kuchkarov , Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Investments and Foreign Affairs Trade Sardor Umurzakov, Minister of Finance Timur Ishmetov. Ms. Bjerde also met with Central Bank President Mamarizo Nurmuratov.
Discussions with national partners focused on the Government’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth in order to reduce poverty, unemployment and gender inequalities; improve access to health, education and social protection services; create an environment conducive to business and investment; reform public institutions, state enterprises and banks, and agriculture; digitize public services; introduce water and energy efficient technologies and incentives; and stimulate sustainable and green growth.
During her stay in Tashkent, Ms. Bjerde also attended a meeting of the Uzbekistan National Platform, a forum that coordinates the activities of international development partners helping the government to implement reforms in various sectors. The scope and mandates of the newly established Strategic Development Agency and the Agency for International Cooperation and Development were also presented and discussed.
The World Bank is supporting Uzbekistan through technical assistance and the financing of 26 projects totaling approximately $ 4.8 billion. These projects provide support in critical areas such as macroeconomic reforms, agriculture, health, education, water supply and sanitation, energy, transport, social protection, urban development. and rural areas and the mitigation of the health, economic and social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. .