11 Dec 2023 13:36

World Bank to provide Uzbekistan $800 mln in preferential loans to accelerate transition to market economy

TASHKENT. Dec 11 (Interfax) - The World Bank (WB) has approved the provision of financial support to the government of Uzbekistan in the form of loans worth $800 million on preferential terms to accelerate the country's transition to a market economy.

The WB website states that the funds will be provided at a lower interest rate and for a longer term compared to borrowing options available on international financial markets, resulting in significantly lower loan repayment costs for Uzbekistan. This will free up more resources to implement the country's urgent development priorities.

"The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a Development Policy Operation to financially support the government of Uzbekistan in implementing a new generation of economic, social, and climate reforms. The objective of these reforms is to expedite the country's transition to a market economy, ensuring that economic opportunities are accessible to all citizens and creating a strong foundation for sustained growth," the statement says.

The World Bank notes that in Uzbekistan, despite significant progress achieved in the transition to a market economy, there is a need to quickly complete this process and transform the current economic model into a more environmentally friendly and fair one. These measures will help the country achieve a number of goals in the fields of socio-economic development and environmental protection.

"The World Bank's new operation supports key government priorities, including reducing state dominance in crucial sectors such as agriculture, railway, chemicals, and energy. This will allow for greater private sector participation in the given areas. The operation also aims to strengthen social and legal protection for vulnerable groups and address pressing issues of climate change and environmental protection," Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan, said.

Currently, the WB program in Uzbekistan consists of 25 projects totaling about $5.22 billion.