14 Dec 2023 18:59

EDB hopes Uzbekistan will join Bank in 2024

ALMATY. Dec 14 (Interfax) - The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) predicts the completion of the process of joining Uzbekistan to the bank in 2024, EDB's Chairman of the Board Nikolai Podguzov said at a press conference.

"In Uzbekistan, the process is ongoing and has not yet been completed," Podguzov said, answering a question about the possible timing of the republic's entry into the bank's membership.

He noted that once the completed application from Uzbekistan is received, the bank is ready to immediately activate all necessary procedures.

"According to forecasts and timing, I would not dare to say now, I hope that this process will be completed next year," the head of the bank said.

The EDB's membership could also be expanded to include other CIS countries, Podguzov said.

"We have, and I, as the chairman of the board of the bank, in this case have such a balanced approach to the potential expansion of the bank. I believe our niche is the Eurasian region. Spreading out over more countries on the one hand is probably an interesting task. However, this reduces the intensity of those investments that we are able to carry out. As natural participants in the bank, I see, first of all, countries in the region. First of all, Uzbekistan and other CIS countries. They are a priori included as candidates," he said.

As previously reported, the issue of Uzbekistan joining the EDB was discussed this summer at a meeting of the EDB Council in Astana. Then the council members noted that expanding the number of participants would allow the bank to reduce potential risks and explore the possibilities of launching new integration projects.

Currently, the shareholders of the Eurasian Development Bank include six countries: Armenia (share in the bank's capital 4.23%), Kyrgyzstan (4.23%), Belarus (5.21%), Russia (44.78%), Kazakhstan (37.29%), and Tajikistan (4.26%).