Economy

World Bank hails Uzbekistan's market reforms

The World Bank

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Chartak, Namangan Province, is shown in 2018. The modest town in the Fergana Valley enjoys evergreen alpine pastures and rocky panoramas. Tourism helps create jobs for rural communities in Uzbekistan. [Natalia Shulepina]

TASHKENT -- A top World Bank (WB) official has hailed Uzbekistan's continuing economic reforms.

Cyril Muller, WB vice president for Europe and Central Asia, welcomed the Uzbek government's progress in transforming the economy and pledged continued WB support for further reforms, said the WB on January 18.

Visiting Tashkent on January 16-17, he conferred on reforms and economic aid with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and senior government and parliamentary officials.

"Uzbekistan is making strong progress in transforming its economy and building opportunities to improve people's lives. Translating reforms into better living standards is a challenging process that will take time," said Muller.

"As the country enters the next phase of complex reforms to build a vibrant economy, the World Bank is increasing its support for the government's social and economic priorities through investments in key sectors and advisory services."

Muller held talks with Mirziyoyev, Senate chairwoman Tanzila Narbayeva and several other high-ranking Uzbek officials.

Topics included the government's efforts to strengthen macroeconomic fundamentals; improve the overall business and investment climate; modernise the country's energy, transport, financial, banking and agriculture sectors; develop public-private partnerships; reform state institutions and state-owned enterprises; and expand regional trade and transport connectivity, as well as deliver high-quality public services for citizens while promoting citizen engagement and gender equality.

Following talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Jamshid Kuchkarov, Muller participated in a signing ceremony for a World Bank loan ($100 million [957.3 billion UZS]) supporting the development of basic infrastructure in more than 300 villages across Uzbekistan. It will include rehabilitation or construction of kindergartens, schools, health clinics, tertiary roads, and water supply and sanitation or solid waste management services for rural residents.

[The World Bank Group authorises the use of this material subject to the terms and conditions on its website, http://www.worldbank.org/terms.]

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