Sustainable economic development in selected regions of Uzbekistan

Project description

Title: Sustainable economic development in selected regions of Uzbekistan
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), European Union (EU)
Country: Uzbekistan
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Overall term: 2013 to 2020

Context

The collapse of the Soviet Union led to the cautious opening-up of Uzbekistan’s economy. However, even today, the country remains strongly influenced by the principles of a planned economy. Uzbekistan is one of the most rapidly growing economies in Central Asia, due largely to the extraction of gold, oil and gas and the extensive cultivation of cotton. Furthermore, Uzbekistan responded to the global economic crisis by launching comprehensive state support measures, such as infrastructure investments and the promotion of key industries.

Despite this, the Welfare Improvement Strategy of Uzbekistan adopted by the government has yet to impact the economy in a way which is balanced across regions and sectors. The high level of underemployment in rural areas remains a major challenge.

Objective

In the project regions of Andijan, Surkhandarya, Khorezm and Karakalpakstan, conditions have improved for broad-based and environmentally sound economic growth. This creates income and employment opportunities for rural sections of the population.

Approach

The project supports the Uzbek Government in implementing measures to promote value chains that foster employment. In particular, the project is to support the development and economic growth of small and medium-sized enterprises and thus to improve income and employment opportunities for disadvantaged rural sections of the population. The project focuses on the regions of Karakalpakstan, Khorezm and Surkhandarya, on the three regions in the Fergana Valley – Namangan, Andijan and Fergana – and on the Jizzakh, Syrdarya and Kashkadarya regions.
The programme comprises three fields of action:

  • Developing an environmentally sound and market-based economy that involves all citizens
  • Promoting sectors of production
  • Introducing new (environmentally friendly) technologies, European Union agricultural standards and social and environmental standards.

Together with selected economic interest groups and specialist institutions (chambers of commerce, associations, agricultural institutes), the project fosters regional economic development and develops services (information, initial and continuing education, training, advice). Local and regional government as well as policy-makers are part of this process. As well as enhancing the skills of these actors in the area of regional/local economic development, it also improves dialogue between private and public institutions. In addition, the project works jointly with relevant line ministries, research institutions and national academies.