On 8 January, a video-conference meeting was held under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on accelerating the implementation of investment projects scheduled for the current year.
It was attended by members of the government, the Chairman of the Zhokargy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional and city khokims of Tashkent, heads of diplomatic missions of Uzbekistan abroad.
An active investment policy is among the most important conditions for achieving stable economic development. In this regard, at the initiative of the head of state, 2019 was declared in our country the Year of Active Investments and Social Development.
The Investment Program for 2019 includes more than 3 thousand projects totaling US$16.6 billion. This is 16 percent more than in 2018. In particular, within its framework it is planned to commission 140 production facilities with a total cost of US$3.2 billion.
The meeting discussed issues of timely and high-quality implementation of these large and important projects, the press service of the President of Uzbekistan reports.
As noted, as a result of active work with foreign countries and investors, foreign direct investment accounts for 25 percent of their total volume. In particular, this year it is planned to use US$4.2 billion in the framework of 320 projects involving foreign direct investment.
The President underlined that the most important task of the government should be the unconditional implementation of projects involving foreign direct investment, providing comprehensive assistance to foreign investors. It was pointed out that it is necessary to stop the practice of postponing the development of the bulk of investments in the last months of the year and bring the development indicator in all sectors and regions to at least 35 percent in the first half of the year and 70 percent in the first nine months.
The meeting participants analyzed the tasks in this area in the context of the complexes of the Cabinet of Ministers. Spheres and industries are named in which the share of foreign investment has decreased compared to last year. Instructions were given to attract additional investments by the end of the year, especially in areas and regions with a high need for foreign direct investment, and to ensure control over the development of these resources.
The meeting paid special attention to the implementation of regional projects through foreign direct investment.
Last year, more than US$1 billion of investments were spent in the regions and 133 new enterprises were introduced. However, due to shortcomings in the organization of work allowed by the khokims and their investment deputies, some facilities were not commissioned in the city of Tashkent, the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the Samarkand, Andijan, Fergana, Namangan, Surkhandarya, and Syrdarya regions.
The head of state instructed to develop and monitor the implementation of industry schedules to address the problems encountered in the implementation of such projects.
This year, it is planned to implement 209 regional projects with the participation of foreign direct investment and to absorb US$1.9 billion, or 2 times more funds than last year. At the meeting for each region, heads of republican departments were identified responsible for the implementation of these, as well as additional investment projects, formed with the assistance of our country’s ambassadors abroad.
It was noted that from now on a new system will be organized to expand the scale of projects involving foreign direct investment in regions and industries, and to establish strict control over their implementation.
In accordance with it, at the first stage, the regional khokims, visiting once a week one district or city, having established interaction with ambassadors, organize work on attracting foreign direct investment. In the same way, industry leaders visit one region once a week and, together with local enterprises, organize work to accelerate the implementation of existing and the formation of additional investment projects. The Prime Minister and his deputy with the participation of ambassadors regularly discuss the state of development of foreign investments attracted to regions and industries. According to the results, remuneration or punishment in the form of withholding of 50 percent of wages will be taken against khokims and industry leaders.
The heads of republican departments assigned to the regions, together with regional khokims and ambassadors, examined the state of implementation of projects involving foreign direct investment in each district (city), take concrete measures to accelerate them, and also develop proposals for additional projects and attract foreign investors.
At the second stage, the State Investment Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan summarizes the investment project proposals received from the regions and industries, evaluates their effectiveness and forms a single electronic online database.
The third stage is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the ambassadors assigned to the regions attract foreign investors to the projects included in the unified electronic database.
At the fourth stage, the Cabinet of Ministers takes measures to conclude relevant agreements with foreign investors on the implementation of selected promising projects and approves road maps to monitor their implementation.
The President noted that in order to further intensify attracting investors to developed projects, it is necessary at least once a year to hold investment forums in each region with the participation of foreign investors, as well as to ensure the participation of domestic entrepreneurs in large international investment forums abroad. The State Investment Committee, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been instructed to form schedules for holding investment forums in the regions this year.
- The most important thing is to place investment projects correctly. The only requirement for investors is the availability of the necessary infrastructure where the project is expected to be implemented. Therefore, a presidential decree was recently adopted to improve the processes of urbanization in our country. If we attract investors to where there is a convenient infrastructure, we can achieve a systematic development of the industry. Where there is industry, there will be jobs and incomes, housing and social facilities will be built, towns will appear, said Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
At the video-conference meeting, another important issue was discussed - state support for projects of foreign investors. The task was to create a fund to support foreign investors based on international experience.
This year it is planned to attract direct loans from foreign banks in the total amount of US$740 million by commercial banks of Uzbekistan. The meeting noted the need to strengthen work on attracting foreign direct credit resources with low interest rates and a long maturity date.
They also discussed the issue of creating a system for forming a portfolio of reliable projects involving direct investment.
This year, within the framework of 84 projects, it is planned to use US$2.7 billion - funds from international financial institutions and donors. The meeting analyzed these projects in the context of the complexes of the Cabinet of Ministers, identified measures for their timely and high-quality implementation.
In addition, construction and repair of 2,800 social facilities and infrastructure are planned. The head of state paid special attention to this issue concerning the quality of life of the people, and noted the need to accelerate the planned work on the construction and reconstruction of pre-school educational institutions, schools, healthcare facilities, roads, drinking water networks. During the meeting reports of the business associations, khokims of the regions on the measures taken to organize the execution of projects included in the Investment Program were considered.