In his address to entrepreneurs and businesspeople, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev recently emphasized that Uzbek businesspeople have had to contend with factors such as disruptions in logistics and supply chains due to various conflicts, currency devaluation in partner countries, and the cost escalation of financial resources owing to high global inflation.
“I believe that if we draw the right lessons from our shortcomings and move forward, our hardworking and enterprising people will undoubtedly overcome any difficulty,” he said.
He underscored that the most appropriate response in such a complex situation is to directly hear about the problems from the business representatives themselves and collectively find solutions.
As noted by the president, medium-sized businesses play a pivotal role in Uzbekistan’s economy, but the current conditions for them are inadequate. Therefore, new approaches will be implemented to support entrepreneurs aspiring to transition from small business to medium-sized enterprises.
This year, during an open dialogue with entrepreneurs, the president of Uzbekistan proposed a series of initiatives that were formulated based on the received suggestions and aimed at improving the business environment in the country.
A decision has been made to significantly overhaul the operational methods of the existing business support funds.
The Entrepreneurship Fund will now be responsible for providing financial support to service, environmental and energy-efficient projects, while the Industrial Development Fund will oversee industrial projects. Foreign-qualified managers will be invited to manage the funds.
Moreover, the funds are empowered to attract independent investments beyond budgetary resources.
It is projected that through these means, they will contribute an additional $1 billion for financing medium-sized businesses over the next year. In each region, no less than three new industrial zones will be established. An industrial mortgage system will be introduced, and production areas will be constructed in the form of “ready-made businesses” for entrepreneurs. Privatization of land plots will be permitted after launching production in industrial zones and fulfilling investment commitments.
Over the past seven years, entrepreneurship has become a priority direction in Uzbekistan’s public policy. The government has introduced incentives, credits are being allocated and comprehensive support is being provided to all categories of businesses, from small to large.
In turn, the key annual event in Uzbekistan that shapes the future paths of business development is the president’s meetings with entrepreneurs in an open dialogue format. These events allow business representatives to share their proposals and opinions, which will undoubtedly be heard.
New opportunities for SMEs
To support and foster the development of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) a comprehensive ecosystem will be established.
For this purpose, the “Qishlok Qurilish Bank” will be transformed into the “Business Development Bank,” the Uzbek media reported.
According to the president, both its activities and methods of operation will undergo significant changes, including financing mechanisms.
Specifically, a small business center will be established in each region under the auspices of the bank. These centers will facilitate the development of business projects initiated by entrepreneurs.
They will independently provide training for entrepreneurs seeking to implement new projects, attract necessary specialists, and offer accounting, tax, auditing, marketing, legal, and other consulting services. The centers will support new enterprises in adopting modern technologies, enhancing employee qualifications, and effectively launching their products, Mirziyoyev noted.
In his speech, the president noted that the stated funds are empowered to independently attract investments.
Consequently, in the coming year, they aim to attract an additional $1 billion for medium-sized businesses.
One of the significant opportunities for expanding exports is attracting prestigious foreign brands to Uzbekistan. Following the president’s directive, a working group conducted negotiations with major brands from Spain, Germany, Poland and Türkiye.
To facilitate the investments and place orders with the local enterprises three crucial concerns they have will be addressed. International standards and ecological and certification requirements for production will be implemented. Adequate working conditions will be established, and a favorable customs regime for the import and export of products from renowned brands will be introduced.
Source: Sabah Daily