28 March 2022

Country platform – a platform for coordinating efforts to strengthen cooperation

One of the key events of the second day of the Tashkent International Investment Forum was the meeting of the Country Platform on Uzbekistan. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Aripov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov, as well as heads of international financial institutions, foreign government financial organizations, and development partners.

Uzbekistan became one of the first countries to test the format of the Country Platform for coordinating the activities of donors and development partners and their interaction with ministries, departments, and implementing agencies involved in the implementation of joint projects.

During the meeting, it was announced that 305 such projects are currently being implemented in Uzbekistan with a total value of $14.5 billion, covering more than 20 areas and industries. Significant progress has been made in such areas as promoting socio-economic reforms, energy, transport, aviation, infrastructure development, healthcare, education and entrepreneurship support.

The role of the Country Platform as a tool for systematizing and improving the efficiency of attracted financial and technical assistance for the implementation of the most promising projects and programs was emphasized. To strengthen the institutional basis for such coordination on the part of Uzbekistan, in accordance with a separate decision of the President, the Agency for International Cooperation and Development was established under the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade, which has a key role in ensuring effective interaction with development partners.

The effectiveness of the Country Platform was proven, in particular, during the pandemic: active interaction with donors made it possible to mobilize significant amounts of financial and technical assistance to combat the pandemic in a short time ­- a total of more than 2 billion loans and grants were allocated for these purposes.

It was stated that the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan will continue to introduce the mechanisms of the Country Platform in all areas of cooperation with development partners and the implementation of the developed comprehensive program of coordination activities.

During the meeting, the participants shared their views on the role and significance of the Country Platform, as well as discussed the prospects for further deepening multilateral cooperation.

The President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Masatsugu Asakawa, emphasized the relevance of holding a meeting of the Country Platform on the sidelines of the International Investment Forum. In his opinion, using the mechanisms of the Country Platform, it is possible to maximize efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. He noted that during the G20 summit in 2020, it was emphasized that such platforms are primarily focused on the priorities of the participating countries and adapted to key areas of their development.

“We must strengthen cooperation, including in the private sector, through synergy and exchange of experience. We encourage all country platforms to monitor progress. I want to emphasize that ADB is a long-term partner of Uzbekistan and our cooperation is focused on the development of the country, ” the ADB President said during his speech.

Regional Vice President of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) Hela Cheikhruhu emphasized that the Forum was an expected event, as it was originally planned to be held in 2019, which was prevented by the coronavirus pandemic. It was announced that the IFC is actively working within the framework of the Country Platform and plans to continue this practice in the long term.

Vice-President of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Konstantin Limitovsky, during the conversation said that he is visiting Uzbekistan for the second time during last month and sees significant progress made in promoting reforms and integrated development: “Uzbekistan has developed a new Development Strategy, and the country is establishing a medium and long-term plans, in which AIIB representatives also plan to take part.”

“A lot has been done in this country to implement economic reforms and improve the welfare of the population,” Konstantin Limitovsky emphasized. – We are pleased to see that the ambitious goals of Uzbekistan coincide with the goals of the AIIB for projects in the areas of green energy, infrastructure development, and others. We want the assistance of our bank to have a positive impact on the implementation of the goals set by Uzbekistan.”

As a result of the meeting, 6 agreements on the implementation of joint projects for a total of $617 million, 2 mandate letters for $160 million, and 2 agreements for the provision of consulting services were signed. In particular, between the AIIB and JSC ” Uzbekiston temir yullari “an agreement was signed on the implementation of the project for the electrification of the Bukhara-Misken-Urgench-Khiva railway in the amount of $ 108 million. ADB signed an agreement with the Committee on Highways on the implementation of a project for the development of roads in Uzbekistan in the amount of $274 million. The State Committee for Ecology signed 2 agreements with the EBRD on the implementation of projects for the construction and reclamation of solid waste landfills in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and in the Khorezm region – in the amount of $50 million. Agreements were also signed to finance the purchase of electric buses for the city of Nukus, the implementation of projects for the construction and modernization of water supply and sanitation systems in the Andijan and Navoi regions, the provision of consulting services for the construction of wind and solar power plants, the allocation of a credit line to finance small business and private entrepreneurship projects, as well as participation in the grant program of the French Development Agency for inclusive and climate-smart investments in the livestock sector of Uzbekistan.