Uzbekistan Attracts The Attention Of Foreign Investors With Its Reforms

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Over the past six years, international investments in Uzbekistan have surged by more than tenfold, marking a significant turning point for the Central Asian nation. The driving force behind this remarkable transformation has been the comprehensive reforms launched by the government in 2017, which aimed to open Uzbekistan’s economy to the global stage. The resulting wave of foreign capital pouring into the country underscores the growing interest of investors in this promising market.

  • American-Uzbek Cotton Joint Venture Silverleafe Utilizes Cutting-Edge Technology: Among the success stories in Uzbekistan, the American-Uzbek joint venture Silverleafe stands out. This innovative venture specializes in cotton production in the Jizzak region. What sets Silverleafe apart is its commitment to cutting-edge technology, with its entire cotton production process, from seeding to harvesting, being fully automated. In a move to further enhance efficiency, Silverleafe is set to implement new technology this year, creating a digital footprint that will enable precise tracking and tracing of machine-harvested cotton. All the equipment for this endeavor has been imported from the United States.

Dan Patterson, General Manager of Silverleafe, notes, “GPS technology keeps our tractors operational with satellite-based automatic tracking accurate to within one or two centimeters. This level of precision is essential for our digital agriculture efforts. It allows us to track and trace the entire cotton harvest from the field to the satellite.”

Patterson was personally invited to Uzbekistan by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in 2018, reflecting the nation’s commitment to modernizing agriculture and implementing reforms. Silverleafe’s total investment in Uzbekistan currently stands at approximately $40 million.

  • Uzbekistan’s Reform Success Attracts International Capital: International observers often question the reality of the reforms taking place in Uzbekistan. However, Dan Patterson, who has witnessed these reforms over the last five years, affirms their authenticity. He emphasizes the government’s efforts to create an environment conducive to foreign capital, making use of the country’s abundant natural resources and youthful labor force.

Patterson states, “They create the necessary environment and infrastructure. When you look demographically to decide where to make your future investments and where to move your businesses, it’s a great opportunity.”

  • EBRD Pours Billions into Uzbekistan’s Economy: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has pledged more than 3 billion euros for over 100 projects in various sectors of Uzbekistan’s economy in the last five years. This substantial investment has consistently exceeded previous years, with a strong focus on sustainable energy. EBRD even provided a concessional loan to one of Uzbekistan’s first privately-owned solar power plants.

Alkis Drakinos, EBRD Uzbekistan Manager, emphasizes, “Uzbekistan has become an investment center thanks to its reforms. The reform story of the country started with the liberalization of the currency, then the public-private sector partnership law was passed, and a 2030 green energy strategy was determined. All these reforms send a strong signal to international investors about Uzbekistan’s potential and its determination and desire to reform.”

  • Uzbek Technology Gains Foreign Investment: Uzbek technology has become an attractive field for foreign investments. London-based investment company Sturgeon Capital established a $25 million special fund in 2020 to invest in Uzbekistan’s start-ups and digital infrastructure. They focus on fintech, e-commerce marketplaces, and software, and have witnessed significant growth in revenues for the companies they’ve invested in.

Kiyan Zandiyeh, Chief Investment Officer at Sturgeon Capital, explains, “Since we invested, the revenues of these companies have tripled, and we believe there is still a long way to go.”

Uzbekistan’s Bright Future: With visa liberalization, low taxes, and an increasingly educated population, Uzbekistan continues to make a compelling case for foreign capital. The country aims to attract more than 10 billion euros of investment in the next four years. Uzbekistan’s Minister of Investment, Industry, and Trade, Laziz Kudratov, underlines their commitment to creating an attractive business environment, ensuring the nation’s long-term, sustainable development, and competitiveness.

Kudratov emphasizes, “The most important issue for us is to ensure the long-term, sustainable development of the Uzbekistan economy and make it competitive.” As international investments continue to pour into Uzbekistan, it is clear that the nation is on a transformative journey towards a brighter future.

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