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Speech of Mirziyoyev at 3rd Tashkent International Investment Forum

Speech of Mirziyoyev at 3rd Tashkent International Investment Forum

Dear forum participants!

Ladies and gentlemen!

First of all, allow me to sincerely congratulate you, who are participating in the Third Tashkent International Investment Forum, from the bottom of my heart.

I would like to note with pleasure that within the framework of this format, which is becoming a good tradition year by year, new reliable partners from all continents of the world are gathering in our country.

Over the past three years, this forum has become an effective forum for expanding bilateral and multilateral cooperation, discussing the most pressing issues, and developing advanced ideas and approaches. The fact that more than two and a half thousand foreign guests from 93 countries came to our event today clearly confirms the growing importance of the forum.

This, in turn, indicates a great interest in the irreversible reforms in our country, in establishing mutually beneficial cooperation.

Dear forum participants!

Today’s conference coincides with the period when global geopolitical and economic problems are escalating, risks and threats to sustainable development are increasing.

Deep transformation processes are taking place in the world order. Disruptions in the supply chains of goods and services, a decline in international trade, a reduction in investment flows, and an increase in climate-related disasters – clearly show how unstable and vulnerable the situation is.

The growth rate of the world economy has been declining for the past three years. Trends related to foreign direct investment are also not living up to expectations. In 2023, the total volume of investments in developing countries decreased by 9%.

Of course, we understand well that there is an unprecedented struggle for investors in the world today. But one immutable fact is becoming increasingly clear. No country can solve such acute problems alone. The spirit of mutual trust and respect, the principle of mutual support will remain a strong pillar of long-term cooperation.

Dear ladies and gentlemen!

We have taken decisive steps to fundamentally improve the investment and business environment in our country, and gradually eliminate obstacles on this path. That’s why we are implementing large-scale reforms so that every investor can feel free and confident.

You know very well that seven years ago we started systemic reforms, which were not easy for us, but aimed at great goals. We set as our main goal the liberalization of the economy, the creation of a favorable investment environment, and the comprehensive expansion of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

Our economy has almost doubled in recent years. By the end of last year, this growth was 6 percent. Inflation dropped to 9 percent. Trade turnover indicators are constantly increasing. The stability of the foreign exchange market and gold-currency reserves is maintained.

In recent years, more than 60 billion dollars of foreign investments have been absorbed in our country. More than 14 billion dollars of funds from international financial institutions were attracted to the social and infrastructure sectors.

The volume of foreign investments almost doubled last year. In the energy sector, “ACWA Power”, “Masdar”, “Total Eren”, “Voltalia”, “Ҫalɩk” and “Aksa”; “Air Products”, “Indorama” and “Kamse” in the chemical industry, “Orano” and “DANIELI” in mining and metallurgy, “BYD”, “Kia” and “Samsung” in the automotive and electrical engineering sectors, in the construction sector I would like to note with great pleasure that more than 300 investment and industrial projects have been launched and hundreds of thousands of new jobs have been created with the world’s leading companies and major brands, such as “Koҫ” and “KNAUF”.

As part of today’s forum, we will launch new large-scale projects with the participation of the world’s leading companies “Linde”, “Orascom”, “DataVolt”, “Bonafarm”, “PASHA holding” and other partners.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my deep and sincere gratitude to the foreign investors and all our partners who are contributing to this work.

We have developed a number of specific measures in other priority areas to support entrepreneurship and business.

Foreign investors are now exempted from taxes on dividends received from shares for a period of three years.

We recently passed the Privatization Law. A new program for the sale of state shares in 250 large enterprises and about 1,000 real estate objects, and the initial public offering (IPO) of shares of 12 enterprises on stock markets was also launched.

Entrepreneurs’ stability rating was introduced. Tax audits are not conducted for business entities with high ratings.

We plan to widely implement the experience of implementing public-private partnership projects in the field of energy in social and other infrastructure sectors. In particular, irrigation and highways with the Chinese companies “Sitik” and “Kamse”, drinking water supply with the French companies “Suez” and “Veolia”, modern medical facilities with the Arab companies “Inter Health” and “Pure Health”. construction projects are being developed.

We attach great importance to the development of the infrastructure of industrial zones at the expense of budget funds. Modern transparent principles of allocating land to entrepreneurs – that is, the auction system – have been introduced. More than 60 normative documents aimed at harmonization of legislation were adopted within the framework of membership of the World Trade Organization.

An anti-corruption agency has been established, and a national strategy until 2030 is being developed. Last year, we held international anti-corruption events in Tashkent.

The Tashkent International Arbitration Center is successfully operating in order to resolve disputes fairly. It includes more than 90 prestigious judges from countries such as the United States of America, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, China, and the United Arab Emirates.

Another important indicator for investors. In the last seven years, the coverage of higher education has increased from 9% to 42%, the number of higher education institutions has increased from 200.

In Uzbekistan, a visa-free regime has been introduced for more than 90 countries.

Dear forum participants!

Our main goal is to make Uzbekistan a reliable and long-term partner for foreign investors.

Our state undertakes the development of market relations, the reliable protection of investors’ rights, the further improvement of a favorable investment and business environment, the creation of wider conditions for fair competition, the inviolability of private property and the independence of the judicial system.

We firmly enshrined these principles in our new Constitution, which was adopted in a national referendum last year.

In order to strengthen the protection of investors’ rights, I would like to present to you a number of specific proposals today.

First, we will adopt the new version of the Law “On Investments”. This document was developed in accordance with the procedures and standards of the World Trade Organization.

I would like to express special gratitude to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development for their close cooperation in this regard.

Secondly, the International Commercial Court will soon start working in our country at the International Center for Digital Technologies. This court will have a special place in the judicial system of Uzbekistan. We will adopt a special law for this in the near future. We will also include norms regarding the full enforcement of the judgments of this international commercial court in the procedural codes.

Thirdly, in the near future, we will introduce completely new approaches in the system of industrial zones.

More favorable conditions will be created for investors to implement high-tech projects. The practice of actively involving private operators, including highly qualified foreign companies, in the management of industrial zones will be expanded. Restrictions on the duration of special economic zones will also be abolished.

The term of land lease for foreign investors will be doubled from 25 to 49 years. In this case, the existing benefits and preferences guaranteed by the laws are fully preserved.

We will discuss all these issues in detail tomorrow at the next meeting of the Council of Foreign Investors.

Dear conference participants!

We adopted the “Uzbekistan-2030” strategy in order to continue systematic reforms and build a strong and prosperous state. This important document contains 100 specific tasks for achieving sustainable economic growth, reforming social protection, health and education systems, and ensuring the rule of law.

By 2030, we have set a goal to double the income of the population and join the ranks of countries above the average according to this indicator.

We will consistently continue the deep transformation processes in the economy, a favorable investment and business environment, and the creation of high added value in the industry.

At this point, I would like to focus on the priority directions for expanding our mutually beneficial cooperation.

The first direction: “green” energy. Improving the efficiency of the energy network is relevant for our entire region. In this regard, work is being continued on 28 projects in our country.

We aim to create more than 20 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity by 2030 and increase its share in the energy balance to 40%.

Last year alone, we launched large wind and solar power plants with a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts with our strategic partners “Masdar”, “Gezhouba”, and “China Energy”. We also started a green hydrogen production project with ACWA Power.

The most important aspect is that these important projects are implemented on the basis of the principle of public-private partnership, at the expense of direct foreign investments.

Today, as part of the forum, we will present to you, our investors, projects for the joint construction of hydroelectric power stations in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. In this direction, we invite the leading companies of all countries to open dialogue and practical cooperation.

Second direction : banking and finance. In recent years, many private banks have been opened in our country. Leading European banks have entered our market. A number of digital banks are operating.

Within the framework of the forum, an agreement was signed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development on the privatization of Asakabank, one of the largest banks of Uzbekistan. Also, the transformation and privatization processes of our other large banks are actively being carried out with the International Finance Corporation, the Asian Development Bank.

Approaches to the development of the capital market are being revised to meet the demand for financial resources.

Uzbekistan is working on the development of international financing instruments. We expect that the flow of foreign investments will increase several times, the quality of corporate management will increase, and new leading banking and financial institutions will enter.

The third direction: minerals. Uzbekistan is a country with a large base of mineral resources and important metals. Our country has huge reserves of gold, copper, tungsten, silver, and uranium. I would like to pay special attention to reserves of more than 30 metals, such as lithium, magnesium, molybdenum, germanium, vanadium and indium, among rare and rare minerals.

Last month, a strategic partnership was established with the European Union in the field of critical raw materials. We are working on such an agreement with the United States of America and Great Britain.

In this regard, based on modern international experience, a new version of the Law “On Underground Resources” will be adopted. At this point, I would like to express my special thanks to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for its significant contribution to this work.

We invite leading companies to Uzbekistan for deep processing of strategic raw materials and creation of added value chain.

The fourth direction: IT transformation of the country. The export of IT services and software products has doubled within a year. We plan to increase this figure to 5 billion dollars in the future.

The number of IT park residents will increase tenfold, and 100,000 new jobs will be created in the future. In addition, an international center of digital technologies for foreign companies is being created on its basis.

In this regard, we are building a “Data Center” working on the basis of “green” energy with the “Data Volt” company of Saudi Arabia. We believe that this will give a great impetus to the transition of our country to the digital economy and the introduction of technologies based on artificial intelligence.

The fifth direction: development of transport infrastructure. We pay priority attention to the task of creating convenient and modern transport systems.

Fundamental reforms are being carried out in the railway sector, wide opportunities are opening up to attract private investors to the network. Joint projects on the construction of toll roads and high-speed railways are being developed.

Cooperation projects with potential foreign investors on the development of Tashkent, Bukhara and Urganch international airports and the construction of new ones are being prepared.

As you know, together with our foreign partners, we have started preliminary work on the construction of China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan and Uzbekistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan railways.

These strategic projects will completely change the geo-economic situation in the region, turning Central Asia into a global transit center connecting North and South, East and West.

We invite investors and international organizations to participate in these large regional projects, to restore the Great Silk Road on a modern basis.

Dear friends!

New Uzbekistan is a fair and rapidly developing secular country with incomparable opportunities.

The main source of inspiration for the big ideas and big dreams that we implement every day is, first of all, our hardworking and noble people.

I would like to emphasize that the investors gathered here today will only encourage us to move forward with their most advanced technologies and experiences, new proposals and approaches.

I would like to convey an important idea to you: the members of our state and government will stand by your side and closely support you in their full implementation for every initiative, every project of yours.

I think it will be good for you if we do that.

Investments are the locomotive of our country’s transformation and a strong driver of our economic development.

Without a doubt, I believe that today’s International Investment Forum and productive negotiations will bring our practical cooperation to a completely new, higher level in terms of quality and content.

Thank you all again for participating in our conference.

Thank you very much for your attention.