Saturday, 25 March 2023 12:57

Uzbekistan becomes the leading recipient of EBRD funding in Central Asia Featured

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In 2022 the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested almost US$ 900 million (€839 million) in 26 projects in Uzbekistan, making it the leading recipient of its funding in Central Asia for the third year running. Investments were made in sectors ranging from renewable energy to banking.

According to the bank, the EBRD, which became fully aligned with the Paris Agreement at the start of 2023, continued providing support for Uzbekistan’s green transition. The EBRD arranged two syndicated loans collectively worth US$ 520 million to help construct and put into operation two wind power plants with a total installed capacity of 1 GW in Bukhara region.

The Bank also organized a financing package of US$ 74 million for the development, construction and operation of a 500 MW greenfield wind power plant in Navoi region of Uzbekistan. This was the first project in Central Asia to use the Identiflight able to detect and monitor species at risk of collision and trigger an automatic curtailment of selected turbines.

Moreover, as Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia noted, EBRD together with the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan has developed low-carbon development pathway for the electricity sector of Uzbekistan, which aims to decarbonize the sector by 2050.

Outside the energy sector the EBRD extended long-term sovereign loans collectively worth up to US$ 120 million for the regional utility companies responsible for solid waste management in Khorezm and Karakalpakstan. The project will contribute to Uzbekistan’s decarbonization efforts in line with the Paris Agreement and support the national solid waste management strategy.

In 2022 the EBRD’s Advice for Small Business Programme in Uzbekistan launched almost 100 advisory projects thus increasing its outreach to domestic SMEs by 50 percent. Half of them were with women entrepreneurs and over 40 percent were in rural areas.

Meanwhile, the current loan portfolio of the EBRD projects in Uzbekistan is estimated at 2.2 billion euros. Bank’s loan portfolio is calculated for the implementation of 69 projects. The major part of the investment portfolio (72 percent or 1.6 billion euros) focuses on sustainable infrastructure, 19 percent (428 million euros) – on financial institutions, and 9 percent (199 million euros) – on industry, commerce, and agribusiness.

On November 16, 2022, during a meeting with the EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted with satisfaction that over the past six years, the interaction of Uzbekistan with this authoritative financial institution has reached an unprecedented level. The Bank is one of the main partners of Uzbekistan in the implementation of important socio-economic programs.

On 16-18 May 2023, Samarkand will host the EBRD’s 32nd Annual Meeting and Business Forum.

The Annual Meeting and Business Forum offer a dynamic program of events and panel discussions attracting prominent participants from around the world, ranging from leading government officials, financial and corporate executives to entrepreneurs, civil society, and international media.

Investing in Resilience will be the overall theme of the 2023 Business Forum. Discussions will concentrate on how to help the economies where the Bank invests withstand the current geopolitical adversity. The Business Forum will offer expert discussion panels and events focusing on the macroeconomic landscape, the role of the private sector and policymakers in boosting renewables and sustainable energy, interregional connectivity, economic inclusion, food security, digitalization, and other issues.

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