Current cooperation issues with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development were discussed
On October 7 this year, Deputy Prime Minister - Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan S. Umurzakov received a delegation from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) headed by Managing Director of Sustainable Infrastructure Group Nandita Parshad and Managing Director for Central Asia Zsuzsanna Hargitai.
Representatives of the EBRD praised the scale, pace and consistency of Uzbekistan's social and economic reforms, and confirmed the Bank's intention to continue its financial and advisory support for reforms in priority areas such as energy, infrastructure development and others.
During the meeting the EBRD’s high level of involvement in promotion of initiatives aimed at modernizing housing and infrastructure in the regions, development of the transport sector and public-private partnerships was emphasized.
In particular, the recent success of an international tender for the construction of a 100 MW wind farm in the Republic of Karakalpakstan under the technical assistance of the EBRD was noted. The tender was won by ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia). A mutual willingness to continue cooperation to disseminate the successful experience of applying the public-private partnership mechanism in other areas, such as education, public transport, utilities and solid waste recycling, was considered.
The ongoing projects in the field of energy, housing and utilities, road construction and ecology were discussed in detail. The parties exchanged views on the need to intensify and expand cooperation in attracting private investments to finance infrastructure projects. A particular attention was paid to the project on purchasing electric buses for Samarkand within the framework of the Green Cities program implementation aimed at transforming the city's infrastructure to cut negative impact on the environment and reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The existing issues and terms of the project implementation, as well as the format of interaction on its accelerated implementation were agreed upon.
The parties also discussed issues related to implementation of a new project on construction of high-voltage power lines in Khorezm and Bukhara regions, which will be the first EBRD project in Uzbekistan implemented at the expense of loan without state guarantee. In this context, the parties noted the relevance of further joint work to introduce innovative instruments of blended financing in the implementation of infrastructure projects, which will help mobilize private and foreign investment in this area.
An agreement was reached on cooperation in institutional development and capacity building of the Agency for International Cooperation and Development under the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan – EBRD will send expert groups to hold seminars on procurement procedures and provide technical and consultancy support to the Agency in the field of public investment management valuation.
Following the meeting the parties agreed to continue active cooperation aimed at the quality implementation of current projects and the development of new areas and programs of strategic partnership.