On November 12, 2018, the Development Strategy Center has held a round-table discussion on ‘Assessing the Effectiveness of Free Economic Zones in Uzbekistan: Legislative, Investment, Economic, Social and Environmental Aspects’. It brought together specialists from relevant ministries and departments, experts, representatives of international organizations. The participants discussed the results of the study held in the framework of a joint project of the Development Strategy Center and PeaceNexus Foundation of Switzerland in September-October, 2018.
As is known, the National Action Strategy on Five Priority Development Areas 2017–2021 envisages an integrated and balanced socio-economic development of regions, districts and cities, the optimal and effective use of their capacity. In particular, it is planned to create new and increase the effectiveness of existing free economic zones (FEZ), technology parks, small industrial zones.
In pursuance of the document, the Development Strategy Center teamed up with the Swiss Foundation PeaceNexus for a project on ‘Creating Favorable Conditions and Organization of the Effective Functioning of Free Economic Zones in the Republic of Uzbekistan’. The project involved international and national experts.
Within the project, in September and October 2018, experts studied the activities and existing problems in the FEZ, as well as the impact of the FEZ on solving socio-economic and environmental problems, both in the region and in the whole country.
In particular, the specialists visited the Navoi and Angren free economic zones and conducted field studies of the activities and the conditions created to improve the investment climate. Also, they conducted a survey among investors, representatives of the administration, employees of enterprises, businessmen, and studied the proposals to address the current problems.
The study and analysis of the activities of the FEZ (by the example of Navoi and Angren FEZ) under the project was held in five areas: the regulatory framework of operation and investment attractiveness of the FEZ, taxation, customs administration, environmental impact of the FEZ and socio-economic impact.
Representatives of PeaceNexus Office for Central Asia (Switzerland), experts of RolandBerger consulting company (Germany), experts of the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the State Investment Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as national experts who had worked on the study took part in the meeting.