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Uzbekistan's WTO accession to increase only imports, exports to lag

21 September 2019

WTO accession will definitely increase interest in Uzbekistan and positively affect the country's image, analysts of the information and analytical Uzbek portal World of Finance told Trend in an interview.

"However, in turn, imports will increase, and exports will lag until the quality of exported goods complies with international standards," they added.

Regarding the issue of Eurobonds by Uzbekistan, experts noted: "The placement of Eurobonds was a benchmark for the country, but this is only the beginning; there are still many reforms to be implemented to make business in Uzbekistan transparent and reduce the shadow turnover of goods and services."

Analysts said that the world market is just beginning to recognize Uzbekistan, but the not very good reputation of the past has stopped foreign investors from actively investing in the country.

"We think this is a matter of time, and if Uzbekistan creates a more favorable environment for conducting business, then there will certainly be a shift," they said.

Analysts noted that Uzbekistan has very ambitious plans for the future, but it all depends on the success of the reforms.

They emphasized that much depends on government agencies, reducing bureaucratization, ensuring transparency of public procurement and costs, reducing corruption, ensuring compliance with laws, reducing benefits in all areas, successfully implementing the new tax code, fair personnel policy and much more.

"Without the implementation of the above reforms, a sharp breakthrough should not be expected. The leadership of Uzbekistan should move from words and promises to real actions to improve the economy. If local businessmen do not feel comfortable, then foreign investors will not be interested in the market at all. In the meantime, local businessmen in Uzbekistan are not feeling very well,"they said.

Experts added that a lot depends on the new President of Uzbekistan. He is now trying to change the thinking and stereotypes of bureaucrat officials; if he succeeds, and everything said will be realized, then there will be real changes for the better.