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IMF projects moderate economic growth in Uzbekistan
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides support to Uzbekistan's economy through a variety of channels including policy advice, technical advice, and financing, IMF Mission Chief for Uzbekistan Ron van Rooden told Trend.
The IMF provided Uzbekistan with about $375 million in financing under its Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) and Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) in May of this year.
"While the economy is projected to gradually recover as the COVID-19 pandemic abates, uncertainty and risks remain large, the IMF will continue to work with the authorities, and with Uzbekistan's other external partners, and stands ready to support Uzbekistan with policy advice, technical assistance, and financial assistance if needed," said IMF Mission Chief.
In this context, the IMF continues to coordinate closely with many foreign organizations. These include international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and World Bank and foreign governments.
The IMF and World Bank cooperate in several areas including by providing policy advice and technical assistance to improve tax administration, the banking system, and social protection;
The IMF, World Bank, and US Treasury cooperate on advice on public debt management;
The IMF, ADB, and World Bank have cooperated to provide sufficient funding to cover fiscal and external financing needs arising from the COVID-19 crisis.
Regarding the forecast for the economy of Uzbekistan, IMF staff projects that economic growth will be moderately positive in 2020 despite a marked slowdown in energy production, tourism, and transportation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Growth should pick up to around five percent in 2021, provided the pandemic abates. Inflation, at just over 11 percent, is expected to gradually decline in 2020 and 2021.
The consolidated fiscal deficit is expected to increase from 2 1/2 percent of GDP in 2019 to about six percent of GDP this year (or 7 1/2 percent of GDP when policy loans are included)," the IMF Mission Chief said.
"Additional COVID-related spending will likely be needed in 2021. Nonetheless, the fiscal deficit should narrow in 2021, provided the pandemic gradually abates," Rooden said.