Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia and is experiencing the strongest economic growth in the region. But the country remains dependent on its gas exports and is finding it hard to retain its youth, which suffers from unemployment and emigrates in large numbers. The challenge: diversify its economy and promote development that benefits all. AFD has been assisting it on this pathway since 2015.
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Uzbekistan, city, Khiva, minaret
AFD AND UZBEKISTAN: DIVERSIFYING THE ECONOMY AND GIVING YOUTH THE KEYS TO EMPLOYMENT
Kurinish Khana (Khiva, Uzbekistan)

Supporting green and inclusive growth

Madrasa Oulough Begh, Registan, Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Supporting green and inclusive growth

Uzbekistan has been experiencing dynamic growth for a decade. However, it is faced with an undiversified economy, increasing energy demand, high levels of poverty and a very young population hard hit by unemployment.

Our action in the country is based on four priorities: 

  • Support urban development (water and sanitation, waste management, transport, social housing);
  • Boost agriculture;
  • Support the energy transition (renewable energies and energy efficiency);
  • Strengthen the private sector, which creates jobs. 
31.5
million euros committed
1
regional agency
2016
AFD’s 1st project in Uzbekistan to upgrade waste management in Samarkand

Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia and is mainly made up of desert. It neighbors Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan and is the second largest economy in the region. 

Uzbekistan has had an 8% growth rate for a decade, thanks to its exports of gas and agricultural products. The economy is also based on raw materials: in addition to gas, the country farms over 1 billion hectares of cotton and exploits metals and fertilizers. 

However, there continue to be major social inequalities and young people, faced with unemployment and the lack of prospects, emigrate in large numbers to Russia to find a job. Moreover, substantial remittances are made by the Uzbek diaspora (USD 2.3bn in 2016).

The country needs to address several challenges: diversify its economy, meet increasing energy demand and create employment for young Uzbeks (40% of the population is under 18), while protecting the environment.

AFD was authorized to operate in the country back in 2011, under a mandate for “green and inclusive growth”. It opened a regional office in Tashkent in 2015 and launched its first project in Uzbekistan in 2016. It allocates loans to the State, public institutions and private actors.

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