EBRD First Vice President Phil Bennett will visit Uzbekistan this week to meet Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov and other senior officials and speak at the International Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia. He will also open a new office of the Bank in the capital, Tashkent, on Wednesday, 8 November, which demonstrates the EBRD’s new stage of engagement with Uzbekistan.
The EBRD office, headed by Associate Director Alkis Vryenios Drakinos, will support the expansion of the Bank’s operations in the country.
During his visit, EBRD First Vice President Bennett will sign the Bank’s first new projects since 2010, in banking, agribusiness and pharmaceuticals.
Mr Bennett will be accompanied on his visit by Betsy Nelson, EBRD Vice President, Risk and Compliance, and Natasha Khanjenkova, EBRD Managing Director, Central Asia and Russia.
The EBRD’s near-term objectives in Uzbekistan are to support domestic small and medium-sized enterprises and promote trade finance and cross-border cooperation, as well as to facilitate foreign direct investment and support the government’s reform efforts, including those aimed at improving the investment climate.
It is expected that the EBRD Board of Directors will agree a new country strategy for Uzbekistan in 2018, which will set out the Bank’s longer-term strategic priorities.
Between 1992 and 2010, the EBRD invested €894 million in Uzbekistan in 54 projects.
Now entering a new stage of engagement in the country, the Bank has already identified a number of possible new projects, some of which are due to be signed by the end of 2017, with more to follow in 2018.