Between 17-24 July, a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Mr. Albert Jaeger visited Tashkent to discuss the economic developments and the reforms plan proposed by the Uzbek authorities.
The IMF stated that it was ready to support the reforms proposed by Uzbekistan’s government, offering technical support as well as an economic analysis of the benefits there reforms will bring to the country’s economy. IMF’s visit is an answer to Uzbekistan’s official visit to the IMF from the beginning of July when the consultations started.
The IMF also encouraged Uzbekistan to improve its own statistical system with the aim of contributing to the improvement of the cooperation quality between Uzbekistan and IMF.
As such, IMF’s conclusions stated:
- The reforms of the foreign exchange system should be supported by State-controlled companies and banks.
- It is expected that the state budget will reach a surplus of 0.2% of the GDP.
- The delegation welcomed the determination of the authorities to improve the quality and transparency of the national statistics.
After the visit, the IMF mission made several recommendations for the implementation of the reforms proposed by the Uzbek government:
- “Unifying exchange rates and allowing a market-based allocation of foreign exchange resources would allow the Central Bank of Uzbekistan (CBU) to pivot to a stability-oriented monetary policy capable of effectively controlling inflation.”
- “The reform would also promote job creation and growth by increasing external competitiveness, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), and improving the allocation of domestic resources. Given Uzbekistan’s ample foreign exchange reserves, the reform can be implemented from a position of strength.”
By gaining the support of the IMF for the implementation of the fiscal and economic reforms, the Uzbek government has an important advantage in the correct implementation of these.
However, the speculations referring to the existence of a foreign exchange black market questions the efficiency of these reforms.