TASHKENT, April 29. /“Dunyo” IA/. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the Article IV consultation with the Republic of Uzbekistan. Discussions with the authorities were held remotely during January 25–February 16, 2021, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.
IMF notes that as the crisis abates, it will be particularly important for Uzbekistan to pick up the pace of structural reforms to achieve strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth.
IMF recommends Uzbekistan reduce the role of the state in the economy and create a vibrant and resilient private sector.
“Of particular importance is the creation of strong and independent institutions necessary for a well-functioning and fair market economy and enhance policy stability and predictability” is noted in the statement.
Experts note that Uzbekistan can benefit from other countries’ experiences and avoid the pitfalls of poor governance, by ensuring strict adherence to the rule of law and government transparency.
According to IMF, mitigated by the authorities’ timely and strong policy response, the COVID-19 pandemic has, so far, had a relatively short-lived adverse impact on Uzbekistan’s population and economy. Although the pandemic hit the economy hard in the first half of 2020 and inflicted considerable hardship, strong and timely containment and support measures moderated the recession.
IMF expects that the economy is projected to grow by about 5 percent in 2021. Inflation is projected to decline marginally, to just below 10 percent by end-2021 due to food price pressures and government wage increases.
Experts note that the level of uncertainty is very large, however. The recovery could be delayed by a resurgence of infections, a slower-than-expected rollout of vaccines, or new containment measures, as well as slower growth in Uzbekistan’s main trading partners and fluctuations in commodity prices, notably the price of gold.
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