Small business and private entrepreneurship are identified as the priorities of the economy of Uzbekistan. Currently, the government provides many opportunities to support entrepreneurs, as an enabling business environment is critical to ensuring positive business activity. So, over the past five years, about 2 thousand laws, decrees and resolutions have been adopted to develop this sector. These opportunities include providing loans at low interest rates, providing tax preferences, low import tariffs, reducing bureaucratic barriers when starting and closing firms, etc.
Analysis of business activity in the context of Uzbekistan’s regions is monthly calculated by CERR on the basis of operational data (monitoring in all regions of the republic, according to the data of the State Customs Committee, State Oil Company, Central Bank and UzEX).
The monitoring results showed that the volume of tax revenues in the period from January 1 to August 31 of this year increased by 30.8% compared to the same period last year. At the same time, a significant increase in tax revenues was noted in Kashkadarya (by 41.2%), Khorezm (by 39.2%), Navoi (by 38.9%), Samarkand (by 36.2%), Tashkent (by 35, 7%) regions and Tashkent city (by 39.1%).
The increase in tax revenue is associated with an improved business environment. Over the past five years, 114 licenses and permits have been canceled, a notification procedure has been introduced for 33 types of activities. The procedures for obtaining permits have been simplified and, on average, the terms for their issuance have been reduced by 2 times. Unnecessary checks have been canceled, restrictions related to the circulation of cash, currency and raw materials have been lifted. As a result of the taken measures, the number of new business entities has rapidly increased, and the existing ones have expanded their activities. Thus, the number of entrepreneurs over the past five years has almost tripled and the number of operating entrepreneurs is 80% more than in the same period last year. In addition, many business people have expanded their business nationwide, created thousands of jobs and became successful companies.
Receipts from customs payments for the analyzed period increased by 47.5%. The largest increase in the volume of receipts was noted in Jizzakh (5.0 times), Syrdarya (2.8 times), Khorezm (2.1 times), Fergana (81.7%), Samarkand (84.8%) regions, in the city of Tashkent (by 39.1%) and in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (by 38.8%).
An effective system of customs payments is one of the main factors for the economic development of the countries. Development of market relations, the volume of receipts from customs payments indicates the degree of state participation in foreign trade integration. First of all, the increased volume of imports is indicative of growing domestic demand. Given the current investment environment, the main imported goods are machinery and transport equipment, industrial goods to expand the activities of new and existing companies. In addition, the exemption from customs duties for participants in the free economic zone from October 1, 2020 in accordance with the Decree No. PF-4853 of 10/2016 led to an increase in revenue from customs duties.
According to the State Customs Committee, the volume of exported goods since the beginning of the year increased by 39.6% compared to the same period last year. The growth in the volume of exported goods was provided in Andijan (by 64.2%), Samarkand (by 61.6%), Syrdarya (by 56.3%), Jizzakh (by 54.4%), Tashkent (48.2%) regions, in the city of Tashkent (by 47.5%) and in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (by 31.2%).
The increase in the rate of Uzbekistan's exports can be attributed to an increase in the production of export-oriented products and an increase in external demand for traditional Uzbek articles.
Recently, the country has initiated new ways to stimulate business activities aimed at exporting industrial products, food products, chemicals and agri-food products.
The volume of loans issued by commercial banks for the analyzed period increased by 23.7%. The largest growth in the volume of loans observed in Navoi (by 30.4%), Namangan (by 29.3%), Tashkent (28.3%), Bukhara (by 27.7%), Surkhandarya (by 29.3%) regions, in the city of Tashkent (by 33.5%) and in the Republic of Karakalpakstan (by 19.6%).
The increase in the volume of loans issued by commercial banks indicates a gradual improvement in the investment environment and the activities of business structures.
During this period, 67,016 new business entities were created, the largest numbers were registered in Kashkadarya (7,442), Samarkand (7,105), Fergana (6,010), Tashkent (5,645) regions and in Tashkent (11,580).
The volume of transactions at the Uzbek Republican Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange for the analyzed period increased by 59.3%. A significant increase in stock exchange activity is observed in Bukhara (by 88.6%), Tashkent (by 79.0%), Namangan (by 62.4%) regions and in Tashkent city (by 2.3 times).
The growth in the volume of transactions in these regions was ensured by an increase in the sale of such goods as mineral fertilizers, cotton fiber, diesel, cement, gasoline, cathode copper, ferrous metals, technical cotton seeds and sugar. The increase in the volume of transactions on the stock exchange indicates an increase in the activity of legal entities and an increase in the income of individuals.
Currently, easy dialogue between business and government have been significant factors influencing business development in Uzbekistan. In recent years, the introduction of some of the tools that were used as the main factors of economic activity in our country has significantly expanded, and relevant strategies and work are continuing in this direction. The main macroeconomic indicators show a significant positive recovery from the significant economic downturn caused by the global pandemic. As a result of taken measures to develop business entities, positive trends were identified to create favorable conditions for doing business. Thus, despite the unfavorable global convectors, the indicators of economic activity show the stable nature of the economic recovery in the current year.
The gradual recovery of the economy in 2021 is also evidenced by the results of enterprises survey to assess the state of the business climate in Uzbekistan, which is carried out monthly by CERR. The study reflects business sentiment across the country.
Center for Economic Research and Reforms