The annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is being held at the International Congress Center in Tashkent on September 1-4. The event was attended by ministers and officials from 57 IsDB countries, as well as more than 2,000 representatives of major businesses, experts and the media.
The main topic of the meeting was the social and economic recovery of IsDB member countries after the pandemic. Additional meetings will be held on economics, sustainable development, health, education, Islamic finance.
Director of the Center for Economic Research and Reforms Obid Hakimov presented at the event.
"Central Asian countries have great potential for the development of cooperation and integration. Estimates made using the IsTB methodology show that Central Asian countries have an unrealized export potential of $1.1 billion in mutual trade," said Obid Khakimov, director of the Center.
It is estimated that food products will cost $530 million, chemicals $180 million, metallurgy $120 million and light industry $110 million.
It was noted that Uzbekistan has the potential to export more than $600 million worth of products to Central Asian countries.
The head of the Center for Economic Research and Reforms added that close cooperation will help create industrial and agricultural clusters in Central Asia, which could have a compensatory effect in reducing production costs. For the development of regional value chains, it is desirable to create favorable conditions for increasing cross-border trade and investment.
Speaking about water resources in Central Asia, Obid Khakimov said that the shortage of clean water in the region could lead to an 11% decline in GDP.
"The lack of water resources is a serious problem for sustainable development in Central Asia. The World Bank estimates that water resources in the Syrdarya Basin will decrease by 5% by 2050 and by 15% in the Amudarya Basin. Obid Khakimov, said in his speech at the annual meeting of the Board of Governors of the Islamic Development Bank in Tashkent.
In terms of the availability of water resources in the international classification, Central Asian countries fall into the category of "inadequate supply," Khakimov added.
According to the United Nations, at least $1.75 billion is lost each year due to conflicting decisions in Central Asia to coordinate water use.
"Effective use of the region's water and energy potential could help deepen cooperation between the two countries, which was weakened in the 2000s," Obid Hakimov said.
The IsDB meeting in Tashkent is the first major international offline event since the pandemic began.
“One of the difficult lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the importance of economic resilience. Our economic systems, today, are globalized and complex. When a shock occurs in one part of the global economy, it is widely felt. We have developed this index to help policymakers among our member countries track their progress in creating more resilient economies,” H.E. Dr. Al Jasser, IsDB President and Chairman of the IsDB Group
Since 2016, the leadership of Uzbekistan has remained committed to a multi-vector policy and continues to expand cooperation with the IsDB. The fact that the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Bank is held in Tashkent is a result of this cooperation. To date, the IsDB has supported more than 100 projects in various fields in Uzbekistan.
The holding of such an annual summit is important for Uzbekistan and serves to recognize the achievements of economic reforms in the country.