Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has created a council of foreign investors to advise him on improving the investment climate and attracting foreign direct investment. The establishment and organization of activities of the Presidential Council of Foreign Investors (hereinafter the 'Council') was approved by the Resolution of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated November 13, 2019, No. PP-4519 (hereinafter the 'Resolution'). The main objectives of the Council include the following:
- advising the government on investment and industrial, technological and innovative development;
- assisting in attracting investments, development of mutually beneficial trade and electronic commerce;
- ensuring interaction between public authorities and foreign financial organizations and upgrading the legal framework.
The board of the Council is formed from heads and representatives of foreign companies, banks, investment organizations and other institutions including the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), as well as institutions performing investment and business activities. The Council will consist of an executive committee, working groups and a secretariat. The activity will be carried out in the form of plenary (annually) and interim sessions (at least twice a year). The work of the interim sessions will be coordinated by the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The first interim session of the Presidential Council of the Foreign Investors was held on November 20, 2019. The session was organized by the Ministry of Investments and Foreign Trade jointly with the EBRD. Minister of Investments and Foreign Trade Sardor Umurzakov stated that the government is ready to cooperate and it is open to new proposals, directions and solutions to improve the investment climate. The Managing Director of the EBRD in Central Asia, Bruno Balvanera, noted that against a background of an overall decrease in global investments, Uzbekistan is of great interest in the investment world. Leading foreign companies such as British American Tobacco, Lukoil, Carlsberg etc. and international consulting agencies took part in the session. A number of proposals to improve the investment law were suggested by the Tashkent office of the Dentons, represented by its Managing Partner Eldor Mannopov. The following suggestions were proposed during the session:
- the modernization of the bank system, through the initiation of the privatization process, reduction in bureaucracy and improvement of transparency in the way it works;
- creation of a website to improve the openness and accessibility of information and communication between investors and government authorities ;
- upgraded methodology and national standards for auditing companies;
- creation of easier and more understandable procedures for company establishment and documentation;
- an increase in the flexibility and speed of international financial transactions.
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