Mon, 26 Jul 2021

TASHKENT, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed a cooperation agreement to attract investment in the chemical industry and encourage the introduction of sustainable practices in the production of mineral fertilizers, the Uzbek Finance Ministry said Monday.

The project with the IFC aims to eliminate inefficiencies in the sector through market reforms, thus reducing the role of the state and creating equal conditions for private investors.

The chemical industry and production of mineral fertilizers in Uzbekistan have huge potential for growth, but transforming them into a modern industry meeting the country's needs and unlocking its export potential requires reforms and private sector investment, the ministry said in a statement.

"Uzbekistan has initiated reforms to modernize the outdated production and distribution of chemicals and fertilizers, encourage investment and create a competitive industry that will provide new highly skilled jobs and reduce the carbon footprint of Uzbekistan's industry," said Uzbek Finance Minister Timur Ishmetov.

The IFC has been assisting Uzbek government in preparing state-owned banks for privatization, developing and diversifying the financial market, transforming the cotton sector, developing the chemical industry, and piloting public-private partnerships in the energy and health sectors. As of May 1, 2021, IFC's investment portfolio in Uzbekistan amounted to 160 million U.S. dollars.

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