On 23 June 2023, in the framework of the EU-funded Central Asia Invest Programme, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) organised a workshop to assess progress made in improving the legal environment for business in Uzbekistan. This follows a study that the Organisation conducted in 2019-2020 on Improving the Legal Environment for Business and Investment in Central Asia. The event was held in co-operation with the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the European Union.
Some 30 participants took part, including representatives of ministries and national agencies, the Foreign Investors Council, and representatives of the international donor community.
The seminar offered an opportunity to share initial thoughts on progress made in Uzbekistan since 2020 and to address participants’ questions and comments on the OECD’s preliminary findings along three policy dimensions: the legal framework for investment, the operational environment for businesses, and taxation.
Mr Mindaugas Kacerauskis, Head of the Political Section at the EU Delegation to the Republic of Uzbekistan, recalled that the EU has been co-ordinating and funding private sector development and competitiveness among private operators in Uzbekistan and the wider region under the Central Asia Invest programme. Mr Aleksey Sim, Head of the Investment Climate and Ratings Department at the Ministry of Investments, Industry and Trade, and Mr Golib Kholjigitov, Head of the Foreign Investors Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, highlighted the latest government initiatives to support the creation of a favourable investment climate, such as the review of the Law on Investment and the upcoming strengthening of the Investment Promotion Agency’s role. Representatives of the State Tax Committee commented on the OECD findings, and announced a review of the colour-based tax compliance risk assessment system of firms.