Supporting green and inclusive growth
Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia and is mainly made up of desert. It neighbors Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan and is the second largest economy in the region.
Uzbekistan has had an 8% growth rate for a decade, thanks to its exports of gas and agricultural products. The economy is also based on raw materials: in addition to gas, the country farms over 1 billion hectares of cotton and exploits metals and fertilizers.
However, there continue to be major social inequalities and young people, faced with unemployment and the lack of prospects, emigrate in large numbers to Russia to find a job. Moreover, substantial remittances are made by the Uzbek diaspora (USD 2.3bn in 2016).
The country needs to address several challenges: diversify its economy, meet increasing energy demand and create employment for young Uzbeks (40% of the population is under 18), while protecting the environment.
AFD was authorized to operate in the country back in 2011, under a mandate for “green and inclusive growth”. It opened a regional office in Tashkent in 2015 and launched its first project in Uzbekistan in 2016. It allocates loans to the State, public institutions and private actors.