ADB projects Uzbekistan's economy to grow 4 pct in 2021, 5 pct in 2022

2021-04-28 14:35:48 GMT2021-04-28 22:35:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

TASHKENT, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 4 percent in 2021 and 5 percent in 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Wednesday.

Uzbekistan's economic growth is expected to rebound this year and in 2022 as industry, services, and investments recover following COVID-19, it said.

However, the ADB said that the risks remain of a protracted pandemic and uncertainty abroad.

"While the pandemic and related restrictions slashed growth in Uzbekistan in 2020, growth is expected to rebound this year and next -- but a timely vaccine rollout and strong containment measures remain critical for the country's economic recovery," said Cindy Malvicini, the ADB's country director for Uzbekistan.

"Uzbekistan must also look to improve how it assesses fiscal risks, particularly from state-owned enterprises, and mobilize private sector capital for public-private partnerships to strengthen the recovery and ensure sustainable, long-term growth," she said.

According to the ADB's annual report, investments are expected to remain a major driver of growth, rising on average by 9 percent in both 2021 and 2022, driven by the government's efforts to upgrade industrial facilities and develop social and urban infrastructure. Private consumption is expected to grow by 7 percent as a result of higher wages and slowing inflation.

Inflation is projected to decelerate to 10 percent in 2021 and 9 percent in 2022 given that tariffs for electricity and natural gas are expected to remain stable, the report said.

With inflation declining, the Central Bank kept its policy rate unchanged at 14 percent this month.

The ADB expects that monetary authorities would further reduce lending at preferential rates, allowing market forces to determine all lending rates. Enditem