New Uzbekistan Development Fund Launched

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Economic Empowerment Fund to develop rural infrastructure 

The Saudi Arabia based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has launched a US$100m investment fund for Uzbekistan which it said will create 100,000 jobs and increase its Uzbek investments to S$2.4 billion. The new fund was announced at the IDB’s AGM in Tashkent, which was attended by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

In a speech he said that the IDB had been vital for reducing poverty in Uzbekistan. “We are grateful to the Islamic Development Bank for its timely support of our anti-crisis measures,” he said. “The Bank has approved 30 major investment projects in Uzbekistan in health, education, agriculture, water supply, drinking water supply, road infrastructure and construction of affordable housing in rural areas.” The new investment fund, named the Economic Empowerment Fund for Uzbekistan, was signed by IDB president Muhammed Al-Jasser and Uzbek minister for investments Sardor Umurkazov.

“We strongly believe that the new fund will be a unique funding platform for new projects and initiatives. This experience will be transferable to other countries in the region and the Muslim world,” said Al-Jasser. The Uzbek government will provide 35% of the funding, IDB 20% and private investors from Saudi Arabia will provide 45% of the funding. Since Shavkat Mirziyoyev took over as president from the reclusive Islam Karimov in 2016, Uzbekistan has attracted billions of dollars of foreign investment and begun adopting Western influenced trade and development mechanisms.

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