Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 27, 2004—Lease
finance for Uzbekistan got a further boost thanks to Government Decree
No. “On the Further Development Of Leasing “ signed by the President
of Uzbekistan and issued by the Government of Uzbekistan on April 26, 2004.
With the adoption of these new measures, Uzbekistan has created
additional stimulus to support its rapidly growing leasing industry.
The new leasing measures were developed by the Working Group on Leasing
in Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Justice, with
support from the seco—IFC Central Asia Leasing Project. IFC is the
private sector arm of the World Bank Group and has worked in Uzbekistan
since its independence.
Bakrom Asrakhanov, Deputy Minister of Finance, stated that the
“new Uzbekistan leasing measures were the logical next step to support
the acquisition of new technology through leasing. Adopting accelerated
depreciation for leased assets will give entrepreneurs greater incentive
to modernize their operations and invest in their businesses. The Uzbekistan
government has provided the environment for leasing development, and now
expects to see financial institutions and business react positively to
Benefits of the Uzbekistan measures include:
of accelerated depreciation for tax purposes for leased assets.
Lessees can now deduct from their taxable income the full depreciation
of the leased asset over the period of the lease agreement.
of fees for lessors using notary writ to repossess leased assets. The
fee for using notary writ to repossess assets is now based upon the lessee’s
unpaid debt to the lessor, not on the full lease agreement amount.
of registration procedures for leased vehicles. Lessors or lessees
can now register the leased vehicle using significantly easier procedures,
and taxes on the sale of the vehicle are levied only once at the purchase
of the vehicle from the supplier, not on the transfer of the vehicle to
the lessee’s ownership at the end of the lease period.
Gorton De Mond Jr., Regional Representative IFC in Central Asia,
noted that “the adoption of these additional measures for
leasing following last year’s enactment of totally new leasing legislation
in Uzbekistan is a clear example of the Uzbekistan Government's commitment
to creating a positive environment for leasing and increase financing opportunities
for the private sector. Commercial bank leasing grew 400% in 2003
– and I expect that due to these new measures, we should see further significant
growth in the industry in 2004 ”.
Uzbekistan is currently experiencing a boom in leasing. In 2003,
over $37.5 million worth of equipment has been leased to SMEs in Uzbekistan
through local financial institutions, and over $50 million worth of equipment
has been leased to Uzbekistan businesses by joint venture partners and
international leasing companies. This boom is in part due to significant
amendment to the Law on Leasing, Civil Code, Tax Code and Law on Customs
Tariffs in December 2002 and to the Civil Litigations Code in August 2003.
The seco - IFC Leasing Project was launched in Uzbekistan in early
2002 to increase the volumes of leasing transactions for small and medium-sized
businesses. The project works closely with Uzbekistan’s parliament and
government agencies to create an appropriate legislative environment for
leasing. The Project additionally provides training and consulting services
to local enterprises, financial institutions, and foreign investors interested
in leasing. seco and IFC have also launched a public education campaign
to educate private enterprises, financial institutions, and regulatory
agencies about leasing.
IFC’s mission is to promote sustainable private sector investment in developing
countries to help reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC
fulfills its mission through financing private sector ventures in partnership
with private investors and through technical assistance and advisory services
to governments in partnership with donors. Established in 1956, IFC is
the largest multilateral investor in emerging markets. To date, IFC
has committed more than $31 billion of its own funds and arranged $20 billion
in syndications for 2,636 companies in 140 developing countries. IFC’s
committed portfolio at the end of FY01 was $14.3 billion..
IFC has long been a champion of leasing for developing and transitioning
economies. IFC has advised 44 countries on leasing and has invested almost
$1 billion dollars in leasing operations in 50 countries over the last
Switzerland participates in the international community’s efforts to help
transitional countries build stable democracies and viable market economies.
Each year, Switzerland spends approximately SFr1.5 billion on development
aid around the world, or about 0.34 percent of its gross national product.
This is a testimony to Switzerland’s belief that long-term global security
and prosperity can be achieved only by narrowing the gap between developed
and transitional countries.
As for SECO, its economic development cooperation program has four main
objectives: (1) to help transitional countries reach the stage of development
most favorable to growth and investment; (2) to mobilize private sector
resources as a means of increasing the flow of finance to the transitional
countries, as well as technology transfer; (3) to improve the productive
and social infrastructure; (4) to achieve greater integration of developing
countries in international trade.