Tashkent, Uzbekistan, September 17,
2010—The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
has successfully completed its Uzbekistan Investment Climate project and
today released the results of its nine-year program on improving the business
environment in the country.
Since 2001, the project has been working with the government of Uzbekistan
to improve the business environment in the country, including reforms in
business registration, voluntary liquidation, permit issuing, inspections,
and the tax reporting system.
On the basis of annual surveys of small and medium businesses, IFC’s experts
developed more than 200 recommendations for the government of Uzbekistan
on further improvement of the business climate in the country.
From 2008 to 2010, the project also worked closely with the government
to introduce an evidence-based policy assessment methodology for improving
the process of regulatory decision making in the country and supporting
a favorable and sustainable business environment.
Zafar Khashimov, IFC Country Officer in Uzbekistan, said, “The Uzbekistan
Investment Climate project is the most successful one among IFC’s advisory
services in Europe and Central Asia. The total impact of the project’s
work on regulatory simplification is estimated to result in savings of
at least $47 million in direct and indirect costs for Uzbek businesses.”
During the last two years, the project focused on helping the Uzbek government
in its efforts to improve tax administration and reporting. As part of
that work, the project conducted a full-scale tax compliance cost survey
and provided the government with recommendations on further improvement
of local tax administrations. According to the report, there is an outstanding
potential for further improvements, which could lead to annual savings
of about $200 million to the business.
“It is not a secret that we still have room for improvement in tax administration
in the country. We are open to discussions and will carefully consider
the recommendations presented in this report.” said Alisher Shaykhov,
Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In 2001-2008, the project was implemented in partnership with the Swiss
government through the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs or SECO,
which is the Swiss Confederation's competence center for all the core issues
related to economic policy.
The Tax Compliance and Reporting Costs for Businesses in Uzbekistan report
is available on-line at http://www.ifc.org/uzbee.
About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps
governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and
encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth
and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA,
and the World Bank) and over 15 donor partners working through the multidonor
The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs is the Swiss Confederation's
competence center for all the core issues related to economic policy. Its
aim is to create basic regulatory and economic policy conditions to enable
business to flourish and benefit all. SECO also represents Switzerland
in large multilateral trade organizations and international negotiations,
and is involved in efforts to reduce poverty and help developing countries
with transition economies build sustainable democratic societies and viable
market economies. Each year, Switzerland spends about 1.9 billion Swiss
francs on development cooperation and transition assistance to countries.
For more information about SECO visit www.seco.admin.ch.