Tashkent, Uzbekistan, February 27, 2019
– In connection with the recently published media articles referring to
the World Bank Group’s report, the Private Sector Diagnostic for Uzbekistan,
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, informs that the report covers the
period April 2018 to June 2018.
The purpose of the diagnostic is to provide
an objective analysis of several sectors that show promising potential
and to provide recommendations on how to realize their potential. A draft
report was presented to the Government of Uzbekistan in September 2018.
Following discussions between the Government
and the World Bank Group, and consistent with the country’s reform priorities,
the Government of Uzbekistan initiated a program of modernization of the
aviation sector, as set forth in the Presidential Decree of November 27,
2018. As a result, the National Air Company is being reorganized, separating
airline and airport operations into independent corporations.
Ultimately, the reform is expected to boost
economic growth, improve the efficiency of the concerned state-owned enterprises,
increase competition, and ensure high standards of safety.
With the support of the World Bank Group,
Uzbekistan Airways is currently developing a business plan, with the aim
of becoming a reputable market leader in Central Asia. With this objective
in mind, today the company is focusing on expanding revenue streams and
reducing its costs base.
At present, Uzbekistan Airways continues to
service all its debt and meet contractual obligations in full and in a
timely manner. Its short-term debt repayment capacity is in line with global
industry averages, an indicator of an airline’s ability to sustain normal
operations in the immediate future.
In August 2018, the Government of Uzbekistan
and the World Bank Group signed
an advisory services agreement to support the modernization of the aviation
sector of Uzbekistan. The completion of joint activities under this
agreement is scheduled for June 2019. Thus, the outcomes
of this work will only be known and presented to the Government of Uzbekistan
in June 2019.
Furthermore, today Uzbekistan has air service
agreements with over 50 countries, whose designated air carriers can operate
flights between two countries based on bilaterally agreed terms. Besides,
the access for foreign air carriers’ flights is issued by the Civil Aviation
Agency, an independent entity. With the formation of the Ministry of Transport,
the national policy function with regards to air service agreements will
be transferred to the new institution.
The World Bank Group stands ready to continue
supporting Uzbekistan’s aviation sector modernization efforts.