The Global Financial and Economic Crisis: Measure to Overcome It – The case of Uzbekistan
Mahmud Hadjimetov, Counselor on Trade and Economic Affairs, Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Japan delivered a seminar entitled “The Global Financial and Economic Crisis: The Case of Uzbekistan” on 4 June 2009.
His presentation was broadly organized into two parts. He started by introducing a book by Uzbekistan's President, and followed with a discussion of three topical issues on (1) the outcomes of the 2008 social and economic development projects undertaken in Uzbekistan; (2) the current economic situation in Uzbekistan; and (3) the status of the development programs for the first quarter of 2009.
Mr. Hadjimetov noted that President Karimov's book titled The Global Financial-Economic Crisis, Ways and Measures to Overcome It in the Conditions of Uzbekistan consists of two parts. The first part focuses on the impact of the global financial crisis on the Uzbek economy and the factors that prevent or mitigate its consequences. This part provides a comprehensive analysis of the causes of the global financial and economic crisis, its emergence in connection with the pressing socio-economic problems on an international scale, as well as the expected future impacts. He also emphasized that an early exit from the global financial crisis and mitigation of its impacts depends largely on the effectiveness and coherence of the measures taken within specific countries and the world community as a whole.
The second part of the book discusses the support provided by the government to the banking system so that it can remain strong in the face of the global financial and economic crisis, and modernize the economy through technological upgrading and diversification of production. The book espoused the idea that the widespread adoption of innovative technologies is a reliable way for Uzbekistan to overcome the crisis and offers a way for the country to be competitive in the new frontier areas of the global market.
Mr. Hadjimetov said that with the growing integration of the Uzbek economy into the global economic and financial systems, the crisis and its outcomes can negatively impact the economy. Yet, despite the problems in 2008, the country has achieved not only economic stability but also a relatively high level of sustainable growth. The government has developed a crisis prevention program, and designed mechanisms to ensure effective implementation. As a result, the Uzbek economy grew by 9% in 2008 while keeping a low budget deficit of only 1.5% of GDP and inflation rate at a manageable rate of 7.8%. The export growth rate was remarkably high at 28.7%.
According to the latest IMF projection, the Uzbek economy will record 7% growth in 2009. With the world economy shrinking as a whole by 1.3%, many countries will not be able to post positive growth rates in 2009. Under such circumstances, the projected 7% growth for the Uzbek economy, even though lower than last year's growth rate of 9%, is an impressive performance.
Mr. Hadjimetov mentioned that the effective implementation of the crisis prevention program will not only weather the challenges and threats of the global financial and economic crisis, but will also prevent its negative impacts on the Uzbek economy, which will help it to become a more robust, sustainable, and balanced economy, allowing it to take advantage of niche markets in the world. He ended by saying that robust economic growth will help overcome the challenges of further improving the living standards and welfare of the people of Uzbekistan.
At this seminar, representatives of the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in Japan and Center for Political Studies (CPI), in collaboration with ADBI, and with the support of the MOF of Japan, will discuss the current financial and economic situation in Uzbekistan; the measures that have been implemented to overcome the repercussions of the global financial and economic crisis; and the social and economic development programs to secure balanced, stable and sustainable macroeconomic growth of the country.
At a meeting of Cabinet Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan held in February 2009, a session was dedicated to present the outcomes of social and economic development projects of Uzbekistan in 2008, and sustainable economic development projects for 2009. In line with its economic reforms, Uzbekistan continues to ensure sectoral and regional diversification of foreign trade, as well as increase its trade with the growing Asian market. To neutralize the impact of the world financial and economic crisis on Uzbekistan's economy, the Uzbekistan government has started to implement some measures as part of the crisis-prevention program adopted by the country. In relation to that, President Karimov has published a book, The Global Financial-Economic Crisis, Ways and Measures to Overcome It in Conditions of Uzbekistan.