EBRD headquarters in London, England
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
The EBRD expects 5% to 7 % growth in Uzbekistan in 2009. This is far higher than the latest forecast for the Bank’s region, the press release of the EBRD said.
Because of the rapidly deteriorating global economic situation the EBRD revised its forecast for the region at the end of January. The EBRD now expects average 2009 growth of 0.1 % in the 30 countries where it has investments, compared with a prediction of 2.5 % based on country forecasts made in November last year, the release reads.
Chief Economist Erik Berglof said, "The EBRD region is feeling the full impact of the global slowdown, mainly because of the region’s increased integration within the global economy, The ability of these countries to withstand such a major external shock over the longer term will depend largely on the speed of the recovery of the global economy, the combined efforts of individual governments and International Financial Institutions, including the EBRD, to safeguard financial systems in the region, and the support of foreign banks to their eastern subsidiaries. Despite the lower short-term growth prospects, the mid to long-term expectations call for a rebound, possibly as early as next year."
For Uzbekistan, the EBRD’s latest forecast is a slight revision compared to November when the Bank predicted 7% growth in the country in 2009. In the Bank’s view Uzbekistan has so far been less affected by the global crisis because of the lesser degree to which the country is dependent on the international financial markets. However, the latest revision takes repercussions of the global crisis into account, in particular the slowdown in Russia and its consequences on export revenues and remittances, as well as the overall fall of international commodity prices. The Bank estimates that Uzbekistan is in a relatively good position to weather the impact of the global financial and economic crisis, which could even provide impetus to push forward some reforms, the release said.
The EBRD is currently revising its activities in Uzbekistan and will adopt after consulting the authorities a new three-year strategy later this year.