According to the World Bank’s forecast, Uzbekistan’s GDP growth rate will be 5.7 percent in 2020. Thus, the economy of Uzbekistan will grow faster than all the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. We can safely say that today’s Uzbekistan is a modern, dynamically developing country. This is also evidenced by the improvement of positions in international ratings and the trust provided by international financial institutions.
Professor Sergey GURIEV, a well-known expert on the transition economy, Doctor of Economics, candidate of physical and mathematical sciences shared his opinion on reforms in our country, the potential of the economy, and economic growth. He answered questions of the Editor-in-Chief of EBU magazine.
– Sergey Maratovich, I think it is very important to have an objective view of the reforms in our country, so to speak, “from the outside”, and I want to thank you for agreeing to answer our questions. As a senior EBRD specialist in the recent past, how can you assess the economic transformation in Uzbekistan?
– In terms of the speed and scale of reforms, Uzbekistan continues to exceed expectations. On the other hand, there is still a lot to do. Much of the reforms has yet to be achieved. Uzbekistan is still not a country with a competitive market economy and democratic political institutions.
– The interaction between political and economic transformations is an important factor that affects the development of the state. How to achieve the maximum efficiency from reforms?
– The irreversibility of reforms is ultimately determined by the formation of democratic political institutions and society’s commitment to creating an open and competitive market economy. This requires fair and competitive elections, as well as an independent and effective judicial system.
– At the current pace of management reform and economic development, will we be able to fully transition to a market economy in the coming years? In your opinion, which of the CIS countries is already as close to this as possible?
– The Baltic States and Georgia remain the champions of reform in the post-Soviet region. Kazakhstan is the leader in Central Asia. But in general, all post-Soviet countries (with the exception of the Baltic States) still have a significant way to go, in contrast to the countries of Central Europe, which have already built a market economy. The example of Central Europe shows that, if desired, reforms can be carried out quickly enough.
– Corruption is one of the significant factors that inhibit economic growth. In the ranking of the Corruption Perception Index, Uzbekistan has risen by several points, yet the country’s position leaves much to be desired. Is there any universal formula for solving this “sore” issue for many countries, or should an individual approach be used here? Is the experience of Georgia, for example, applicable to Uzbekistan?