Monthly Meeting on April 18, 2018

Honorary speaker of April 18th Monthly Meeting was Associate Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Uzbekistan, Mr. Alkis Drakinos .
AmCham members as well as guests of AmCham, among them Ambassadors of Switzerland, Israel, Bangladesh and Slovak Republic came to hear about EBRD’s viewpoint on the recent reforms in Uzbekistan and its activities in Uzbekistan.
At the beginning of the evening the floor was given to David Spears, former World Bank’s Country Manager to Uzbekistan, who now is the Chairman of the society “Friends of the Nukus Museum”. He updated the guests with society’s activities aim at supporting world-famous museum to maintain its budget and take care of the paintings, collected at the beginning of 20th century by Russian artist and archeologist Igor Savitsky.
The floor was turned over to Alkis Drakinos, Associate Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Uzbekistan. Following the launch of a broad reform programme in Uzbekistan, the EBRD is taking its engagement with the Central Asian country to a new level by opening an office and signing the first new projects since 2010. Demonstrating the EBRD’s new stage of engagement with Uzbekistan the Bank also signed three loan agreements during First Vice President Bennett’s visit for a combined total of US$ 120 million. The largest will be a US$ 100 million facility to the National Bank for Foreign Economic Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and trade finance. At the same time the agribusiness company LLC JV Agromir Juice and the medical supplier Mutabar Medical Standart LLC will receive around US$ 10 million loans each for their expansion and growth. Finally, the EBRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan on joint work to improve competitiveness of SMEs in the context of the Bank’s Small Business Initiative.
The EBRD’S current objectives in Uzbekistan are to support domestic SMEs, promote trade finance and cross-border cooperation as well as facilitate foreign direct investment that will result in the transfer of technologies and know-how and thus the improvement of the competitiveness of the Uzbek economy.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti visited Tashkent in March 2017 and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Uzbekistan launching this new cooperation.
The EBRD is the largest institutional investor in Central Asia, with close to €11.6 billion (US$ 12.3 billion) committed to projects in a variety of sectors, from infrastructure to agriculture, with a focus on private sector development.
Between 1992 and 2010, the EBRD invested €894 million in Uzbekistan in 54 projects. Entering a new stage of engagement in the country, the Bank has already identified a number of possible new projects, some of which were signed by the end of 2017, with more to follow in 2018.