The event was organized by the MFERIT and the United Nations Development Programme in Uzbekistan together with "Uzinfoinvest", the newly-created investment promotion agency, and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan.
While 2007 saw record global foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows of US$1.5 trillion—an 18% increase, 2008 will be a difficult year for investment because of the credit crisis which has spread from the United States to Europe and elsewhere.
The lack of investor confidence and the lack of liquidity for business loans will impact global investment inflows. The crisis will intensify the already-stiff competition to attract FDI. The front-runners in the FDI race will continue to improve their investment climates as well as create state of the art investment promotion agencies.
Uzbekistan has made a number of regulatory changes in 2007 to improve the business climate including streamlining the registration process and simplifying the tax system. It has also created the Information Support and Foreign Investments Promotion Agency—Uzinfoinvest. The agency will provide reliable and relevant information to potential investors regarding the business climate and opportunities. The Guide highlights further changes that can be made to further improve the investment climate. These suggestions are based on a survey of investors’ opinions using a questionnaire of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC). The Guide has won the endorsement of both UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the ICC as it provides useful and reliable information.
The project manager, Mr. Bakhodir Sharipov, explained that the Investment Guide and the Catalogue are intended to provide first-time investors with detailed information about Uzbekistan including its investment climate, investment regulations and investment opportunities. Currently, many potential foreign investors might not have sufficient knowledge to allow them to make investment decisions. The Guide and the Catalogue can fill that lacunae.
MFERIT and UNDP have been promoting investment through their joint project, "Capacity building and Strengthening Foreign Trade and Investment Promotion Institutions in Uzbekistan" which has the support of UNCTAD, the ICC, "Uzinfoinvest", and Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Uzbekistan. The project produced the Investment Guide to Uzbekistan which is complemented by the Catalogue of Investment Opportunities in Uzbekistan and the Cost of Doing Business in Uzbekistan. These publications can be found on the websites www.investuzbekistan.org and www.investment.uz.