IsDB Unveils $1.3bn Partnership with Uzbekistan

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The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group has unveiled a $1.3 billion partnership strategy (2018-2021) for the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Member Country Partnership Strategy (MCPS), prepared in close consultation with the Government of Uzbekistan, aims to support sustainable socio-economic development in the country over the next four years through a number of bilateral and regional initiatives.

Focus areas in the MCPS include modernising the country’s infrastructure, improving its agricultural efficiency and productivity, promoting private sector development, enhancing social development and supporting capacity development.

The strategy, according to a statement, also aims to enhance the Bank’s existing partnership with Uzbekistan, adding to the value chain of the country and ensuring balanced development across different regions and income groups.

The IsDB Group’s finance will directly support rural development and affordable housing, agriculture, reconstruction of water supply and sewerage facilities, health, education, transport and the energy sector.

Additionally, the IsDB Group would continue to support the development of the private sector, enhance trade and promote Islamic finance in the country.

In particular, the IsDB Group is enabling Uzbekistan’s small and medium sized enterprises to benefit from Islamic financing tools.

Under the new strategy, the Bank would also introduce innovative resource drives under the IsDB President’s Five-Year Program (P5P) such as crowd-funding platforms, new partners from the private sector, civil society, NGOs and philanthropic associations.

As part of the Program, the Bank has also established ‘Transform’ – a US$500 million science, technology and innovation fund to provide seed money for start-ups to develop their ideas and facilitate the commercialisation of technology among member countries.

The fund also supports ‘Engage’ – an online ecosystem that connects scientists, innovators, and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

“Science, technology and innovation are continuously recognised as strategic drivers of economic growth and play a critical role in the development of infrastructure.

“This includes transport, energy and agricultural projects in the IsDB’s Member Countries, which drive progress at scale and deliver improvements for millions,” the statement.

President, IsDB Group, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, said: “The launch of the Member Country Partnership Strategy marks a new milestone in the trusted and successful relationship between the IsDB Group and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

“We are committed to supporting the Government as it works to achieve inclusive economic growth and financial resilience. Through increased trade, investment in infrastructure and regional cooperation, we will also develop a stable and robust economy across Central Asia.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Committee for Investments, Republic of Uzbekistan, Sukhrob Kholmuradov said: “We are delighted to embark on this new Member Country Partnership Strategy with the Islamic Development Bank Group which supports our national vision of economic and social prosperity of our country and people.”

The IsDB launched the strategy at an ‘IsDB Group Day’ on 18th September, ahead of Dr Bandar Hajjar’s opening speech at the fourth convening of the Arab Coordination Group, which serves to aid developing countries reach their social and economic goals.