Twelfth United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) began on November 18 in Geneva, Switzerland. This year, topics such as the debt crisis in developing countries, transparency of debt reporting, long-term debt policy, debt management and international cooperation to improve it were discussed in the summit. The discussions were attended by experts from the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Union, UNCTAD, the Eurasian Economic Community and other international organizations, and representatives of developing countries.
Director of the Department of state foreign and domestic debt Jasur Karshibaev represented the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan in discussions and presentations.
Reference: The UN Conference on Trade and Development, established in 1964 as a permanent intergovernmental structure, is an important organ of the UN General Assembly and organizes a conference once every 2 years for member states. UNCTAD plays a central role in coordinating the development of trade, finance, technology and investment. Its main goal is to ensure the integration of developing countries and countries with transition economies into the global economy through the development of trade and investment. To this end, UNCTAD holds intergovernmental meetings, research and policy analysis, as well as provides technical assistance, collaborates with the business sector and civil society.
In the framework of the conference a meeting of the Advisory Group on Public Debt Management and the Financial System (DMFAS-6 software package) was also held. It was attended by representatives of member states, experts from the European Union, the World Bank, the Eurasian Economic Community and UNCTAD. At the meeting, delegates from 3 countries whose reforms and experience in the field aroused great interest among other states gave presentations. Uzbekistan also made a presentation.
The international community highly evaluated the republic’s efforts to create an open and efficient economy, undertaken in a short time under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. In particular, achievements in the foreign exchange market, foreign trade, liberalization of the market, international sovereign credit rating, integration into the expanded general information system of the International Monetary Fund, tax and banking systems, and reform of state enterprises grabbed the attention of the listeners.
Despite the fact that the Debt of Uzbekistan is small, the cautious approach of Uzbekistan and the work carried out by the republic to maintain a public debt at a safe level were positively evaluated by the international financial community.
For reference: The external debt of the Republic of Uzbekistan is 23.8% of GDP (total public debt equals to 33.6%) and is moderate, according to IMF estimates. The total debt of the countries of the world has grown significantly in recent years, and in 2017, according to UNCTAD, 213 trillion dollars or 262% of GDP.
– development of a medium-term debt management strategy in cooperation with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund;
– development of such public debt standards to maintain macroeconomic stability based on the IMF methodology in conjunction with international experts;
For reference: When developing these standards, forecasts of economic growth rates until 2030, investment needs, the stability of the economy to certain external and internal risks, issues of the devaluation of the sum, economic growth, exports and currency fluctuations of the largest trading partners of Uzbekistan – Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Turkey, their impact on the country’s economy were studied.
The Ministry of Finance, with the participation of international experts, is currently developing fiscal policy rules to prevent risks associated with the external debt of Uzbekistan. With their help, it is expected to prevent possible problems in the future.
– Restrictions on external borrowing were proposed in the project of state budget;
For reference: The Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On the State Budget of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2020”, recently adopted by the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and sent to the Senate is proposed for the first time in the history of the country. It will come into force after its approval by the upper chamber of parliament and signing by the President. The law establishes the obligation of the government to take measures to prevent a significant increase in debt. In the process of prearation of the law, standards to prevent the growth of external debt by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund were taken into account.
Considering that debt is a a pressing problem all over the world, the cautious wise approach of Uzbekistan and the ongoing efforts by the republic to maintain public debt at a safe level were positively evaluated by the international financial community. International experts expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Uzbekistan in prevention of macroeconomic risks and effective debt management.
The best practices of public debt management were studied within the conference.