SECO’s interventions in Uzbekistan are complementary to those of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) under the joint Swiss Cooperation Strategy for Central Asia. The focus of Swiss engagement for Central Asia, and thus for Uzbekistan, is on supporting economic, social and democratic development, strengthening economic ties, promoting good governance as well as an integrated and regional approach in the complex field of transboundary water management. In partnership with the Uzbek Government and private stakeholders, SECO supports programmes fostering inclusive and sustainable economic development and promoting the management of their water resources in a climate-resilient, sustainable and inclusive way.
Uzbekistan’s reforms have stimulated its economy by harnessing the country’s considerable potential for agricultural and industrial exports. Nevertheless, large segments of the economy are still in the hands of state-owned enterprises. Overall, the economic situation is still very vulnerable to external shocks and was further complicated by security concerns arising from border conflicts and Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, strengthening the resilience of the economy against such external shocks is key. In this regard, Uzbekistan has yet to implement systematically the strategies and programmes to develop its economy in greener, more sustainable ways, including foreign investments, and to increase women’s economic participation. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) could serve as key drivers of growth, but their growth is hindered by weak enforcement of the legal framework, as well as by challenges related to corruption.