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Uzbekistan Economy 1996

    • Overview:
      Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 10% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. It is one of the poorest states of the former USSR with 60% of its population living in overpopulated rural communities. Nevertheless, Uzbekistan is the world's third largest cotton exporter, a major producer of gold and natural gas, and a regionally significant producer of chemicals and machinery. Since independence, the government has sought to prop up the Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on prices and production. Such policies have buffered the economy from the sharp declines in output and high inflation experienced by many other former Soviet republics. They had become increasingly unsustainable, however, as inflation moves along at 14% per month and as Russia has forced the Uzbek government to introduce its own currency. Faced with mounting economic problems, the government has begun to move on a reform agenda and cooperate with international financial institutions, announced an acceleration of privatization, and stepped up efforts to attract foreign investors. Nevertheless, the regime is likely to find it difficult to sustain its drive for economic reform.

    • National product:
      GDP - purchasing power parity - $54.5 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

    • National product real growth rate:
      -4% (1994 est.)

    • National product per capita:
      $2,400 (1994 est.)

    • Inflation rate (consumer prices):
      14% per month (1994 est.)

    • Unemployment rate:
      0.3% includes only officially registered unemployed; large numbers of underemployed workers (December 1994)

    • Budget:


        $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

    • Exports:
      $943.7 million to outside the FSU countries (1994)

        cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products

        Russia, Ukraine, Eastern Europe, US

    • Imports:
      $1.15 billion from outside the FSU countries (1994)

        grain, machinery and parts, consumer durables, other foods

        principally other FSU countries, Czech Republic

    • External debt:

    • Industrial production:
      growth rate 1% (1994 est.)

    • Electricity:

        11,690,000 kW

        47.5 billion kWh

        consumption per capita:
        2,130 kWh (1994)

    • Industries:
      textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas

    • Agriculture:
      cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain, livestock

    • Illicit drugs:
      illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for CIS consumption; limited government eradication programs; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe

    • Economic aid:

        the IMF has established a Systemic Transformation Facility of $74 million and the World Bank has made a rehabilitation loan of $160 million with other project loans pending; estimated annual external financing requirements for 1995-96 of $600 million to $700 million

    • Currency:
      introduced provisional som-coupons 10 November 1993 which circulated parallel to the Russian rubles; became the sole legal currency 31 January 1994; was replaced in July 1994 by the som currency

    • Exchange rates:
      soms per US$1 - 25 (yearend 1994)

    • Fiscal year:
      calendar year

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