$27bn of deals signed at third Tashkent International Investment Forum

$27bn of deals signed at third Tashkent International Investment Forum
Delegates at the III Tashkent International Investment Forum. / Presidential press service of Uzbekistan
By Mokhi Sultanova in Tashkent May 6, 2024


The third Tashkent International Investment Forum (TIIF-2024) concluded with $26.6bn worth of agreements signed, considerably up on the $7.8bn of deals inked at the first occasion in 2022 and the $11bn signed at the second in 2023.

More than 2,500 participants from 93 nations attended the May 2-3 event. It also attracted widespread international media coverage. Some 110 foreign media outlets from 30 countries, including CNN, The Associated Press, Euronews and London Post were present.

Among investment commitments, Data Volt, a Saudi Arabian firm, committed $1bn to the development of urban infrastructure in "New Tashkent" and $3bn to the establishment of a green technology-driven data centre. 

The Gulf is becoming an increasingly prominent source of FDI for Uzbekistan.

Another Saudi company, Acwa Power, outlined its intention to invest $6.2bn in establishing a 5-GW wind farm in Uzbekistan’s autonomous Republic of Karakalpakstan and developing 2 GW of Uzbekistan energy storage capacity.

Meanwhile, UAE-based Amea Power is spearheading a $1.1bn initiative to erect a 1,000-MW wind farm in Karakalpakstan.

Also in energy, Saudi Arabia’s Tabreed is to modernise the heat supply systems of Nukus, Fergana and Kuvasay at a cost of $750mn. 

In agriculture, Egypt's Nil Shugar has committed to growing sugar beets and producing sugar in Jizzakh region, with the investment cost $500mn. 

In manufacturing, China’s Shanghai Knud International will implement a $205mn project in the production of textile and garment products in Namangan region. 

Wilmar International of Singapore is set to invest $200mn in making food products and confectionery in Tashkent region.

At TIIF-2024, collaborations with a combined investment cost of $6.6bn were also established with international entities such as Orascom Investment (Egypt), Bonafarm Group (Hungary), and Sayar (USA), Goldwind and Sinoma (China), Sam Yapi (Turkey), Pasha Development (Azerbaijan), Lasselsberger (Austria) and PetrosatChexelsoton (Iran.

The forum's agenda included panel sessions, discussions and round tables on topics shaping economic development. Sessions covered anti-corruption measures, retail trade challenges, economic opportunities and the role of women in entrepreneurship.

Experts emphasised combatting corruption and enhancing transparency to enhance the investment climate. Deliberations highlighted the need to adapt to market dynamics and integrate digital technologies into investment strategies. 

Akmal Burkhanov, director of Uzbekistan's Anti-corruption Agency, said a comprehensive approach to fighting corruption must include strengthening legislation and increased government transparency.

In the retail trade panel session, participants discussed industry challenges and opportunities. They advocated for improvements in tax legislation and import procedures, emphasising the importance of facilitating the successful introduction of new brands. Ilya Lyapustin, commercial and marketing director of Tashkent City Mall, credited reduced customs duties for enabling fair pricing comparable to the UK and Kazakhstan.

The focus on women's entrepreneurship underscored its role in societal progress.

Discussions also looked at mechanisms for bolstering foreign investment and fortifying global supply chains.

Sherzod Shermatov, Uzbekistan's Minister of Digital Technologies, underlined the Data Volt investment in a green data centre as a crucial FDI project.

“Yesterday we witnessed an important event—the start of the construction of the $5bn Data Volt green data centre, which is a major foreign direct investment project. We are creating a favourable environment for IT companies and launching the ‘Zero Risk’ programme to cover all risks associated with opening and running offices in Uzbekistan,” said Shermatov.

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