Uzbekistan publishes first ever sovereign ESG report

By bne IntelIiNews February 3, 2021

Uzbekistan has published its first-ever environmental, social and governance report (ESG) to measure and assess the country's progress towards achieving sustainable development goals (SDG).

It was compiled by the Export Promotion Agency under the Ministry for Investment and Foreign trade at the request of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Germany's Cometis and Xenophon Strategies of the US were involved in its compilation.

The report sets out and examines the three pillars of economic development: infrastructure for growth, active governance and a strong civil society, and sustainable livelihoods.

It also describes ways to address important social and governance issues, including forced labour, civil rights, human rights, transparency, and electoral and judicial reforms. In addition, the report includes ratings of third-party countries to give an objective assessment of progress made.

The first-of-its-kind document is expected to serve as a "reference guide" for national and international stakeholders, including institutional investors and global companies seeking partners in Central Asia.

Here are the main conclusions of the report:

* Since 2017, Uzbekistan has changed its course towards creating an open society.

* Uzbekistan is steadily moving up the independent world rankings and indexes that reflect good governance, civil freedom, economic activity and development.

* Since 2017, Uzbekistan has made great strides in transforming a centralised economy into a liberal market economy.

* New digital, financial and transport infrastructure, along with more attractive economic conditions, have increased business activity in Uzbekistan, including a sharp increase in foreign direct investment.

* Cooperation with leading international organisations has led to greater transparency and better compliance with existing laws.

* New laws were adopted in accordance with recognised legal standards, giving more civil and economic rights.

* Working with international NGOs to eliminate forced labour makes the country an attractive partner for global textile suppliers.

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