Uzbekistan suffers 17.2% foreign trade decline in January, president miffed by export performance

By bne IntelliNews February 24, 2024

Uzbekistan's foreign trade fell 17.2% y/y in January to $4.2bn, with the trade deficit widening from $851mn a year ago to $1.97bn, according to the national statistics agency.

Exports dropped 47.1% y/y to $1.12bn. Imports rose 4.1% y/y to $3.08bn.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed his dissatisfaction with the current direction of export volumes during a meeting on January 18. Mirziyoyev critiqued the export plan for 2024, saying it was necessary to "increase exports by at least 30% per year" to drive the economy forward. He lamented that, excluding gold, export growth in 11M23 was merely 5.7% y/y.

Mirziyoyev highlighted concerns regarding export volume declines in certain key industries and regions. He noted that "exports in 10 regions and cities failed to reach even half of the previous year's levels".

Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov has been instructed to take disciplinary action against deputy khokims (mayors) for investment in Andijan, Bukhara, Kashkadarya and Navoi regions, as well as against the mayors of 10 districts and cities. 

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