7 february. There was a session of the Cabinet of Ministers dedicated to the results of the socio-economic development and economic reforms in 2003 and the main directions of further liberalization of the economy in 2004.
President Islam Karimov spoke, noting the direction of liberalization and reforms in the economy last year. Macroeconomic stability and stable growth were guaranteed. GNP grew by 4.4%, production – 6.2%, paid services – 7.9%. Due to strict monetary-credit policy, the money supply was reduced to 10.9% of GNP. The level of inflation was 3.8% vs 21.6% in 2002. Real income per capita increased by 12.3%.
Measures to unify the exchange rates and liberalize currency policy allowed for convertibility of the sum for current operations in agreement with article 8 of the IMF agreement.
Foreign economic activity increased. Foreign trade turnover grew by 17.3%, and exports by 24.6%. The foreign trade balance was positive – $760m.
The level of investment reached $2 trillion sums, 4.5% more than in 2002.
SME grew to reach 35.5% of GNP. 57% of people were employed there.
April. The Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan «About electronic document circulation» and «About electronic commerce» are adopted.
August. The communication administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan became a member of Documentary Telecommunication Association.
All tall telephone exchanges are digitalized.
2 november. President Islam Karimov received the president of the Asian development bank (ADB) Tadao Chino. “We know of you not only as an authoritative financial head, but as a friend who supports our reforms,” said President Islam Karimov.
The ADB is a close and active partner of Uzbekistan in conducting economic reforms. Every 3 years, the bank works out and implements a strategy of partnership.
Priorities in cooperation are transport and city infrastructure, agriculture, education, SME and private entrepreneurial development. During the present visit of T.Chino, an agreement for new credits till 2008 worth $150m was reached.
Cooperation is growing in many areas. The head of the bank took on the initiative of coordinating regional economic cooperation in Central Asia. The ADB is interested in the idea of organizing Central Asian cooperation in transport, water-energy and production consortiums. At the summit in Dushanbe last month, it was decided to create these consortiums. At present the ADB is working with the countries in the region to implement this decision.