Currently, 24 special economic zones (SEZs) are functioning in the Republic of Uzbekistan, 23 of which specialize in industry and 1 in agriculture.
In total, from 2008 to 2022, 604 projects worth US$3.2 BN were implemented in the territories of special economic zones, of which direct foreign investments amounted to about US$896.9 MM. As a result, about 55 thousand new jobs were created. The largest of these projects were implemented in Angren FEZ (84 projects worth US$1,038.2 MM), Navoi FEZ (73 projects worth US$495 MM), Urgut FEZ (77 projects worth US$335.9 MM) and Kokand FEZ (84 projects worth US$280.2 MM).
In the period under review, FEZ member enterprises produced over 500 types of industrial products worth 13.7 TN UZS and exported products worth US$283.1 MM, a growth of 114% compared to the same indicator of 2022.
A large-scale work was carried out to improve the legal and regulatory framework governing the development of free economic zones. Thus, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On Special Economic Zones" was adopted, which provides for the procedures of establishing, extending the term of operation and liquidation of free economic zones, changing their borders, revising the system of their management, as well as the procedures for registration of their participants.
In addition, the document stipulates that financing of construction or reconstruction of infrastructure facilities on the territory of a SEZ may be financed from both centralized and non-centralized sources.
Providing SEZs with the necessary infrastructure is a key factor in their effective functioning and attracting new investors and entrepreneurs to implement projects on their territory. In this regard, it is planned to allocate 847 BN UZS in 2023 to carry out works on connecting existing SEZs to engineering and communication networks.
In particular, it is conditioned by positive forecast of investment activity in FEZs: in 2023, 86 new investment projects worth US$983.6 MM are planned to be realized in free economic zones of Uzbekistan. As a result of the implementation of these projects, the production of 128 new types of industrial products will be mastered and 13 thousand new jobs will be created.