After experiencing robust growth for more than a decade, Uzbekistan is starting to see its economy slow down due to weak exports. Improvement in gross domestic product dipped from 8.3 percent in 2011 to 8.2 percent in 2012. Growth is projected to slow further to 7.5 percent this year.
Nonetheless, the Central Asian country’s economy remains robust, bolstered mainly by high productivity in the manufacturing sector, sustained public investments and healthy private consumption.
After Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, the government focused on improving the welfare of the population and preserving social stability through sound macroeconomic management. This has resulted in favorable socio-economic conditions. From 2005 to 2011, per capita income increased threefold from $542 to $1,580 and the percentage of the population living in poverty fell from 25.5 percent to 16 percent. And despite some unevenness in gains, Uzbekistan has made considerable progress in meeting its Millennium Development Goals, particularly those relating to women empowerment and gender parity in accessing social services.
The Asian Development Bank is helping Uzbekistan meet its goal of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2020. ADB is assisting the Central Asian country’s transformation into a modern industrial and service economy by promoting poverty reduction, inclusive growth and regional cooperation. ADB recognizes that Uzbekistan’s main challenge is ensuring that its high economic growth translates into jobs and improvement of citizens’ welfare.