Uzbekistan has attracted $7.5bn in foreign direct investment (FDI) in the first nine months of 2023, according to its Institute of Macroeconomic and Regional Studies (IMRS).

The investment volume in fixed assets between January and September amounted to $18.4bn, 11.8% more than during the same period last year. Experts from the IMRE used as part of the reporting process the Investment Performance Index (IPI), which looks at capital injections into regions and the region’s contribution to the country’s development.

Syrdarya took first place both on the IPI and for FDI in Uzbekistan, while the country’s capital Tashkent came fourth.

Uzbekistan has been looking for ways to boost its FDI levels. In September, the country’s government partnered with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – an organisation offering investment, advisory and asset management services to less developed countries – to attract more FDI.

“The goal is to align Uzbekistan’s current investment law with global best practices to boost foreign investment,” the IFC stated. “To do that, the IFC, in partnership with the government of Japan, will help the government of Uzbekistan to prepare a new investment law that clearly states market entry rules, ensures foreign investors and their investments are treated equally, gives investors access to international dispute settlements, and focuses only on FDI and private investments.”

Meanwhile, the government in Tashkent recorded a slight increase in FDI levels between 2017 and 2022, going up from $1.73bn to $2.53bn, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

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However, Uzbekistan’s economy continues to lag behind other Central Asian countries. In 2022, its GDP per capita was roughly $2,510, lower than that of Kazakhstan ($12,970) and Turkmenistan ($12,930) and slightly above the figure recorded in the Kyrgyz Republic ($1,830) and Tajikistan ($1,180).