Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
Global financial pressures are likely to result in decrease of Uzbekistan’s economic growth in 2008 from an expected 9.4% to 9.1%, First Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Rustam Azimov said Thursday at the 16th plenary session of Uzbekistan’s Senate.
"Economic growth is now expected at 9.1% by the end of this year against an earlier forecasted 9.4%," Azimov told Uzbek senators.
Uzbekistan is a major exporter of cotton, gold, uranium and other minerals.
Azimov said next year’s growth rate would also be revised down from 8.5% to 8.0%, he said. Export volume growth is expected to rise 14.6% against an earlier forecasted 22.3%, he said.
International organizations also forecasted the Uzbek economy will grow between 7% and 8% in 2009. EBRD said that Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product will rose by 7% in 2009, while IMF said it will increase by 7.5% and ADB forecasted economic growth of Uzbekistan at 8% in 2009.
"We are not talking about economic recession. It is just a slowdown," he told senators who gathered for a two-day session to approve the state budget for 2009 as well as other legislation.
The minister said Uzbekistan had been affected by falling world prices for key exports and the financial difficulties of the country’s partners.
He said however Uzbekistan wouldn’t be hit by the credit crunch due to the low level of foreign borrowing.
In recent days, President Islam Karimov has issued two anti-crisis decrees granting a range of tax privileges to exporters and guaranteeing the population’s bank deposits.