Cotton cultivation has long dominated
Uzbekistan's economy, but in recent years natural gas
has taken over the role of the country's most important
export commodity. Despite a series of market reforms
since 2016, the economy is still influenced by the
legacy of the Soviet government's (1924-1991) central
Cotton cultivation is still economically important
for Uzbekistan, which is one of the world's largest
cotton producers. The industry employs a large part of
the country's workforce. Attempts to replace some of the
cotton crops with food production have not been very
Major imports by Uzbekistan, covering a full list of top products imported by the country and trade value for each product category.
In the Soviet economy, Uzbekistan would supply the
other sub-republics with cotton and in turn constitute a
market for their products. This trading system was
ravaged when the Soviet Union disbanded in 1991. At the
same time, the annual subsidies from the Russian
government were halted, which accounted for around 40
percent of Uzbekistan's state budget.
During the first years of the 1990s, the country's
GDP shrank and prices rose. In 1993, inflation was
around 1000 percent, while the external debt and trade
deficit increased. Inflation was fueled by price
increases in Russia, which contributed to Uzbekistan
abandoning the ruble zone in 1993 and introducing its
own currency, called as. From the mid-1990s,
GDP again increased, although growth according to the
World Bank has long been significantly lower than the
Abbreviationfinder.org: Check this abbreviation website to find three letter ISO codes for all countries in the world, including SKD which represents the country of Uzbekistan.
Privatization of state-owned enterprises began as
early as 1991, but then went on for a long time. In many
cases, the companies were entrusted to former managers
and collective workers without new capital or expertise
being added. For a long time, privatization has taken
place in the trade, service sector and housing market.
Several large state companies have not been sold, as the
state wants to retain control of key sectors such as
energy, mining, transport and cotton production.
The Karimov regime's (1991–2016) resistance to a
rapid liberalization of the economy kept the interest of
foreign investors and lenders such as the IMF and the
World Bank. But while many Western investors felt the
business climate as unfriendly, Russia and China
increased economic cooperation through trade credits and
investments in sectors such as the oil and gas industry
and the telecom industry.
The new regime under President Mirzijojev (2016–) has
succeeded in curbing inflation, counteracting the
extensive black exchange trade and reducing the gap
between the official exchange rate and the exchange
rate. In order to make the business climate more
favorable, in the autumn of 2017, the fixed exchange
rate against the dollar was dropped and the currency
flowed freely. At the same time, private individuals and
companies were allowed to handle foreign currency in
In the 2010s, economic growth was relatively high,
thanks to good weather for agriculture and high prices
for important export goods such as cotton, gold and
natural gas. This in turn enabled the government to
invest in various development projects, not least in
infrastructure, which is absolutely necessary. For
example, gas deliveries have sometimes been hampered by
overly poor pipelines.
The government's efforts have so far not benefited
the poorest residents to a particularly high degree.
Instead, many well-off people have enriched themselves,
including through corruption.
Russia was for a long time Uzbekistan's largest
single trading partner, but in the 2010s became a strong
competitor in China. Trade has also increased with
countries such as Turkey, South Korea, Germany and
Natural gas has passed cotton as the most important
export product. Minerals such as gold, silver, uranium
and tungsten are also of great economic importance.
Uzbekistan also exports vehicles, textiles, food and
chemicals. Imports are dominated by machinery, chemical
products, cereals and other foods.
The government is investing in tourism, especially
around the old Silk Road, to bring in foreign currency.
Despite bureaucratic hassle, poor infrastructure and
fairly low service levels, a few million foreign
visitors come to Uzbekistan every year.
FACTS - FINANCE
GDP per person
US $ 1,532 (2018)
US $ 50,500 million (2018)
5.1 percent (2018)
Agriculture's share of GDP
28.8 percent (2018)
The service sector's share of GDP
31.6 percent (2018)
14.7 percent (2019)
Government debt's share of GDP
20.6 percent (2018)
US $ 17,708 million (2017)
US $ 11,386 million (2018)
US $ 18,252 million (2018)
- US $ 3,577 million (2018)
Commodity trade's share of GDP
56 percent (2018)
Main export goods
energy products (mainly natural gas), gold and other
metals, cotton, food, fertilizers (2017)
Largest trading partner
China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Turkey (2017)
Parliamentary elections begin
The first round of the parliamentary elections is held. Only regimented
parties are allowed to participate.
Soviet energy grid is scrapped
Uzbekistan announces that the country will stop using the Soviet-era joint
grid for electricity and gas supplies and instead build its own distribution
network. The decision is feared to lead to energy shortages in neighboring
Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
The last EU sanctions are abolished
The EU abolishes arms embargo on Uzbekistan, the last of the sanctions
imposed after the 2005 Andizyan massacre.
Sharpened location at the Kyrgyz border
Relations between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are deteriorating as Uzbekistan
begins digging trenches along disputed border areas to prevent attackers from
entering the country.
Attacks against police officers
A police officer is killed in a suicide attack in Andizan and a police
posting in Chanabad is attacked by a group of armed men. In Uzbekistan,
Kyrgyzstan is accused of letting in the attackers, which the Kyrgyz people
US transportation is allowed
Karimov confirms that the US will be allowed to transport supplies through
Uzbekistan to its troops in Afghanistan. A formal agreement is signed in April
of the same year.
Energy agreement with Russia
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev makes an official visit to Uzbekistan. A
number of energy agreements are signed between Russia and Uzbekistan.