How to Attract Investments? Advice from Outside
How to improve the business environment and attract investment? This question was answered by the leading economist of the World Bank Stefka Slavova. In her opinion, components of the business environment need to be improved.
Firstly, she stressed, in spite of the fact that ‘one window’ system is already functioning in Uzbekistan for registration of business, electronic procedures have not replaced paper ones. The system is considered to operate smoothly when it is accepted by the majority. Ask what to do for this? The answer is simple: you need to raise awareness, expand the use of online banking and eliminate the problems caused by the speed and reliability of the Internet connection.
Second, in order to shorten the terms of import-export operations, it is necessary to pilot a single electronic window for customs clearance.
Third, much needs to be done on international trade. Today, this is one of the weakest areas of activity in the country. There is a gap between legal requirements and practice. Unfortunately, the rules on paper are not yet in effect.
Obtaining a certificate of compliance on the basis of bilateral agreements remains a complicated procedure.
Obtaining most of the technical permits takes less time to use paper procedures, in part because of the lack of development of a regulatory framework that determines institutional coordination in the conduct of international trade, due to restructuring and inadequate automation of some departments.
The definition of the customs value of imported and exported goods does not fully comply with international principles.
The customs authorities check the entire cargo on the border without using the risk assessment methodology.
For a reasonable regulation of the area, the World Bank proposes to ensure full compatibility of systems used in international trade, through a ‘one-stop shop’ and to expand users’ access to an automated system.
Fourth, another problematic area of business in Uzbekistan remains the receipt of construction permits. A growing trend in the world is the involvement of the private sector, independent engineers or specialized construction firms to participate in construction supervision and inspection. Uzbekistan can learn and adopt this experience.