My Uzbekistan

Introduction to Uzbekistan

A hidden Silk Road gem.

Welcoming, full of sunshine and prosperous opportunities, and nature, Uzbekistan has long been a top destination for tourist visits and business ventures. However, its history is much more than that. Modern Uzbekistan is located right at the heart of Central Asia, making it one of the most ancient centers for development and trade in the world.

From the early start of civilization, Uzbekistan and its inhabitants have been known for their immeasurable talents across multiple industries, from textiles to arts. Visitors from all over Europe and Asia would come flocking to this notable land, making for successful trades and negotiations to bring Uzbek goods and products to their homelands.


Uzbekistan is a hospitable, warm land where the sun shines brightly 300 days a year. The territory of modern Uzbekistan is one of the centers of origin and development of human civilization and has almost 3,000 years of statehood.

Uzbekistan is located in the heart of Central Asia, between its major rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya. This land was a place of intersection of roads of the Great Silk Road, connecting Asia and Europe. Here, in numerous markets and bazaars worked handicraftsmen, creating the most beautiful works of art, which along the numerous roads of the Great Silk Road reached the farthest corners of Europe and Asia. Uzbek ethnos, by right, is considered one of the most ancient on our planet. The distinctive culture of Uzbekistan began to form at the dawn of civilizations and has undergone significant changes over the millennia.

A mural identifying the connection between Ancient Korea and Uzbekistan due to the Silk Road trade, 7th century. Korea JoongAng Daily

Achaemenid, or as it was called, Persian Empire flourished here in the 6th and 4th centuries B.C. Then the power collapsed when the territory was invaded by the Greek general Alexander the Great, and the Hellenistic era began. At this time trade developed, large cities grew, and the Greco-Bactrian kingdom began to rule.

In the middle of the II century BC, the Greco-Bactrian kingdom collapses and a new milestone in history comes – the Kushan State is formed. At this time begins to develop trade, movement of people, and inter-ethnic communication.

Thanks to the advantageous territorial location of cities on the territory of modern Uzbekistan was a route of the Great Silk Road. Along this route, large trading cities such as Andijan, Kokand, Rishtan, Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva, and Tashkent appeared and grew.

Afrasiab painting at the Afrasiab Museum of Samarkand, 6th-7th Century BC. Uzbek Travel

Then such states as Parthia, Kangyu, Ephtalite State, and Turkic Khaganate prospered and developed. In the 7th century A.D., the territory was conquered by the Arabs. The territory became known as Maverannahr.

In the XII century, the invasion of Genghis Khan took place and the Chagatai ulus was formed. However, the heyday of this territory came in the 14th century, when Amir Timur came to power. He made Samarkand the capital as well as the economic and cultural center of the state. After Samarkand was conquered by the nomadic Dasht-i-Kipchak tribes, a new state of the Sheibanid dynasty was founded. Beginning in the VI century and until the middle of the XIX century ruled Khiva, Kokand Khanates, and Bukhara Emirate.

Samarkand 1871, Antiquities of Samarkand Museum. Travel Pulse

As a result of the invasion of Tsarist Russia in the ’60s of the XIX century was formed Turkestan Governorate General. In 1917 Uzbekistan became a Soviet Republic. During this period there was a mass migration of a variety of nationalities from numerous republics. On August 31, 1991, Uzbekistan became independent.

Acquisition of the state independence of Uzbekistan on August 31, 1991, took place in difficult political, social, and economic conditions. 


Part of the world: Asia

Area – 447 400 km²:

  • Water – 10%
  • Land – 90%

Average temperature:

  • January +9 °C to -8 °C
  • July +26 °C to +35 °C

Largest lake: Aral Sea


Largest rivers:

  • Amu Darya (2,540 km)
  • Syr Darya (3,019 km)

Highest point: Mount Hazrat Sultan (4,643 m)


Lowest point: Mingbulak Depression (-12.8 m)


Desert: Kyzylkum


Mineral resources:

  • gold, uranium, gas, copper, potash, phosphates, and others

Current Economy​

In 2022, Uzbekistan’s economy grew by 5.7%, summing up to a total of 888.34 trillion soums (KUN.UZ). The country’s stable economic growth can be attributed to a variety of factors, including the steady rise in tourist interest post-pandemic, diversity in investment opportunities across multiple sectors, as well as strong exports of gold.

Additionally, due to the adoption of reforms aiding in foreign investments, in 2022 monetary transactions have increased by 61%, while exports have increased by 138.7% in Q1. 51.5% of exports accounted for gold.

Since the election of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev in 2016, the country has seen a radical and rapid shift towards a market economy with a strong emphasis on reforms encouraging foreign investment, worldwide distribution, and trade. With the country’s liberalization of currency in 2017 allowing more flexibility in trade and export, Uzbekistan began working towards becoming a more modernized, open state.

Key objectives and development results have been outlined with ongoing support from the World Bank and the institution’s introduction of the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Uzbekistan in 2022. The objectives are to halve poverty among the population by 2026 and for Uzbekistan to join the ranks of the upper middle-income countries by 2030. To achieve this several tasks were set in motion:

  • Forming a viable private sector capable of creating more quality jobs;
  • Transforming the role of government from a producer of goods and services to an effective mechanism for developing markets;
  • Investing in human capital development and addressing unequal access to socio-economic opportunities;
  • Creating the conditions for future sustainable and environmentally friendly development of Uzbekistan.

As one of the core elements of the economic boost was working towards the improvement of overall quality of life and emphasis on the private sector, from April 2022 the government began implementing a special IT visa for foreign investors, specialists in the field, and their families. The flexibility of the three-year visa aimed to increase overall interest in working in and with Uzbekistan.

Investment Projections 2022-2024

Tourism is among the top revenue generators in the country. Known for its unique sites and rich history, Uzbekistan annually attracts millions of visitors worldwide. In 2020, the industry generated over $395 million, accounting for 0.57% of the GDP and corresponding closely to 31% of the tourism in Central Asia (WorldData).

In 2021, the state budget allocated 1 trillion soums ($100 million) for the development of the industry. In the first nine months of 2021, 105 new hotels and 1,001 family guest houses were opened. As a result, the country has 1,361 hotels, 3,388 rooms, and 2,365 family guest houses.

Continued growth in the flow of tourists as well as in the length of their stay (number of accommodation days) will also contribute to an increase in the number of accommodation facilities and, accordingly, in the number of rooms. In particular, the number of accommodation facilities is projected to increase by 2.5 times by 2025.

3,782 registered facilities in Uzbekistan have received a tourism services certificate. There are also 1,841 tour operators in the country and 66 guest accommodation areas. Over the past four years, 833 new hotels and other accommodation facilities have been put into operation in Uzbekistan (O’ZBEKISTON RESPUBLIKASI MADANIYAT VA TURIZM VAZIRLIGI (

Increased International Interest

Over the past couple of years, several international hotel chains have shown interest in the development of hotels and resorts in Uzbekistan. (Holiday Inn and Intercontinental are projected to enter the Uzbek market)

In general, the tax system can be described as two-level, since all taxes are divided into: state and local.

State taxes:

  • Corporate income tax
  • Personal income tax
  • Value-added tax
  • Excise tax
  • Social tax
  • Taxes and special payments for subsoil users
  • Water resources use tax
  • Corporate property tax
  • Property tax of physical persons
  • Land tax

Tax legislation establishes several mandatory payments to social funds, as well as various fees (state duty, customs duties).

The law provides for several simplified tax regimes, such as single tax payment, single land tax, and fixed payment.

Local taxes and fees:

  • Land tax from physical persons
  • Tax on improvement and development of social infrastructure
  • Tax on the consumption of gasoline, diesel fuel, and gas for vehicles
  • Duty for the right of retail trade

Major corporate taxes:

Corporate income tax

  • General rate of 15%
  • Tax losses carried forward for up to 10 years (subject to certain limitations)

Withholding tax

  • 10% on dividends and interest
  • 20% royalties

Property tax 2% of average annual real estate value in Uzbekistan

Value-added tax 12%

Certain tax incentives for foreign direct investors, depending on industry, location, and amount of investment.

Modern Uzbekistan and Notable Reforms

Modern History of Uzbekistan starting from the Declaration of State Independence in 1991

The Declaration of State Independence challenged the country’s people and leadership to carry out fundamental reforms. As a result of domestic and foreign policies pursued by the government headed by Karimov, Uzbekistan was recognized by the international community as an independent state. Within a short period, Uzbekistan defined its own model of development.

Designed and implemented by President Karimov, the “Uzbek model” of development paved the way for the socio-economic development of the country. Grain and oil independence was ensured in a short period. Uzbekistan turned from an agrarian and raw materials country into a rapidly developing country that exports modern equipment and technology. The correctness of the development path chosen by Uzbekistan was confirmed by the global financial and economic crisis that began in 2008. The “Uzbek model” which has successfully withstood the test of the crisis, has deservedly received high positive assessments from international financial organizations and experts.

The historical experience has proved that no nation can develop in isolation from the world community. As a result of balanced foreign policy, Uzbekistan was recognized by over 180 countries, and diplomatic relations were established with 130 nations. The Republic of Uzbekistan is a member of international organizations such as the UN, CIS, SCO, and others.

Today, Uzbekistan carries out bilateral and mutually beneficial cooperation in the economic, political, and cultural spheres with the countries of North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

After declaring independence, Uzbekistan needed reforms in both domestic and foreign policy. The government led by Karimov implemented state changes that made the state strong, prosperous, and recognized in the world community:

  • Tax rates were updated annually by the presidential decision;
  • Recognition in foreign policy;
  • Membership in international organizations: UN, CIS, SCO;
  • International cooperation with America, the Middle East, and Asia;
  • Reformed exchange rates, liberalization of prices for services and goods;
  • Adjusted foreign trade.

Advantages of the “Uzbek Model”:

  • Oil and grain independence;
  • Increased export of machinery and technology;
  • Stability of the economy, which proved itself even during the 2008 crisis.

Notable reforms carried out under President Mirziyoyev

Outcomes of the reforms

Key reforms by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of historical significance:

1. Establishment of good-neighborly relations in Central Asia, the opening of borders and creation of checkpoints, constructive dialogue with Central Asian countries on all issues without exception;

2. Liberalization of the currency market, elimination of cash problems;

3. Development of public service system, launching of public service centers, elimination of excessive bureaucracy;

4. Introduction of a visa-free regime for 90 countries and a visa-free transit regime for citizens of 48 countries as part of tourism development;

5. Strengthening of guarantees for human rights protection, elimination of forced labor, including child labor;

6. Introducing a new system for handling citizens’ appeals and the openness of government agencies;

7. Expansion of the media space, strengthening the role of the media in society and decision-making;

8. Raising gender equality issues to the level of state policy, in particular, the establishment of the Republican Gender Commission;

9. Development of the system of higher education: an increase in the quota of admission to universities, and the opening of branches of national and foreign universities;

10. Improvement of the business environment in the Republic, in particular, simplification of business registration and management processes;

11. Official recognition of poverty statistics and formation of a comprehensive approach to its reduction;

12. Implementation of legal and institutional changes in the fight against corruption;

13. Creation of a new support system for young people;

14. Introduction of a procedure for granting citizenship directly to people who have permanently resided in Uzbekistan for 15 years;

15. Creation of protective forest plantations on the dried bottom of the Aral Sea. Launch of the UN Trust Fund for Human Security for the Aral Sea region, adoption of a special resolution by the UN General Assembly declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of environmental innovation and technology.

Presidential Decree “On the development strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026” defines the objectives for the development of the national economy.

Among the main directions within the Strategy are:

  • Banking sector.
  • It is planned to complete the transformation processes of commercial banks with the state share, focusing on increasing the percentage of the private sector in banks up to 60% by the end of 2026.
  • VAT
  • From 2023, it is envisaged to reduce the value-added tax rate to 12 percent and the income tax rate in business areas such as banking, finance, and telecommunications to 15 percent.
  • Green economy
  • Measures will be taken to increase the energy efficiency of the economy by 20% by 2026 and to reduce harmful gas emissions by 10% through the active implementation of “green economy” technologies in all spheres.
  • Monopolies
  • The plan is to eliminate monopolies in more than 25 activities by eliminating exclusive rights and privatizing companies with State participation to reduce State interference in the economy and create opportunities for the private sector.
  • Doing business
  • It is envisaged to continue creating additional conveniences for entrepreneurship development in the districts with “difficult” conditions based on the experience of establishing special tax rates for the Muynak district of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

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