< Uzbekistan

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Economy - overview: Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country of which 10% consists of intensely cultivated, irrigated river valleys. It was one of the poorest areas of the former Soviet Union with more than 60% of its population living in densely populated rural communities. Uzbekistan is now the world's third largest cotton exporter, a major producer of gold and natural gas, and a regionally significant producer of chemicals and machinery. Following independence in December 1991, the government sought to prop up its Soviet-style command economy with subsidies and tight controls on production and prices. Faced with high rates of inflation, however, the government began to reform in mid-1994, by introducing tighter monetary policies, expanding privatization, slightly reducing the role of the state in the economy, and improving the environment for foreign investors. The state continues to be a dominating influence in the economy, and reforms have so far failed to bring about much-needed structural changes. The IMF suspended Uzbekistan's $185 million standby arrangement in late 1996 because of governmental steps that made impossible fulfillment of Fund conditions. Uzbekistan has responded to the negative external conditions generated by the Asian and Russian financial crises by tightening export and currency controls within its already largely closed economy. Economic policies that have repelled foreign investment are a major factor in the economy's stagnation. A growing debt burden, persistent inflation, and a poor business climate cloud growth prospects in 2000.

GDP: purchasing power parity - $59.3 billion (1999 est.)

GDP - real growth rate: -1% (1999 est.)

GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $2,500 (1999 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 27%
industry: 27%
services: 46% (1997 est.)

Population below poverty line: NA%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 29% (1999 est.)

Labor force: 11.9 million (1998 est.)

Labor force - by occupation: agriculture and forestry 44%, industry 20%, services 36% (1995)

Unemployment rate: 5% plus another 10% underemployed (December 1996 est.)

revenues: $4.4 billion
expenditures: $4.7 billion, including capital expenditures of $1.1 billion (1997 est.)

Industries: textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, natural gas

Industrial production growth rate: 6% (1999 est.)

Electricity - production: 43.47 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 85.2%
hydro: 14.8%
nuclear: 0%
other: 0% (1998)

Electricity - consumption: 41.327 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - exports: 5.1 billion kWh (1998)

Electricity - imports: 6 billion kWh (1998)

Agriculture - products: cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock

Exports: $2.9 billion (1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: cotton, gold, natural gas, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles

Exports - partners: Russia 15%, Switzerland 10%, UK 10%, Belgium 4%, Kazakhstan 4%, Tajikistan 4% (1998)

Imports: $3.1 billion (1999 est.)

Imports - commodities: machinery and equipment, chemicals, metals; foodstuffs

Imports - partners: Russia 16%, South Korea 11%, Germany 8%, US 7%, Turkey 6%, Kazakhstan 5% (1998)

Debt - external: $3.2 billion (1998 est.)

Economic aid - recipient: $276.6 million (1995)

Currency: Uzbekistani som (UKS)

Exchange rates: Uzbekistani soms (UKS) per US$1 - 141.4 (January 2000), 111.9 (February 1999), 110.95 (December 1998), 75.8 (September 1997), 41.1 (1996), 30.2 (1995)

Fiscal year: calendar year