Shavkat Mirziyoyev became President of Uzbekistan in 2016 after the death of his predecessor, Islam Karimov. In July 2023, he was re-elected – he will be president for at least another 7 years, until 2030. The voting was fair: the president earned 87% of the vote. Why did this happen exactly, what is expected and why is “president shavkat mirziyoyev” almost a brand?
Back in 2016, the president took a pretty hard pace. Quite quickly, Uzbekistan turned from a Soviet-style command state into a country with an open market economy. Opportunities for international cooperation opened up, however, quite a few problems had to be solved. The conservative Karimov, who made Uzbekistan stew in its own juice, left Mirziyoyev a not very successful legacy.
The new head of state immediately took a course towards liberalizing the economy and improving the welfare of citizens. Returned civil rights to people. He strengthened the national currency and allowed it to be freely exchanged for foreign money (this was previously prohibited). Bureaucratic barriers for business have been reduced. In general, there is much less bureaucracy in Uzbekistan: the staff of officials has been greatly reduced. Other achievements of Mirziyoyev include the release of political prisoners.
Uzbekistan still needs reforms: the private sector needs attention, more jobs are needed, the problem of inflation is quite acute, but in general the situation has improved markedly. In 2022, the country experienced strong economic growth. Industry, agriculture, domestic consumption, exports, and relations with foreign partners grew strongly. Re-election was expected.
Mirziyoyev is now actively traveling, but it is difficult to call it a vacation: the president decides foreign policy. Relations with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have already improved. Attracted investors from China and the European Union. Contact with Russia was maintained. Mirziyoyev established contact with the International Monetary Fund, which opened up completely new opportunities.
Changes are also taking place within the country. The President fights corruption and bureaucracy, strengthens local governments. Creates a modern infrastructure. Builds hospitals, schools, kindergartens, attracting foreign investors. And now every citizen can contact him.
It is planned that by 2030 the population will grow from 36 to 40 million, so schools need to be built actively. Mirziyoyev generally looks to the future with optimism: the president hopes to achieve exports of 45 billion by the end of the current presidential term. It is going to double the economy and significantly improve the quality of life. The plans also include new car plants and textile factories. Experts are positive and believe that if the current pace continues, economic growth will remain high. Uzbekistan’s income by 2030 will be above average.
Energy will also increase. The water resources of Uzbekistan require attention (especially in terms of ecology). Active construction of solar and wind power plants is planned. The future looks bright.