HE US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) has agreed to cooperate on infrastructure projects in Uzbekistan, in a move viewed as a challenge to the influence of the Belt & Road Initiative in central Asia.
At a meeting in Washington in early July, Adam Boehler, DFC chief executive officer and Sardor Umurzakov, Uzbek deputy prime minister for investments and foreign economic affairs, held discussions on how investing in the region can create sustained economic growth.
Both reiterated their desire to deepen the ‘New Era of Strategic Partnership,’ guided by the joint statement adopted by US President Donald Trump and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during a visit to the US back in May 2018.
Boehler and Umurzakov agreed to regular engagement to identify and implement strategic infrastructure projects in Uzbekistan in the field of energy, transport, education, and health on the principles of public private partnership with the involvement of DFC financing.
The DFC also welcomed the intention and interest of Uzbekistan to become a part of the Blue Dot Network initiative, designed to stimulate the flow of long-term foreign investment for projects that meet international development standards, including openness, transparency, and financial sustainability.
Blue Dot Network participants – from the public, private and civil society sectors – believe in building and financing quality infrastructure projects, and to that end, the network aims to promote quality infrastructure investment that is open and inclusive, transparent, economically viable, financially, environmentally and socially sustainable, and compliant with international standards, laws, and regulations.
Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation joined the US in launching the Blue Dot Network concept during the November 2019 Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok.
The initiative aligns with the G20’s Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment, particularly on governance, environmental standards and transparency.
Any country or company can participate in the network, as long as it agrees to adhere to the network’s standards of promoting quality, private sector-led investment.
The DFC is America’s development bank. It invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology.