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China Daily / 2023-05 / 19 / Page012

NBU a key institution in deepening investment cooperation with China

By YUAN SHENGGAO | China Daily | Updated: 2023-05-19 00:00

The National Bank of Uzbekistan has emerged as a crucial institution in Uzbekistan for enhancing investment cooperation with China and is actively taking part in the country's ongoing reforms, the bank said.

Since its establishment in 1991, it has played a significant role in driving the national economy and nurturing a favorable business and investment environment by financing strategically important investment projects for the economy.

NBU's share of the Uzbek banking sector in terms of assets is 21.5 percent, which is equivalent to $10.68 billion. In terms of capital, its share is 20.6 percent, which is equivalent to $1.46 billion. The bank also holds a 23 percent share, equivalent to $7.96 billion, in the country's loans, and a 17.6 percent share, equivalent to $3.4 billion, in deposits.

In an effort to improve people's life quality and develop infrastructure, NBU allocated $1.5 billion in funding toward 59 strategically important investment projects in 2022. These projects encompass various fields, including transport, communications, textiles, services, metallurgy and mining.

As the largest financial development institution in Uzbekistan, NBU plays a significant role in the development and strengthening of investment and trade partnerships with foreign nations, including China.

Uzbekistan and China have maintained diplomatic relations for over 30 years, along with a strategic partnership that's been in place for more than a decade. NBU has made a tangible contribution to these relationships over the years, NBU said.

Furthermore, NBU has established productive and amicable partnerships with major Chinese financial institutions, such as the China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation, Silk Road Fund, Agricultural Bank of China, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank.

To date, NBU has attracted a total of $3.4 billion in credit lines from Chinese financial institutions, with the largest share coming from the China Development Bank. NBU has established a strategic partnership with the China Development Bank at both the bilateral level and as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Interbank Consortium, founded on the principles of the "Shanghai Spirit".

Through SCO cooperation, NBU has received 13 credit lines worth more than $1.7 billion. Together with the China Development Bank, NBU has financed numerous large investment and infrastructure projects in various sectors such as transport, electrical engineering, telecommunications, agriculture, textiles, construction, services, and more than 700 projects for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Moreover, through productive cooperation with the Export-Import Bank of China, NBU has financed 27 strategic projects amounting to more than $1.4 billion in various sectors such as agriculture and water management, education, medicine, information technology and communications, construction, transport and energy.

In addition, more than 200 SMEs have received financial support from the funds provided by the Export-Import Bank of China to promote trade relations with Chinese manufacturers.

A new model of cooperation has been efficiently and successfully established with the China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China, and the Silk Road Fund in project financing by expanding the share of settlements in Chinese currency renminbi, which has surpassed 2.7 billion yuan ($388.6 million) to date.

NBU cites the successful financing of the Great Silk Road, the largest tourist complex in Samarkand, using renminbi funds provided by the Silk Road Fund, as a practical example of this new cooperation model. This complex was also the site of the 2022 Samarkand SCO Summit. The construction of this "Pearl of the East "has increased the number of tourists by an additional 2 million.

NBU plans to continue its mutually beneficial cooperation with Chinese banks and financial institutions in project and trade financing by attracting new credit lines from the China Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China totaling over 3.2 billion yuan.

NBU also aims to expand joint activities in treasury operations by utilizing new financial derivatives and exploring opportunities to enter the foreign exchange market and capital market of China, it said.


The headquarters of the National Bank of Uzbekistan in Tashkent. CHINA DAILY

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