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Uzbekistan: Free economic zones

Uzbekistan offers a great variety of investment opportunities. It has several industries operating in the metallurgical, chemical, textile, agricultural, construction and food sectors, which present a lot of potential for growth in both local and export markets.

 

The legal framework of the Uzbek Free Economic Zones (“FEZ”) originates from the Law “On Special Economic Zones” n. ZRU-604 dated 17.02.2020, the Tax Code, several Resolutions and Decrees adopted by the President and the Cabinet of Ministers and other Uzbek regulatory sources.

 

Today, in Uzbekistan, there are 22 FEZs with four different sectoral orientations:

  • 12 industrial zones;
  • 6 pharmaceutical zones;
  • 2 Tourist zones;
  • 2 Agriculture zones;

In accordance with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Decree of 26.10.2016. n. UP-4853, companies operating in FEZs are exempt from paying:

 

  • land tax, income tax, tax on property of legal entities, tax on improvement and development of social infrastructure, one-time tax payment for micro and small enterprises, as well as mandatory contributions to the Republican Road Fund and Extra-Budget Fund for reconstruction, overhaul and equipment of secondary schools, professional colleges, academic lyceums and medical institutions under the control of the Ministry of Finance;
  • customs duties (except for customs clearance fees) on equipment, raw materials and components imported for their own production needs;
  • customs duties (except for customs clearance fees) on imported construction materials that are specified in lists approved by the Gabinet of Ministers;

 

Benefits related to FEZ are granted for a period ranging from 3 to 10 years depending on the amount of investments made, namely (in USD):

  1. from 300 thousand dollars to 3 million dollars – for a period of 3 years;
  2. from 3 million dollars to 5 million dollars – for a period of 5 years;
  3. from 5 million dollars to 10 million dollars – for a period of 7 years;
  4. over 10 million dollars– for a period of 10 years, with the payment of the profit tax and the single tax at a 50% discount on the relevant rates for the next 5 years.

 

In addition, for the entire period of activity in the FEZ, companies are exempt from paying customs duties (except for customs clearance fees) on imported raw materials, materials and components.

 

The Uzbek State also guarantees the connection to the infrastructure and communication networks allowing prompt access to production sites and their uninterrupted functioning.

 

Finally yet importantly, Uzbekistan’s position offers several advantages. In particular, The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which will connect China and Europe by rail via Uzbekistan, will allow the Republic to join these new global trade routes that will develop, particularly but not only, between the markets of Western Europe and South and East Asia.

 

For these reasons, Uzbekistan, and more specifically its FEZs, represent a strategic base from which to expand business in Central Asia and gain access to a market with a combined population of over 100 million people.