Uzbekistan has adopted a policy of import substitution and export orientation. A multiple exchange rate system and highly over-regulated trade regime have led to both import and export declines since 1996, although imports have declined more than exports since the government squeezed imports to maintain hard currency reserves. High tariffs and border closures imposed in the summer and autumn of 2002 led to massive decreases in imports of both consumer products and capital equipment.
Uzbekistan’s traditional trade partners are the CIS states, notably Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan, and the other central Asian countries. Non-CIS partners have been increasing in importance in recent years, with Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia and Turkey being the most active. In 2015 and at the beginning of 2016, Uzbekistan greeted a number of high level officials from Russia, China, United States of America, South Korea, Kazakhstan, India, Japan and other countries. During these visits the parties discussed potential operation and investment opportunities.
REASONS FOR INVESTING
- Political and economic stability. Uzbekistan is a state where representatives of more than a hundred ethnic groups and dozens of religions live in peace and concord. Since its independence, Uzbekistan has created a broad spectrum of legal guarantees and preferences for foreign investors, developed integral system of measures on encouragement of activity of enterprises with foreign investments.
- Favourable Investment Environment and Tax Policy. The state guarantees and protects the rights of foreign investors who carry out investment activity within the Republic of Uzbekistan. In the last years, the Government has pursued consistent policy on significant reduction of tax burden for both legal entities and individuals.
One of the fastest growing economies since at least 2010. Uzbekistan is considered one of the 10 top fastest growing economies by IMF, World Bank and other global institutions. Whereas in 2000 the share of industrial production in GDP of the country comprised totally 14.2%, in 2010 this indicator reached 24%, share of transport and communications accordingly 7.7 and 12.4%, share of services increased from 37% up to 49%, while share of agriculture decreased from 30.1% down to 17.5%.
JOINT STOCK COMPANY
A joint stock company (JSC) is a legal entity which provides its shareholders with limited liability to the extent of the value of their shareholding. Shareholders who have not fully paid for their shares bear joint and several liability for the JSC’s obligations to the extent of the unpaid portion of the value of their shares. A JSC may be either open or closed.
The minimum number of founders of an open JSC is unrestricted, while a closed JSC may be formed by no fewer than three and no more than 50 persons.
LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
A limited liability company (LLC) is a company established by one or more individuals or legal entities with a charter capital divided into participatory interests, the size of which is determined by its foundation documents. In contrast to a closed JSC, participatory interests in an LLC are not securities. The foundation documents of an LLC established by two or more participants include the foundation agreement and the company charter. If an LLC is established by only one participant, its foundation document is the company charter.
GENERAL BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
A general business partnership (GBP) is a partnership whose partners, in accordance with their agreement, engage in business activity on behalf of the partnership and are jointly and severally liable for its obligations to the extent of the partnership assets.
LIMITED BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP
A limited business partnership (LBP) is a partnership in which there are one or more limited partners (contributors) who do not participate in the partnership business and who bear the risk of losses connected with the partnership activities only to the extent of their contributions. In addition, an LBP may have partners who are engaged in the business on behalf of the partnership and are liable for the obligations of the partnership to the extent of its assets. A person may only be a partner in one partnership, GBP or LBP. However, a limited partner in a LBP can be a limited partner in other LBPs.
ANGREN SPECIAL INDUSTRIAL ZONE
On 13 December 2012, in accordance with a decree of the president of the Republic of Uzbekistan the Angren special industrial zone (SIZ) was established in the Tashkent region. Offering foreign and local investors favourable conditions and a wide range of opportunities for doing business, the Angren SIZ provides all the necessary conditions for the establishment of modern high-tech and competitive production facilities.
The proximity of the Angren SIZ to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, makes the location attractive for investors. The body which coordinates and regulates the activity of the Angren SIZ is the administrative board. Operational management of the Angren SIZ is carried out by the directorate, incorporated as the State Unitary enterprise.
The area of the Angren SIZ is 187.5 hectares. Its period of operation is 30 years, but this term can be extended in the future. During the SIZ operation period, a wide range of benefits and preferences are provided. A special tax regime and customs preferences apply within the SIZ territory and residents are exempted from:
An entity is a resident of Uzbekistan if it has completed the state registration procedures.
Resident companies are subject to profit tax on their worldwide trading profits and other income, such as interest, royalties and rental income. Profit tax is also levied on the Uzbeksourced income of non-residents operating through a permanent establishment (PE). Noncommercial organisations are generally exempt from profit tax, except on profits derived from entrepreneurial activities.
Micro-firms and small entities are eligible for simplified (unified) taxation on gross revenue, which replaces profit tax, VAT, property tax, land tax, social infrastructure development tax and the contribution to the republican road fund, school development fund and pension fund.
Mining operations and related processing companies are subject to a mining tax and an excess profits tax (for specified items) and special fees (a ‘subscription bonus’, a one-time fixed payment for exploration and extraction rights and a ‘commercial exploration bonus’, payable for each commercial exploration of a location).
Taxable income comprises business and investment income and is calculated as the difference between aggregate income and deductible expenses. Expenses and deductions that are wholly and exclusively incurred for the purpose of a business are generally allowable. For other income sources, expenses may be deducted provided they are incurred wholly and exclusively in the production of the income.
TAXATION OF DIVIDENDS
Dividends paid out of profits that have been subject to Uzbekistan tax are exempt from profit tax (by way of a deduction from taxable income) in the hands of residents and nonresidents with a PE in Uzbekistan. Profit tax is not imposed on income derived from state securities.