Big name firms brought in by Uzbekistan for economic development agenda

22 October 2018 3 min. read

A broad suite of ongoing economic reforms and development initiatives in Uzbekistan has seen the government bring in BCG, McKinsey and the Big Four for support.

With last week’s diplomatic conference between Uzbekistan and Russia culminating in a range of trade and investment deals amounting to a worth of more than $25 billion, and a commitment earlier this month with India on closer trade relations, Uzbekistan is demonstrating its economic momentum and increasing attractiveness as an investment destination after a dip in FDI last year.

As part of the Central Asian state’s foreign investment push, the State Committee of Uzbekistan on investments has recently sought the advice of international consultants on key sector reforms, including the big-name strategy and management firms McKinsey and BCG, while the Finance Ministry has recently engaged the Big Four for help in drafting a new tax code for the country.

Recently named by McKinsey among a list of the fastest-growing out-performing economies worldwide, as one of 11 developing countries maintaining a growth rate of above 5% for the past 20 years, Uzbekistan has now tapped the American strategy giant to help maintain that momentum, with McKinsey advising on the development of the nation’s chemical industry. The firm is also reported to have offered its expertise in the development over the local ICT sector.

Big name firms brought in by Uzbekistan for economic development agenda

Meanwhile, The Boston Consulting Group has been tapped to help develop the local oil & gas industry, including through the identification of promising investment projects in exploration, production and the upstream processing of hydrocarbons. The announcement of the fresh projects continues a blossoming relationship between the US-based firm and Tashkent.

Earlier this year, the government brought in BCG to help prepare its Innovative Development Strategy, which covers the development of local industries ranging from the construction, energy, and transport infrastructure sectors, while also determining priority industries for each region. The firm has also been collaborating on socioeconomic development research with the Centre for Economic Research, a local think-tank established by the government and UNDP.

Backed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which recently approved €333 million in infrastructure support funds, the latest suite of consulting announcements also included the EBRD providing advisory on local electric power reform and the development of renewables, while the World Bank will support an overhaul of Uzbekistan’s aviation industry.

And in more recent news, the Big Four quartet of global accounting and consulting firms Deloitte, PwC, Ernst & Young and KPMG have jointly begun aiding the Ministry of Finance in drafting a new tax code for Uzbekistan – due by the end of the year – with a recent videoconference between the ministry and Big Four said to be the first in a series on scheduled ongoing meetings, including a discussion slated for last week to cover taxation of non-residents.