As of January 1, 2021, Uzbekistan's public debt topped US$ 23.3 billion. 21.1 billion of them - public external debt. Over the past two years, the state external debt has doubled.
The Ministry of Finance published a commentary on the state and trend of Uzbekistan’s debt.
External debt exceeded US$ 21 billion
According to preliminary calculations, as of January 1, 2021, the balance of the debt drawn on behalf of Uzbekistan and under its guarantee (public debt) has reached 23.3 billion in dollar terms, or 40.4 percent in relation to the gross domestic product.
In 2020, the public external debt increased by US$ 5.4 billion, or, in relation to the beginning of the year, by 34.4 percent, and as of January 1, 2021, reached US$ 21.1 billion, or 36.5 percent in relation to GDP.
In particular, the external debt drawn on behalf of the republic amounted to US$ 15.1 billion, and the external debt guaranteed by the state topped US$ 6 billion.
The state's internal debt is 23.3 trillion soums (US$ 2.2 billion), or 3.9 percent in relation to GDP. 4 trillion soums of them (0.4 billion dollars) - government securities, 19.3 trillion soums (1.8 billion dollars) - domestic debt guaranteed by the state.
Government debt trend
“Despite the trend of the growth of public debt in recent years, according to international standards, Uzbekistan’s public debt (40.4 percent in relation to GDP), including the public external debt (36.5 percent in relation to GDP), remained on average level,” the statement said.
The safe level of Uzbekistan’s public external debt is considered to be no more than 60 percent in relation to GDP.
According to the Uzbekistan’s state budget law for 2021, it is established that the amount of public debt drawn by Uzbekistan and under its guarantee should not exceed 60 percent in relation to the annual forecasted figures of gross domestic product.
In accordance with the law "On the state budget", in 2020, a limit for new agreements on drawing public external debt in the amount of US$ 5.5 billion has been established.
The limit for domestic and foreign debts in 2021 has been set at US$ 5.5 billion, of which US$ 2.2 billion to finance the state budget deficit, and US$ 3.3 billion to finance investment projects.
In 2020, 17.5 percent of the public external debt, or US$ 3.7 billion, was contributed on supporting the state budget. Also, last year:
- US$ 2.6 billion was contributed to the energy sector;
- US$ 2.9 billion - to the electric power industry;
- US$ 2.4 billion - to the transport and transport infrastructure;
- US$ 2.3 billion - to the sphere of housing and communal services;
- US$ 1.7 billion - to the sovereign international bonds;
- US$ 1 billion - to the chemical industry;
- US$ 0.7 billion - to the education and health care;
- US$ 0.3 billion - to the financial sector;
- US$ 0.2 billion - to the communications;
- US$ 1.1 billion - to other areas.
Most of the government's external debt was received at long-term and concessional interest rates.
70 percent of the foreign exchange portfolio of public external debt is in dollars, 11.3 percent - in Japanese yen, 9.5 percent - in SDR (Special Debt Rights), 5.1 percent - in euros, 4.1 percent - in other currencies.
- The report of the Ministry of Finance refers to the state debt, it does not mention private external debts. The last time the Central Bank reported on private external debt was as of October 1, 2020. Then it was reported that the private sector debt exceeded US$ 10 billion;
- The Central bank will submit a report on the balance of payments, international investment position and external debt indicators of Uzbekistan for 2020, in March 2021.