Partner of Kosta Legal Azizbek Akhamdjonov was invited to attend the roundtable discussion on reforming the Uzbek legislation on foreign investment organized by the Ministry of Justice on 15 July 2018. The Ministry of Justice asked country’s top legal practitioners to share their view on most concerning aspects of the current legislation and to offer solutions for improving the investment climate.
Having got many years’ experience in assisting foreign investors, lawyers of Kosta Legal are well aware of intricacies and challenges that the Uzbek legislation on investment may pose. Dozens, if not hundreds, of laws and specific regulations have been adopted since the moment Uzbekistan had gained its independence, providing new benefits and bringing new restrictions for investors. Although reforms of the new government have been aimed to clarify investment rules, the legislation remains in disarray with many steps yet to be taken. During the meeting, Azizbek raised many questing related to secured financing, the dysfunctional pledge register, the lack of clarity in the rules for enforcement of investors’ rights. On numerous occasions, Kosta Legal experts had to device sophisticated investment schemes to bypass ambiguities of Uzbek laws on loans and secured financing.
Attendees also dedicated much time to discussing some pressing problems of Uzbek land law, suffering from overformalism, rigidness and inconsistency.
It is to note that a few days after the meeting, a draft of the Presidential Decree on Measures for Improvement of the Investment Climate in the Republic of Uzbekistan was released for public discussion on https://regulation.gov.uz/ru/documents/2820 (the Russian version). Some positive measures are to be noted, including the confining of administrative powers of state agencies (e.g. judicial proceedings instead of administrative hearings where rights of foreign investors are endangered), more flexible rules for land allotment and more strict rules for revocation of land plots for state needs, the unification on the investment legislation (i.e. further work on the draft Investment Code), the liberalization of rules for equity investment for foreign individuals and entities.