Cluster-oriented reform model for free economic zones
The first free economic zone (FEZ) in Uzbekistan was established in 2008. Since then, 20 additional FEZ were created throughout the country. Drawing on international experience, a reform process has been initiated in 2018 to increase the effectiveness of the zones. As one reform option, a cluster-oriented model has been examined.
Considering the preconditions in Uzbekistan, Tashkent and the surrounding region offer the most promising potential for utilising synergies between zone and cluster development. A phased approach is recommended. The initial focus should be on developing a pharma park in Tashkent and on implementing a cluster management structure covering the capital as well as the surrounding region and pharma zones (Bustonlik, Parkent, Sirdaryo). In a second phase, further pharma zones, companies and institutions could be integrated. Finally, the approach could be applied to other industries.