File photo: VCG
TASHKENT, Oct. 7 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan will be one of only two states in Europe and Central Asia to demonstrate economic growth in 2020, according to the World Bank's Economic Update released Wednesday.
Despite the global economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Uzbekistan's annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to reach between 0.4 and 0.8 percent this year, which is considerably lower than that in 2019 when it reached 5.6 percent, the World Bank report said.
However, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan are the only states among 23 countries in Europe and Central Asia that are expected to demonstrate growth in 2020, it added.
The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected the country's GDP growth and led to a decrease in employment, welfare and incomes of citizens, according to the bank's experts.
"Despite the current challenges, the authorities have reconfirmed their strong commitment to continue reforms in key sectors of the economy to achieve stronger growth and improve wellbeing of citizens. This is very important to ensure a more resilient and inclusive post COVID-19 recovery," World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan Marco Mantovanelli noted in the statement.
The bank predicts between 4.8 and 5.0 percent GDP growth in 2021 in Uzbekistan, if lockdowns are not reintroduced across the country.
Uzbekistan has so far registered 59,579 COVID-19 cases, with 491 deaths and 56,165 recoveries.