The Minister of Digital Technologies of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Sherzod Shermatov, along with a delegation from IT Park Uzbekistan, led by General Director Mr. Farhod Ibrahimov, visited the United States on a business trip.
The purpose of the visit was hold meetings with compatriots, sign new agreements, and conduct B2B meetings with American companies that have an influence on the development of Uzbekistanʼs digital and export potential in the field of IT outsourcing.
American companies are pivotal partners in this matter, as the primary goal set before Uzbekistanʼs IT sector is to reach $5 billion in annual exports of IT services, with $3 billion of that coming from the US market.
IT Park and the Ministry of Digital Technologies are actively working to achieve this objective by attracting new companies to Uzbekistan.
On September 15th, the annual business forum “USA-Uzbekistan 2023” took place in Washington, organized by the American-Uzbek Chamber of Commerce.
Among the forum participants were leaders of ministries and agencies, industry associations, banks, and investment entities from both countries, as well as CEOs of major U.S. corporations involved in sectors such as ICT, engineering, agriculture, light industry, transportation, banking, and other fields.
During the forum, Sherzod Shermatov and Farhod Ibragimov met with Brittany Masalosalo, the Head of Government Relations and Public Policy at HP Inc.
Discussions at the meeting focused on the prospects of cooperation between the parties within two significant projects — HP Live and HP Garage. As part of project implementation, HP will provide approximately 500,000 young Uzbeks with modern and high-quality laptops over a period of 7 years. This initiative aims to support the youth of Uzbekistan in acquiring contemporary IT knowledge and skills, as well as to increase the export of IT services to the American market.
Following the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of digital technologies and the enhancement of professional competencies within the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan was signed.
According to the document, HP will assist Uzbekistan in becoming a regional IT hub, including through the establishment of educational programs for students from Uzbekistan.
Furthermore, within the framework of the forum, an agreement was signed with Toyota, and discussions were held with representatives of the World Bank regarding further steps in the implementation of the “Digital Transformation of Uzbekistan” project. Under this project, it is planned to create up to 25,000 new job opportunities, train over 6,000 individuals, and increase exports by $350 million.
On September 16th, in Philadelphia, the Vatandoshlar conference took place, featuring representatives of the Uzbek diaspora in the United States engaging in the IT sector.
The event was attended by 80 representatives from 40 companies, including RTS Carrier Services, Cargo Prime Overseas, Data Truck, ETL Group, Ideal Trans, SilkRoad Tranz, and others.
Sherzod Shermatov conducted B2B meetings with representatives of American IT companies to promote Uzbekistanʼs potential in the field of IT outsourcing.
Farhod Ibragimov presented the cuurent market situation and opportunities for foreign companies. He discussed the prospects for the development of Uzbekistanʼs IT sector, including a favorable investment climate, tax incentives, programs for attracting foreign companies (including the Zero Risk program), and ways in which compatriots in the United States can leverage these opportunities.
He mentioned that resident status exempts companies from all forms of corporate taxes. Specifically, non-residents pay corporate tax ranging from of 5-12%, while residents are exempt from it. The social tax for non-residents is 12%, whereas for residents, it is 0%. Income tax for non-residents is 12%, and for residents, it is 7.5%. Non-residents are subject to VAT on imported services, while residents are not.
Conference participants shared their positive experiences of operating in the Uzbek market and discussed how the new opportunities have facilitated their business operations in Uzbekistan. For instance, Abdulaziz Abdurakhimov, the owner of One Cargo, proposed that IT Park introduce a one-year compensation of 7.5% personal income tax (PIT) for each employee as an incentive for residents.
As a result of the event, representatives from the majority of companies expressed interest in opening offices in Uzbekistan and obtaining resident status with IT Park.
On September 17th, the conference “Uzbekistan is a New Outsourcing Destination” took place in Austin, with representatives from major American companies in the BPO and IT outsourcing sectors. The choice of Austin as the conference location was not coincidental. In recent years, due to the rapid development of the IT industry, the city has transformed into a new technological hub in the region, due to the rapid development of the IT sector. For example, in 2021, Tesla relocated its headquarters here.
The conference was attended by over 50 individuals, including representatives from American companies such as Cognizant, Sutherland, Improving, Numerolic Technologies, IbridgeTech Inc, Prudent Technologies, and GlobalNowIT, as well as compatriots who had attended the Vatandoshlar conference in Philadelphia.
Farhod Ibrahimov, the head of IT Park Uzbekistan, emphasized that Uzbekistan has become a new center for IT outsourcing, and all the necessary conditions for the development of BPO have been established in the country.
He noted that IT Park is now ready to collaborate with major global companies, offering ready-made solutions and corresponding conditions, including infrastructure, government support, legislation compliant with international standards, a talented English-speaking youth, quality IT education, a free economic zone, tax and customs incentives, and other unprecedented benefits.
“Our residents already include major American companies such as EPAM Systems, Exadel, Vention, East Games, Itransition, Dyninno, Qulix, and AMCBRIDGE. Our country is ready to welcome new residents and has created everything necessary for this“, declared the head of IT Park.
Sultonmurad Rasulov, the Head of the Export Department at IT Park Uzbekistan, delivered a presentation on the potential of BPO and IT outsourcing. He noted that currently, there are 1407 companies hold resident status, with more than 250 of them being foreign. He also added that foreign companies, upon becoming residents of IT Park, are exempt from all types of taxes except for a 7.5% corporate income tax.
During the conference, a new initiative by IT Park, the Zero Risk program, was introduced. Under this program, foreign companies opening offices in regions of Uzbekistan are provided with the following benefits for a year: free office space, technical equipment for over 50 employees, partial reimbursement of employee salaries, mentoring for staff, and compensation for HR management services.
In his presentation, Loren Moss, a publisher, analyst, and consultant at Unido Digital Media, shared his observations about Uzbekistan after attending the Digital Leadership Forum in July of this year. He highlighted the high level of competence among IT specialists, their diplomacy, politeness, and eagerness to learn languages. He also emphasized the advantages of Uzbekistan, such as its convenient geographical location, high level of security, and the predominance of a young population.
Page Webster, the owner of Webster Global Site Selectors Phoenix, shared in his presentation that Uzbekistan represents a new and unique direction for BPO and IT outsourcing. He emphasized the countryʼs labor potential, the availability of skilled workforce, developed telecommunication infrastructure, and the accessibility of real estate for foreign companies.
During the conference, current residents of IT Park Uzbekistan from the United States also spoke: Elena Krukovskaya, the Chief Operating Officer of Exadel Inc, and John Patton, the CEO of OneVizion. They mentioned that they became residents after thorough analysis and research of all conditions in many countries and made the right decision by choosing Uzbekistan.
On September 19th, a delegation from IT Park Uzbekistan, alongside with neighboring tech hubs from Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan, participated in one of the most anticipated technology events of the year — TechCrunch Disrupt 2023.
TechCrunch Disrupt is one of the leading international events for the startup community, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors, and journalists worldwide annually to discuss the latest trends and innovations in the technology sector.
The centerpiece of the event was the Expo, where the Uzbekistan booth attracted representatives from the IT industry who received insights into their questions about the development of BPO and IT outsourcing in the country. They also had the opportunity to familiarize with startups and learn about the development of startup and venture ecosystems in the region.
The exhibition featured booths from residents of IT Park Uzbekistan, including the companies IMAN, Mohirdev, and Workly. Representatives from startups MyID and Pastoral also participated in the exhibition on behalf of IT Park.
This once again underscores the growth potential and innovation in Uzbekistanʼs technology sector, as well as the increasing interest from both local and international investors in supporting the countryʼs startup ecosystem.
Concurrently, Uzbekistan was represented at the panel session titled “Reviving the Great Silk Road in the Digital Era“. The discussion attracted the attention of many, and key experts who participated included Abdulakhad Kuchkarov, Executive Director of IT Park Uzbekistan; Askar Zhambakin, Deputy Minister for Digital Development, Innovation, and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan; Inara Valieva, Acting Chairman of IDDA (Azerbaijan); and Asset Abdullaev, Founder and CEO of Silkroad Innovation Hub.
Abdulakhad Kuchkarov delivered a presentation on Uzbekistan as a new hub for BPO and IT outsourcing. He spoke about the new strategic approach — the Zero Risk program, which greatly simplifies the registration and operation of foreign businesses in the country. He also highlighted Uzbekistanʼs labor potential, noting the high level of English proficiency among young IT talents, tax incentives, and more.
After the panel session, Softeq Ventures, a venture fund, met with IT Park Uzbekistan to discuss potential investment opportunities in the growing technology sector of the country. Softeq Ventures expressed interest in investing in promising startups. Both parties agreed to collaborate and exchange knowledge to support the growth of Uzbekistanʼs technology industry.
On September 20th, during the second day of the Expo, all the aforementioned startups from Uzbekistan underwent pitching sessions, during which they presented their projects to potential investors.
Also, on this day, in the heart of Silicon Valley — Palo Alto, another meeting with compatriots in the United States took place
The event had an informal and warm atmosphere, with a predominance of young attendees. Uzbekistan was introduced to the participants as a new center for IT outsourcing, and they were treated to authentic Uzbek pilaf. Over 70 representatives from various companies participated in the event.