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Middle class as the factor of structural reforms and economic growth in Uzbekistan

17.06.2015

Middle class as the factor of structural reforms and economic growth in Uzbekistan

On June 17, 2015 Center for Economic Research (CER) held the Round Table on "The increase of the middle class in Uzbekistan. Social mobility." The participants of the event were representatives of local ministries and agencies, the banking sector, research institutes and international organizations.

The main findings and recommendations of the research project "The increase of the middle class in Uzbekistan. Social mobility" were presented by Mr. Ildus Kamilov, CER Senior Research Coordinator. One of the key messages of the research is that growing middle class could serve as a driver of economic growth and structural reforms in Uzbekistan.

Additional comments were given by expert from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Mr. Shukhrat Isakulov. His presentation "The main social groups and levels of society" was based on the data from ISS research of 2012 which demonstrated alternative approach towards measurement of the middle class.

All participants agreed that the issue of increasing the middle class is the most relevant in the present days. The middle class is a very important factor not only of economic development, but also of the general consistency of the country.

At the present stage of development, the labor market (the size and quality of employment) and the access to education play the role of main drivers of the social mobility for increasing the middle class in Uzbekistan. In this context, it is important to continue improving the business climate and promote entrepreneurship, as well as further develop professional and higher education. The representatives of ministries and agencies proposed to develop more specific applied measures and programs that would contribute to solving existing problems which prevent the growth of the middle class.

It was noted that in spite of the existing data there is a need in more in-depth studies of the middle class. Excepting CER and ISS, today only few research institutes in Uzbekistan are studying the development of the middle class. In this context, the participants gave the recommendations to expand the cooperation between the two think-tanks, both in terms of developing the methodology of measuring the middle class and in applied researches. It is particularly important to understand what the potential for growth of the middle class is and how to unleash it.

Besides, it was recommended to provide the institutions of higher education, as well as the Higher Attestation Commission with proposals on specific topics and areas of researches on the middle class in Uzbekistan that could be carried out at the level of graduate and doctoral students.

Attached you can find the Agenda of the event as well as the CER presentation.

Attached Files: