This article provides an overview of Tashkent for those keen to explore the possibility of living and working in the city. The information presented is gathered from open sources and is not exhaustive or meant to supplement or substitute legal and professional advice.
National language: Uzbek
- Currency: Uzbek som/sum/soum
The ancient city of Tashkent is the country’s capital city and one of the largest in Central Asia. Located in the eastern part of Uzbekistan, Tashkent is architecturally and historically significant due to its transformation during and after the Soviet period. Tashkent was once an “important international transport junction”, as it was one of the main travel and trade hubs along the Silk Road.
As of Jan 2021, the population of Tashkent was 2.68 million, accounting for 7.7 percent of the Uzbekistan’s total population. Tashkent also has the highest employment rate in the country. Tashkent is a cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic city, home to Uzbeks, Russians, Tajiks, Uyghurs and Kazakhs.
Uzbekistan’s economy is reaping the benefits of structural reforms implemented in September 2017. Its government unified the exchange rate, liberalised the foreign exchange market, as well as initiated price and trade liberalisation. In 2020, Tashkent contributed 15.3 percent to Uzbekistan’s gross domestic product (GDP), the largest in the country. Its GDP grew 101.5 percent in 2020, achieving 88,567.7 billion soums.
Tashkent’s main industries comprise agricultural and textile machinery manufacturing, cotton textile production and food processing industries. The city also exports silk, cotton and other textiles to Eastern European countries. Other exports include oil, coal, copper, sulphur, rice and manufactured products such as televisions, automobiles and tractors.
To attract foreign investment, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev initiated a plan to re-design the centre of Tashkent to create a favourable business climate. The Tashkent City project is a mega property re-development that involves the construction of a series of shopping malls, parks, luxury apartments and business centres in the heart of the city. The project seeks to rebrand and transform Tashkent as an investor-friendly, modern and open international business centre.
Tourism plays a big role in Uzbekistan’s economy. As of 2019, citizens of 46 countries, including Singapore, are eligible for 30-day visa-free travel to Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is also proactively building its tourism sector to encourage more Muslim visitors.
The architecture of Tashkent “harmoniously fits the buildings of different epochs beginning with ancient settlements, medieval buildings, Soviet era buildings, modern luxury apartments and business centres.” Some of the historical and architectural monuments of Tashkent include Medrese of Barak-han (Madrasah of Barakhan), The Square of Amir Temur, and the Mausoleum of Kaffal-Shashi.
Singapore and Tashkent
In April 2019, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State Maliki Osman visited Uzbekistan. He acknowledged the increasing cooperation between Singapore and Uzbekistan in areas such as tourism, business and education. SMS Maliki also noted the growing interest of Singapore’s private sector in Uzbekistan’s pre-school education sector, and further discussed economic opportuni
ties in Uzbekistan.
In 2008, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) set up its Tashkent campus, which offers tertiary education to students from the Central Asia region. Their academic programmes include entrepreneurship and management, business and marketing, banking and finance, accounting and finance, business computing and international hospitality management. MDIS Tashkent is officially recognised as a university by the government of Uzbekistan.