This chapter explores the national economy and transition strategies of Uzbekistan. At independence Uzbekistan inherited important assets, including the best civil aircraft fleet, the military command, and the best administrative capacity in Central Asia. Indeed, during the 1990s, Uzbekistan was the most successful of all Soviet successor states in terms of limiting the fall in output, and in the early 2000s it became the first former Soviet republic to regain its pre-independence level of GDP. Uzbekistan was fortunate that world cotton prices increased substantially after independence, providing the resources to maintain public services, and when cotton prices fell in 1996 the government overreacted by introducing foreign exchange controls. A new phase of Uzbekistan's economic development dates from the termination of forex controls at the end of 2003.
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