Part 3: Possibilities of Uzbek and Dutch cooperation in building a circular economy

The circular economy sector in the Netherlands

The Dutch government is currently working with various institutions to find more efficient ways of using raw materials, which could help to improve the development of a fully circular economy by 2050. These include other public authorities, financial institutions as well as environmental organizations. To do this as fast as possible, the three main goals to achieve a fully circular economy by 2050 have been developed as to '' (1) Ensure production processes use raw materials more efficiently so that fewer are needed; (2) When new raw materials are needed, use sustainably produced renewable (inexhaustible) and widely available raw materials, like biomass – raw material made of plants, trees and food waste. The above mentioned will make the Netherlands less dependent on fossil fuel resources. It is better for the environment; (3) Develop new production methods and design new products to be circular. '' [1]. To achieve its objectives, the Netherlands has to cooperate with other actors. It intends to work with as many countries as possible to make this necessary change possible. It is currently already a member of PACE, the Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy, active in more than 40 countries and working towards the same goal.


The circular economy sector in Uzbekistan

The circular economy sector in Uzbekistan

Since 2004, Uzbekistan's economy has grown and transited from a central market to a market based economic system. The country has expressed its ambition towards strengthening innovation and institutional mechanisms concerning research and science with the same objective of someday reaching the state of a fully circular economy. Attaining these ambitious objectives entails resolving structural challenges, including the dominance of state-owned businesses in the private sector and low investments in research and development. [2] According to a report from the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the country's energy efficiency potential is relatively high due to deeply inefficient infrastructure and the lack of incentive to build more energy-efficient measures.[3] Currently, the Netherlands is exporting several circular economy infrastructures to Uzbekistan. The former includes, amongst other things, includes agricultural machinery, liquid dispensing machines, thermostats, equipment to measure fluid flow, level, pressure and more, air pumps, liquid pumps, equipment for physical and chemical analysis. However, there is further demand in the Uzbek market. [4] The priority areas of Uzbekistan in view of its circular economy include the improvement of energy efficiency in critical sectors of the economy, the diversification of energy consumption and the development of renewable energy sources. Additionally, the adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change and the development of financial and non-financial support mechanisms for the green economy have also been prioritized.[5]


Future possibilities

Because of the needs of both the Netherland and Uzbekistan to develop a circular and, therefore, more sustainable economy, the following opportunities lie ahead. Based on the needs identified in the Uzbek market, Dutch companies could offer their expertise and products to Uzbekistan. Based on a report published by the Dutch Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Uzbek Industry could profit from Industrial heat exchangers, water filtering and purifying equipment, agricultural equipment, irrigation equipment, landfill equipment, technology, and know-how for upgrading landfills. Furthermore, the Netherlands could help Uzbekistan by transferring knowledge and technology in water recycling, waste processing and water supply and sanitation technology.


Energy Efficiency According to the World Bank, Uzbekistan is the most energy-intensive country globally, and it corresponds to triple the one of Germany. This is due in part to much-outdated technology used in a variety of production processes. Uzbekistan is also one of the few countries being effectively self-sufficient in terms of energy thanks to its natural resources. Nevertheless, it has a high potential to become more energy efficient in the future. While today, Russia, China, South Korea, and Japan are the main initiators of energy and transportation infrastructure projects, the Netherlands could potentially play a more significant role.

Renewable Energy

Because of the high energy abundance in Uzbekistan, renewable energies have not yet reached a priority status. However, developing this field is inevitable, as fossil resources will not last forever. More specifically, Uzbekistan has vast potential in solar energy, which has not yet been used. In this field, the Dutch Uzbek partnership could further be extended.

Water

Today, Uzbekistan does not have a particularly efficient water system, especially given the high-water demand for its large agricultural sector. Due to its growing population and the current highly inefficient water use, Uzbekistan must focus on better water management, in which the Netherlands is an expert. The Uzbek government has recognized and crystalized this in the National Water Supply and Wastewater System Development and Modernization Plan for 2009-2020. The Netherlands is an expert in Agricultural irrigation and water management, could therefore be a good partner for further advice on development.

Apart from energy efficiency, renewable energy and water, the Dutch-Uzbek relationship could be furthered in Landfill management and waste recycling which improvement will further contribute to a circular economy.


[1] https://www.government.nl/topics/circular-economy/circular-dutch-economy-by-2050 [2] https://unece.org/circular-economy/news/unece-initiates-work-innovation-sustainable-development-review-uzbekistan [3] https://www.rvo.nl/sites/default/files/2021/07/Market%20Research%20Uzbekistan_0.pdf [4] https://www.rvo.nl/sites/default/files/2021/07/Market%20Research%20Uzbekistan_0.pdf [5] https://www.rvo.nl/sites/default/files/2021/07/Market%20Research%20Uzbekistan_0.pdf

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