Columbia University in the City of New York

Harriman Institute

Headshot of Louis Skyner.



The Future of Reform in Uzbekistan
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This event is online only.

Please join the Harriman Institute for a talk with Louis Skyner, partner in the European energy practice of the law firm Dentons. Moderated by Timothy Frye.

The talk will be based on a paper The Future of Reform in Uzbekistan, authored by Skyner. The paper starts by focusing on the challenges faced by the country as a consequence of the war in Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Russia, and the impact that has had on the reform plans of the government. The issues of inflation, the tightening of monetary conditions globally, and the impact that will have on investment are then addressed, the paper identifying how that the narrowing of the fiscal space increases the imperative for structural reform. The importance of regional connectivity for sustainable regional growth is emphasised, the development of regional energy infrastructure presented as integral to the transition to clean energy in the region. Skyner will conclude by detailing the need to implement consistent policies: to attract private investment: to support the development of the banking system and a liquid domestic capital market; and, to provide the medium-term fiscal stability and predictability required for growth.

Louis Skyner has been a partner in the European energy practice of the law firm Dentons since May 2017, having worked in the energy practice of a leading international law firm in both its London and Moscow offices prior to then. In his energy practice, focused primarily on the CIS, he has advised: E&P companies on their participation in upstream projects; the project sponsors of midstream projects on the negotiation of finance and project documents; and, the project sponsors of non-conventional power projects on their structuring, financing, and the negotiation of the key project documents. Louis has used this experience to provide advice to development banks and governments across the region: on the implementation of concession and public private partnership arrangements for energy and infrastructure projects; and, the unbundling and the development of competitive power markets.

Over the past five years he has spent much of his time in Uzbekistan, advising the government, development banks, foreign investors and domestic companies. This work has included advising: the Uzbek government on the structuring of a State – owned direct investment fund established to facilitate, structure, and co-finance investment projects; the World Bank and the Ministry of Energy on the liberalisation of the gas transportation system and market; the EBRD and the Ministry of Energy on the introduction of competitive tendering for wind power projects; a US-based fund on its role as manager of a number of State-owned assets marked for privatisation; a UK-based fund on their acquisition of publicly listed and unlisted securities; the country’s largest online and offline food and beverage retailer on an investment made by the EBRD and on financing provided by the IFC; and, Uzbekistan’s largest private company on potential jurisdictions for a holding as a vehicle for capital market financing.

Aside from his legal practice Louis has authored numerous articles on Eurasian energy market regulation, economics and politics, from 2005 to 2011 as an associate fellow at Chatham House in London, from 2012 to 2014 as adjunct professor of the New Economic School in Moscow, from 2015 to 2016 as associate professor of the European University in St Petersburg, and from 2016 as an associate fellow of the Forum for Central Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge. He served as chairman of the British Uzbek Society from October 2018 to October 2022, and co-founded the Europe Uzbekistan Association for Economic Cooperation in 2021.