• KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01150 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09432 1.18%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 15

Alatau IT Hub Opens in Kazakhstan’s Almaty Region

The Alatau Hub, Kazakhstan's most recent regional  IT hub has now opened in Konaev in the Almaty region. Supported by the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovation and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan, the Alatau Hub is the 14th regional IT hub launched under the management of Astana Hub. Kazakhstan is now on course to establish similar hubs in all of its regions by the end of this year. During the launch, Ersultan Ermanov, director of the Information Technology Development Department at the Ministry of Digital Development, commented: “The opening of a hub in the Almaty region is a very significant event for IT specialists in the region. Our regional hubs play a key role in creating and developing an ecosystem that stimulates the emergence of new innovative projects, expansion of business activity and technological progress. In the future, Alatau Hub will become a center of attraction for young ambitious talents. It will also contribute to the emergence of new jobs, economic growth, and increased competitiveness of the country in the international arena.” The IT hubs currently in operation across 14 of Kazakstan's regions include: Abai IT Valley, Kyzylorda Hub, Digital Jetisu, Zhambyl Hub, Oskemen IT Hub, Jaiq Hub, Turkistan IT Hub, Qostanai IT Hub, Aqtobe IT Hub, Aqmola IT Hub, Pavlodar IT Hub, Terrikon Valley, Mangystau Hub, and Alatau Hub. By the end of 2024, further hubs will open in the cities of Atyrau, Shymkent, Zhezkazgan, Petropavlovsk, and Zhanaozen.      

Central Asia as an Emerging Economic Region

Central Asia, spanning an area from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north, is rapidly emerging as a significant economic block. Comprising five post-Soviet states — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — this region is distinguished by its rich natural resources and strategic geographic position, as well as its natural beauty and cultural heritage. With a combined population of around 75 million people, Central Asia has emerged as a dynamically developing market that is increasingly attracting global interest. The transformation unfolding in Central Asia holds both promise and significant challenges for its residents and foreign investors alike. This shift is driven by increasing calls for political reform, the dynamism of a youthful population, and an imperative for sustainable development alongside the pressing need to diversify economic bases.   Structural changes following independence in 1991 set the stage for robust growth from 2000s onward Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Central Asian countries faced the challenge of transitioning from centrally-planned to market-oriented economies. This period was marked by significant economic difficulties across the region including negative GDP growth and hyperinflation, compounded by the complexities of privatization, legal reforms, and both social and political instability. The nations responded with different development strategies aimed at market liberalization, infrastructure improvement, and the utilization of natural resources. By 2000, Central Asia experienced a noticeable economic resurgence, marking a striking contrast to the conditions in 1991. In that year, Uzbekistan's GDP growth was at -0.5%, Kyrgyzstan at -7.9%, and Kazakhstan at -11%. A decade later, these countries reported positive growth rates of 4.2%, 5.3%, and 13.5%, respectively. This remarkable turnaround can be attributed to the "low base effect," where the initially low economic indicators set the stage for significant improvements over time. The total GDP of Central Asian countries has grown seven times since the beginning of the 2000s. In comparison with the global economic growth rate of +2.6% annually, the Central Asian region grew by an average of 6.2% between 2000 and 2023 according to IMF data. All Central Asian states are forecasted to outpace the IMF’s projected growth rate for emerging markets and developing economies 2024 which stands at 4.2%; however, actual growth will depend on reforms and foreign investment. Kazakhstan has set the highest growth goal with a five-year target GDP increase to $450 billion, which would require an achievable but challenging 6% annual growth. As illustrated below, Kazakhstan stands out as the economic powerhouse of Central Asia with a GDP almost 1.5 times that of all the other countries combined.     Labor markets: Optimal demographics for growth and innovation According to United Nations data, approximately 75 million people live in Central Asia, representing 1% of the world’s population. Relative to the global median age, all of Central Asia boasts a young population. A youthful population fuels economic growth by replenishing the workforce, driving innovation, and expanding consumer markets. It supports older demographics...

USAID Launches $18 Million Program to Boost Economic Growth in Tajikistan

On 18 April, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new initiative to support long-term economic opportunities in Tajikistan. Running for five years at a cost of $18 million, Employment and Enterprise Development Activity (EEDA) will partner local firms to improve productivity in the fields of textiles, food processing and IT through the adoption of innovative, green technologies, increased investment, and market linkages. According to a report from the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan, the project will create 5,000 permanent jobs, assist 200 business start-ups in accessing finance, and leverage $10 million in private sector investment. In his address at the launch, USAID Tajikistan Mission Director Peter Riley stated, “It is crucial to foster innovation, drive economic growth, and create sustainable employment opportunities within the public and private entities. These partnerships underscore the shared goal of advancing Tajikistan’s economic landscape and ensuring prosperity for all stakeholders.”

IMF Forecasts 2.3% Growth in Turkmenistan’s Economy

In her report on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission to Turkmenistan, from 27 March – 9 April, Ms. Anna Bordon announced that Turkmenistan’s economy is set to expand by around at 2.3% in the coming year. According to the IMF mission’s assessment of the economic outlook and risks of Turkmenistan’s macroeconomic and financial developments, the country’s economic activity moderated in 2023 and inflation is on the rise. IMF staff estimate that post-pandemic growth surged to 5.3% in 2022 before falling to 2% in early 2023 as world commodity prices subsided, monetary policy tightened, and pressures on exchange rates abated. A temporary situation, inflation began to pick up later in 2023 and is projected to gradually rise to 8% mainly due to the country’s policy to increase public sector wages and pensions by 10% per year. “To improve spending efficiency, Turkmenistan should enhance its targeting of social spending, move toward public wage increases based on performance, and enhance public investment management,” said Ms Borden. The IMF estimates that growth of hydrocarbon production will stabilize at around 2%. In contrast, non-hydrocarbon growth is expected to remain subdued, given the challenging geopolitical and business environment, investment inefficiencies, the significant overvaluation of real exchange rates, and burdensome standards imposed by international regulations. The end of mission statement concluded: “The authorities are adequately focused on economic diversification. A more market-based economic diversification strategy would be preferable. Sustained macroeconomic stability is a pre-requisite for diversification, which importantly requires adjusting the exchange rate and eliminating exchange restrictions.” It was also recommended that Turkmenistan “gradually phase out administrative controls and reduce the footprint of the state in the economy”.

Turkmenistan’s GDP Expands by 6.3% in First Quarter of 2024

In the first quarter of 2024, Turkmenistan demonstrated stable economic growth, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said at a meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, where the results of the first three months of this year were summarized. Berdimuhamedov stated that positive dynamics are evident in the key economic indicators. Specifically, industrial production increased by 4.7 %, the transport and communication sector by 6.6%, the service sector by 7.6%, the trade sector by 8.2%, and the agricultural sector by 4.1%. The country's average salary also rose by 10% in the first quarter. In addition to the country’s economic growth, the president observed that the country is rapidly developing its large industrial and social infrastructure, which includes new villages, residential buildings, entertainment and medical facilities, and supporting families with new schools and kindergartens. These initiatives are being carried out in accordance with Turkmenistan's 2022–2028 socioeconomic development strategic program.

What to Expect from Central Asian Economies in 2024

The pandemic dealt a major blow to the global economy and to the economies of Central Asia in particular, which, despite some domestic production, rely on imports for a significant share (in monetary terms) of their consumption. The Russia-Ukraine war acted as an economic shock to these economies, which had yet to recover from the damage done by Covid. While there is considerable intra-regional potential in terms of manufacturing and trade, most of the imports into Central Asia come from China, Turkey and Europe. At the same time, transnational corporations in Russia account for almost half of Central Asian demand for consumer goods. In 2022, Central Asian countries began to reconfigure their supply chains to comply with sanctions. However, since almost half of the Russian economy was integrated with international corporations and supplied Central Asia, severing these trade links proved almost impossible. This is clearly reflected in the statistics for 2023, where almost all Central Asian countries saw re-exports of Western goods to Russia increase by tens or hundreds of times. In terms of information and statistics, the most open countries of the region are Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan is quickly catching up, with government agencies launching websites where a significant amount of data can be accessed, both about the economy and the country as a whole. Economic indicators for Central Asian countries in 2023 Countries (alphabetical order) GDP (in $ bln)* Growth, y-o-y Inflation, y-o-y Kazakhstan 237.00 5.1% 9.80% Kyrgyzstan 11.90 6.2% 7.30% Tajikistan 11.36 8.3% 3.80% Turkmenistan 60.10 6.3% 5.90% Uzbekistan 90.80 6.0% 8.77% * Approximations Excluding Kazakhstan, the region's largest economy (though still resource-based), whose GDP is larger than the other four countries’ combined, Central Asia can be characterized as a low-income region. With average wages in a range of $250–400 per month, the countries rely heavily on trade (imports) for food, clothing, and basic goods. No country in the region is fully self-sufficient in terms of producing consumer goods, which, given the complex logistics, poses a challenge during swings in markets or geopolitical instability. Still, the last five years have been favorable for the region: there have been fewer territorial disputes and border conflicts, while politicians in all five countries share the view that the C5 and C5+ formats can be an effective tool to develop intra-regional ties and a common market. Last year, the five presidents from the region met with the leaders of China, Russia and the United States. In 2023, the countries fully recovered from the pandemic downturn, and each economy grew in annual terms. Due to its high base ($200+ billion GDP), Kazakhstan turned in the lowest growth at 5.1%. Its economy is driven mainly by resource extraction, metallurgy and agriculture. Given its size – an area of 2.7 million square kilometers – logistics is a big challenge for doing business in the country. Last year, according to preliminary data, Kazakhstan produced 90 million tons of oil, with exports mostly heading to Russia’s Novorossiysk port through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC). Kazakh...

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