• KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
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  • KGS/USD = 0.01118 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00222 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09131 0%
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Tajikistan Extends Asset Legalization for Another Year

Since 2003 Tajikistan has been pursuing a policy of legalization, or declaration to tax and other authorities, of citizens' income and property. After Tajikistan's most recent attempts at legalization have been reassuring, parliament has extended the term of the monetary amnesty for one more year -- until January 5, 2025. Over the course of the policy that was set in motion by the law "on amnesty in connection with legalization of assets and money of citizens of the Republic of Tajikistan," the total amount of legalized, declared money amounted to $540m and 4,000 certificates of property. That data was cited by Firdavs Tolibzoda, chairman of the National Bank of Tajikistan. The authorities have extended the program several times, although it was originally designed to run for a year, and its efficacy means it's getting yet another extension. The law provides for voluntary declaration of money and property. Thus, holders are exempt from liability and can avoid paying taxes, fines and interest on those fees and penalties. These conditions, as well as maintaining secrecy of ownership information, are guaranteed by the state. This is not the first time that Tajikistan has conducted monetary amnesty drives: legalization in the country has already been attempted three times, but this is the first time that both property and finances can be legalized at the same time. According to the Global Organized Crime Index, Tajikistan remains the country with the highest risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in the world. Despite the fact that the country is battling these types of crimes, the shadow economy still operates at a high level in Central Asia's poorest country. Bringing assets and income into the legal or "white" economy out of the shadow economy is seen as an effective way to attract additional funds to the country's economy and to increase the growth financing of its industries. It's expected that the new funds will help to create additional jobs by creating new enterprises and increasing the capitalization of existing ones. Only money and property which were not previously listed in official declarations can be legalized. At the same time, the state allows legalization of illegal assets that fall under more than 60 articles of the criminal and administrative code of the republic.

Peace Following Kyrgyz-Tajik Clashes Allows Hydro Engineers to Visit Tajikistan

For the first time since the start of armed clashes on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, business cooperation between the two countries has begun to return. Kyrgyz Energy Minister Taalaibek Ibrayev and his delegation recently visited a pair of Tajikistan's energy facilities, the Rogun and Nurek hydroelectric power plants (HPP), according to the press service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Energy. Tajikistan's Deputy Minister for Energy Halmukhamadzoda Sobron showed Kyrgyz colleagues how the Rogun HPP is being built, as well as some special underground facilities and tunnels under the plant. Sobron described problems faced by Tajik hydro construction workers when using construction equipment at the site, and detailed the integrated stage-by-stage approach to building the main structures of the hydropower plant. "More than 15,000 hydro construction workers are involved in the construction of the Rogun HPP, more than 300,000 machines and equipment are operated, and skillful planning allows dozens of contracting companies to work simultaneously," Tajik power engineers emphasized. The Kyrgyz side noted that the exchange of experience in the construction of such grandiose facilities will be useful in the construction of Kambar-Ata HPP-1 in Kyrgyzstan. During the three-day visit, Kyrgyz power engineers also visited plants responsible for the production of hydromechanical equipment and for  the production of electrical equipment. During the meetings it was emphasized that after the border issue is resolved, the sides are ready to cooperate with each other again on all issues. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are usually connected by high-voltage power lines, which play an important role in the regular supply of electricity to local residents living in the border areas. However, these lines are now out of operation. The problem with the border between the two countries arose after the collapse of the USSR. Essentially both parties claimed land that's rich in water resources, as the issue of agricultural irrigation is very relevant in the arid region. More than 30 years have passed since then, and the parties still cannot agree on the disputed territories. Because of this, conflicts periodically arise between citizens of border villages -- as well as residents of enclaves and border guards of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- including with the use of heavy weaponry. The last such conflict took place in the Batken region of Kyrgyzstan and Sughd region of Tajikistan in September 2022 -- at which time there were hundreds of deaths on both sides and civilian infrastructure was destroyed. Since May 2021, transportation by land or air between the countries remains closed. Trade and all business contacts have been suspended. To date, the two countries have agreed to demarcate about 90% of the disputed territories. Rogun HPP is a hydroelectric power plant under construction on the Vakhsh River. It is the largest HPP in Central Asia. Construction of Rogun HPP began in the 1970s, but in the 1990s work was stopped due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the outbreak of civil war in Tajikistan. Construction resumed only in 2010 with the support of the World Bank. The first...

Uzbekistan Ranks First in Central Asia in Number of Marriages and Last in Divorces

The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interstate Statistical Committee has published its compendium for 2022 on its website. Getting acquainted with the statistics of marriages and divorces of the collection, one sees that in 2022, there were 8.4 marriages and 1.4 divorces for every 1,000 people in Uzbekistan. The marriage indicator is 6.5 in Kazakhstan, and there were 2.3 divorces per 1,000; in Kyrgyzstan the data indicates 7.0 marriages and 1.8 divorces. Also of note was data on the intensity of internal migration, with Kazakhstan leading in this category with 41.3 per 1,000 people moving internally in 2022. In Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the indicator was 6.0, respectively. Tajikistan's data for 2021-2022 is not provided; the country showed 3.7 results per 1,000 people for 2020. At the same time, the State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan reports that in 2023, there were 283,800 marriages and 49,200 divorces in the nation. In Kazakhstan, 90,300 marriages were registered between January and September of 2023, an 8.1% decrease from the same period in 2022. Based on the data that was submitted, there were 12,400 divorces in the first nine months of last year, and also an 8.1% decrease in divorces year-on-year. In Kyrgyzstan, 12,552 couples filed for divorce in 2023, while 45,495 marriages were registered before the law. Statistics for Tajikistan in 2021 (data for 2022 isn't yet available) showed that there were 7.6 marriages and 1.4 divorces per thousand. In 2023, 76,444 marriages and 10,298 divorces were officially registered. The statistical collection also includes data on these nations' populations, rates of illness and disability, educational attainment and cultural practices, economic activity, the material and housing circumstances of the populace, the environment, and crime.

EDB Reports Economic Growth in Three Central Asian Countries

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) has released the latest Macroeconomic Review for its six member states — Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. In the face of a challenging external economic environment, the EDB region saw a strong recovery in 2023, with the aggregate GDP of the six nations increasing by almost 4%. According to EDB analysts, this growth was propelled by internal drivers such as robust consumer and investment demand, as well as effective adjustments in production to accommodate changing operating conditions. In Central Asia, Kazakhstan’s economy showed particularly robust growth, surpassing 5% by the end of 2023, largely due to government programs aimed at unlocking the country’s investment potential. Investment and trade increased by 13.7% and 11.3% respectively over the year. Inflation in Kazakhstan continued to decline, with the year-on-year inflation rate dropping from 9.8% in 2023 to 9.5% in January 2024, laying the groundwork for further monetary policy easing. Kyrgyzstan's GDP grew by 6.2% in 2023, supported by stronger consumer demand and increased investment activity. Inflation in the country halved to 7.3% year-on-year in 2023, but the National Bank kept its discount rate unchanged at 13% per annum due to persistent pro-inflationary risks. Furthermore, abnormally cold weather in December-January 2022-23 contributed to an increase in production from the energy sector. However, there are factors that still hinder the pace of growth for businesses in the country. Against a backdrop of persistent, pro-inflationary risks, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic is maintaining its base lending rate at 13 percent per annum to help control price growth. "We believe that domestic demand will weaken against the backdrop of constraining monetary policy conditions and the projected state budget surplus. According to our estimates, GDP will grow by 4.5 percent in 2024," EDB analysts report. For its part, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce of Kyrgyzstan said that the greatest contribution to GDP growth was made by industrial production. According to the department, the economy received an additional boost due to an increase in the output of basic metals. As has been reported previously, Kyrgyz gold miners have exported a record amount of gold in recent years. In Tajikistan, strong domestic demand and increased exports drove an 8.3% GDP growth in 2023. Inflation declined to 3.8% year-on-year at the end of 2023, close to the lower bound of the National Bank’s target range. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan were not included in the report as they aren't EDB member countries. However, according to local media reports, they also showed strong growth at the end of 2023. The Uzbek economy grew by 6 percent, mainly due to growth in industry and increased agricultural  output in agriculture. Turkmenistan's GDP in 2023 showed growth of 6.3 percent -- mainly due to growth in the economic spheres of trade, industrial production and agriculture. According to international organizations, Turkmenistan's GDP has almost doubled in the last five years to $82 billion from $46.5 billion. Turkmen authorities are actively investing in the oil & gas sector, which...

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...

Kyrgyzstan’s Migrant Workers Remitted $2.7 Billion in 2023

Net remittances sent by migrants back to Kyrgyzstan reached record levels at the end of 2023, according to the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic (NBKR). The bank's data shows that the record was achieved mostly due to a decrease in the outflow of money from the country. Migrant workers transferred $2.7 billion to Kyrgyzstan in 2023. According to statistics maintained by the NBKR, this is 12%, or $380 million less than a year earlier. However, the outflow of money from Kyrgyzstan in 2023 amounted to only $561 million - half as much as in 2022. That put the net inflow of funds remitted back into the country at $2.145 billion -- an all-time record. At the beginning of 2024, the NBKR included in its statistics separate information on transfers made through bank cards and electronic wallets. According to the regulator, these methods of sending and receiving money to and from abroad are now actively used along with traditional money-transfer systems. The NBKR report says that in 2023, the region from which Kyrgyz people transferred the most money was Russia, with $2.531 billion in remittances. The remaining $200 million came from a combination of the United States, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom and other countries. Russia accounts for more than 90% of all remittances to Kyrgyzstan. The lion's share is comprised of migrant workers providing for their families at home. In 2021, remittances accounted for over 30% of the GDP, making Kyrgyzstan one of most remittance-based economy in the world. Approximately one-fifth of the Kyrgyz labor force works abroad, almost exclusively in Russia. It should be noted that remittances to Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries from the Russian Federation increased after the so-called anti-war emigration. According to the Russian media, the volume of remittances by individuals from Russia to CIS countries after the Kremlin's attack on Ukraine in 2022 increased 2.5 times to $24.5 billion. The money was mainly transferred to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Georgia. However, in 2023 the volume of remittances decreased by 1.4%. Meanwhile, the leader among Central Asian countries in terms of remittances is Uzbekistan. Labor migrants working in different foreign countries (mainly Russia) transferred more than $16 billion to this country in 2023. In Tajikistan, according to statistics, $5.7 billion was transferred last year - which is almost half of the republic's GDP. The volume of remittances to Kazakhstan for the 2023 reporting period amounted to $670 million dollars, declining by more than half on the previous year. At the same time, Kazakhs withdrew three times more money from the country than they received from abroad in 2023.

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