IFPRI CA News Digest (December 13 – December 19, 2017)

IFPRI CA NEWS DIGEST (DECEMBER 13 – DECEMBER 19, 2017)

by jilyasov

News & Analysis
Central Asia Yet to Adjust to Cheaper Oil: World Bank
Countries across energy-rich Central Asia are a long way from readjusting to lower oil prices and will need to carry out large-scale reforms to regain competitiveness, according to Hans Timmer, Chief Economist for the Europe and Central Asia region of the World Bank. Timmer suggests that lack of transformation is a huge risk and, fundamentally, reforms need to focus on improving the business environment.– Reuters

Additional Financing for the Tajikistan Agriculture Commercialization Project
The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved additional financing to support the Agriculture Commercialization Project in Tajikistan. Additional $15 million will be utilized on project’s objective to increase the commercialization of farm and agribusiness products and to support micro, small and medium enterprise development in project areas by providing better access to finance and strengthened capacity of project beneficiaries, according to the WB. – The World Bank

ADB Continues Support to Improve Investment Climate in Kyrgyz Republic
The Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Board of Directors has approved a $25 million policy-based grant to continue ongoing efforts to improve the investment climate in the Kyrgyz Republic and encourage the private sector to contribute more effectively to the country’s growth. The grant will be an addition to the funding provided in earlier sub-programs 1 and 2. – Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Supplement: A Firmer Growth Outlook for Asia
Strong recovery in several Central Asian economies has lifted growth projections for the region in 2017, according to the recent Asian Development Bank (ADB) document. Growth in the region as a whole is now expected to reach 3.6% in 2017, higher than the 3.3% forecasted earlier in the year. Positive revision reflects a higher growth forecast for Kazakhstan, the region’s largest economy, which has been profiting from recent rise in oil prices. In contrast, the report forecasts slower growth in Uzbekistan during the remainder of 2017 and into 2018 following foreign exchange reform and devaluation in September 2017. The 2018 forecasts for Central Asia are unchanged at 3.9%.  – Asian Development Bank

 Kazakhstan lowers grain export outlook as Russia ups sales
Kazakhstan has lowered its grain export forecast from 9 million tons to 8 million tons for its 2017 – 2018 period. This is lower than national grain export figure at 8.3 million tons from the previous season. Deputy Agriculture Minister explained that the decrease due to mainly bumper harvest in Russia and its entrance into the Central Asian and Caucasian grain market, which is traditionally supplied by Kazakhstan exports. In turn, Kazakhstan intends to increase its exports in China and further diversity grain export markets. – Daily Mail

Governor for Uzbekistan addresses EBRD Board of Directors
First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Uzbekistan and EBRD Governor for Uzbekistan, addressed the EBRD Board of Directors in London. It was the first high-level visit of a Uzbek official since the resumption of the Bank’s full operations in the country in November 2017. Governor Safoev spoke about the launch of a broad reform program in Uzbekistan, which covers multiple areas including public administration, governance and improving business environment in the country. The EBRD’S current objectives in Uzbekistan are to support domestic SMEs, promote trade finance and cross-border cooperation as well as facilitate foreign direct investment. – European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

A year after the despot’s death: An Uzbek spring has sprung, but summer is still a long way off
The Economist article looks back and reviews some of important changes in Uzbekistan since fall 2016. The article highlights reforms and improvements both in economic and governance sphere. Yet, agrees with critics that these changes remain scratches at the surface of monumental mismanagement and injustice at this moment. – The Economist

Publications & Reports
Re-establishing glacier monitoring in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, Central Asia
M. Hoelzle, et.al. (2017) Geosci. Instrum. Method. Data Syst., Volume 6, pp. 397-418.

Understanding Human Actions and Institutional Change: What Are the Impacts of Power Asymmetries on Efficiency in Pasture Use?
U. Kasymov, D. Zikos (2017) Resources, 6(4).

Where is Uzbekistan’s trade and where should it be directed? Gravity analyses for being doubly landlocked
J. Oh, B. Yuldashev, S.H. Moon (2017) International Area Studies Review.

 

 

 

 

Archived issues of the news digest can be found on the Central Asia page under the ReSAKSS Asia website: http://resakss-asia.org/regions/central-asia.  A link to the newsletter can be found under Blog Posts.

The articles included in this news digest have been generated from online sources. Any opinions stated herein are not representative of, or endorsed by, the International Food Policy Research Institute or its partners.