Afghanistan's Ghani Visits Uzbekistan on Mission to Plug Into Central Asia
President Ashraf Ghani traveled to Uzbekistan, for the first time since coming to power in 2014. Among the measurable outcomes to the visit were $500 million worth of trade deals, which includes energy, agricultural and pharmaceutical goods, building materials and transportation equipment. Parties also agreed on building power line and completing railway line between two countries. – Eurasianet
ArcelorMittal coal miners widen strike in Kazakhstan
ArcelorMittal had stopped producing coal due to strikes in Kazakhstan. 684 workers were on strike and were demanding a 100 percent wage increase. Duisenova said the miners were being paid between 208,000 tenge (about $620) and 326,000 tenge (about $970) per month. – Reuters
Nazarbayev to Government: You should not fail Digital Kazakhstan
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev named the implementation of the Digital Kazakhstan program the main task of the Government for the time being, Kazinform correspondent reports. According to the President, if correctly implemented Digital Kazakhstan will contribute to 30% of economic growth. – Kazinform
Kazakhstan plans to increase grain exports in 2017
Kazakhstan plans to increase its grain and grain flour exports by about 0.4 million tons in 2017 compare to 2016 and reach to 9.1 million tons, according to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture. He also stated that starting from January 1, 2018, grain transportation within Kazakhstan will be subsidized for which 9.7 billion tenge (little less than $30 million) will be allocated. – Kazinform
President: Turkmenistan possessing big mineral reserves can attract any investor
Turkmenistan is seeking to attract investors into its chemical industry, including production of mineral fertilizers, according to Turkmen President. Turkmenistan completed the biggest potash producing complex in Central Asia with a capacity of 1.4 million tons of potash per year in March 2017. The country further intends to build number of new industrial facilities, including potash, carbamide and ammonia productions plants. – Azernews
Uzbekistan Eases Regulations On Foreign Cash For Travelers
Presidential decree has simplified regulations on the movement of foreign currency into and out of the country. Beginning on January 1, 2018, travelers will not need permission from banks or state financial institutions to take foreign cash out of Uzbekistan if its value does not exceed $5,000. The decree also states that there will be no need to declare foreign currency when entering or leaving Uzbekistan if its value does not exceed $2,000. Under current laws, travelers must declare all foreign cash in their possession when entering or leaving the Central Asian country, no matter how small the amount. - RFE/RL
Analysis & Other Information
A Rocky Future? Ensuring Central Asia’s Mountains are Climate and Disaster Resilient
Climate change is a major source of uncertainty across Central Asia. The region is expected to see an increase in extreme weather events in the coming decades. The article highlights the World Bank’s Central Asia Hydrometeorology Modernization Project (CAHMP) aimed at bolstering weather forecasting and early warning efforts in the region to help countries to adapt to a riskier future. - Reliefweb
India looks to Iranian port as Central Asia gateway
On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated the first phase of the port extension in Sistan-Baluchestan, south-eastern Iran, which is being developed with an investment of US$1 billion. India is investing US$500 million in the port, which is believed to provide India an alternative transit route to landlocked Afghanistan and other parts of Central Asia. – The Straits Time
Publications & Reports
Detecting plague-host abundance from space: Using a spectral vegetation index to identify occupancy of great gerbil burrows
L.I.Wilschut et.al. (2018). International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. Volume 64, pp. 249-255.
Energy investment risk assessment for nations along China’s Belt & Road Initiative
F. Duan, J. Qiang, L. Bing-Yue and Y. Fan (2018). Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 170, pp. 535-547.
Objective and Subjective Welfare: A Comparative Analysis of Central Asian Countries, Russia, and Belarus
T.S. Karabchuk and D. V. Sal’nikova (2017). Sociological Research, 56(4), pp. 308-326.
Post-socialist transition and intergenerational educational mobility in Kyrgyzstan
T. Brück and D. Esenaliev (2017). Economics of Transition, 26(1), pp. 61-89.
Public Sector Reform in Central Asia and the Caucasus
C. Knox (2017). International Journal of Public Administration, pp. 1-11.
Water-Energy-Food-Environmental Nexus in Central Asia: From Transition to Transformation
S. Rakhmatullaev, I. Abdullaev and J. Kazbekov (2017). In: The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
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