Uzbekistan to enter IMF's data system
The State Statistics Committee of Uzbekistan announced that it will join the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) General Data Dissemination System (p-GDDS) by the coming May, which will give foreign investors, companies, and financial institutions full access to various economic data following accepted international standards. The move is intended to attract foreign investors, who have had to rely on questionable official data. Uzbekistan’s statistics committee has been under pressure to reform by the current presidential administration. – AzerNews
Tajikistan: ADB expected to provide around $150 million in 2018
The Asian Development Bank is expected to provide around $150 million in grants to Tajikistan this year, according to ADB country director Pradeep Srivastava. Financing is expected to be primarily in the form of grants rather than loans, which Srivastava related to Tajikistan’s high debt burden. Tajikistan recently issued a high-interest $500 million bond on the international market, which has saddled the country with annual interest payments of approximately $35 million. – Asia-Plus
EBRD supported 177 SMEs and 62 female entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan in 2017
The EBRD reported that it provided support to 177 small- and medium-sized companies in 2017 as part of its development activities in Kazakhstan. Sixty-two entities managed by women were supported under its “Women in Business” program. EBRD and its local partners are looking to increase participation in the program this year. – Astana Times
Kyrgyz oil traders: no rise in fuel prices during spring fieldwork
Kyrgyzstan’s oil traders assured the State Agency of Antimonopoly Regulation that there will be no fuel shortages during spring fieldwork. Some companies provide fuel discounts under an arrangement between national government bodies and trade groups. Although the government cannot directly intervene in fuel pricing under ordinary conditions, the antimonopoly agency continues to monitor markets and is able to issue advice. – News Agency 24
Analysis & Other Information
China Belt-Road plan may create debt problems from Djibouti to Laos
The Center for Global Development released a report this week warning that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) may create debt-sustainability problems for certain partner countries. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan were named among the eight countries at particular risk. The researchers behind the survey analyzed lending pipelines for 68 countries identified as potential BRI participants. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan were assessed low risk. – Bloomberg
Turkmenistan's Plan B: electricity exports
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India recently began construction on a major power transmission line, paralleling a proposed gas pipeline linking the four countries. Turkmenistan, which contains the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves, has been stymied by a dearth of competitive gas export routes because of its geography. Moreover, Turkmenistan lost existing customers in Russia and Iran following disputes with both countries and is believed to be on the short end of an export arrangement with China, its sole remaining major buyer. Turkmenistan views the South Asian projects as a partial solution for its current troubles and electricity transmission as an alternative to its deferred goals of exporting its gas to new markets. – EurasiaNet
Publications & Reports
Navigating the safety implications of doing research and being researched in Kyrgyzstan: coopeartion, networks, and framing
N. Bekmurzaev (2018). Central Asian Survey, 37(1), pp. 100-118.
Policy transfer and diversification in resource-dependent economies: lessons for Kazakhstan from Alberta
P. Howie (2018). Politics and Policy, 46(1), pp. 110-140.
Examining the debt implications of the Belt and Road Initiative from a policy perspective
J. Hurley, S. Morris, G. Portelance (2018). Center for Global Development. Policy Paper 121.
Managing the water-energy-food nexus: opportunities in Central Asia
S. Jalilov, S. Amer, F. Ward (2018). Journal of Hydrology, 557, pp. 407-425.
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.