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International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Context 1. Tajikistan is the poorest of the eight Central Asian and Caucuses (CCA) countries . The 1990’s civil war caused a large decline in output and income. Subsequently, output and incomes have grown significantly, but income per capita growth has lagged other CCA oil importers. President Rahmon has led the government since 1994 and the next presidential elections will be in 2020. 2. Slow progress in structural reforms has held back employment generation . While macroeconomic policies were generally prudent until the external shocks in 2015

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Real GDP (annual growth) 9.5 6.7 5.6 6.8 5.6 5.7 5.4 5.5 Current Account Balance 2.1 9.3 4.7 2.8 2.7 1.6 1.4 1.7 Overall Fiscal Balance 2.9 7.9 5.5 3.4 2.1 1.4 1.6 1.3 Inflation, p.a. (annual growth) 10.0 8.8 5.7 6.3 6.5 6.5 6.5 6.5 CCA Oil Importers Real GDP (annual growth) 6.6 6.4 5.4 5.6 4.6 4.9 4.9 5.0 Current Account Balance −8.2 −10.4 −10.3 −7.0 −8.4 −8.1 −7.3 −6.4 Overall Fiscal Balance −3.5 −3.3 −2.3 −2

Mr. Peter J Kunzel, Phil De Imus, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Risto Herrala, Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, and Farid Talishli
The Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries are at an important juncture in their economic transition. Following significant economic progress during the 2000s, recent external shocks have revealed the underlying vulnerabilities of the current growth model. Lower commodity prices, weaker remittances, and slower growth in key trading partners reduced CCA growth, weakened external and fiscal balances, and raised public debt. the financial sector was also hit hard by large foreign exchange losses. while commodity prices have recovered somewhat since late 2014, to boost its economic potential, the region needs to find new growth drivers, diversify away from natural resources, remittances, and public spending, and generate much stronger private sector-led activity.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

estimated ¾ percent. Russian gas imports from Turkmenistan for domestic consumption could also be lower. CCA crude oil is exported to a global market and price impacts would be moderate. A 1 percentage point decrease in Russia’s GDP would reduce remittances to the CCA countries by about 1½ percent. If the Russian ruble were to depreciate relative to that of a CCA country, the purchasing power of remittances could decrease further. This channel is especially important in the CCA oil importers, where remittances comprise a sizable share of national income (see Figure 3

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.

Turkmenistan’s exports are oriented toward China, which together with Italy remains a significant export destination for Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. While CCA oil importers are expected to benefit from a lower oil price, demand shocks—lower remittances from Russia—may mute some of the positive impact. Import volumes from affected trading partners are also large for both CCA oil exporters and oil importers. About 35 percent of imports to the Kyrgyz Republic come from China. More than 40 percent of Uzbekistan’s imports are drawn from affected trading partners in Asia and

Ms. Pritha Mitra, Amr Hosny, Gohar Abajyan, and Mr. Mark Fischer
The Middle East and Central Asia’s economic growth potential is slowing faster than in other emerging and developing regions, dampening hopes for reducing persistent unemployment and improving the region’s generally low living standards. Why? And is it possible to alter this course? This paper addresses these questions by estimating potential growth, examining its supply-side drivers, and assessing which of them could be most effective in raising potential growth. The analysis reveals that the region’s potential growth is expected to slow by ¾ of a percentage point more than the EMDC average over the next five years. The reasons behind this slowdown differ across the region. Lower productivity growth drives the slowdown in the Caucasus and Central Asia and is also weighing on growth across the Middle East (MENAP); while a lower labor contribution to potential growth is the main driver in MENAP. Moving forward, given some natural constraints on labor, total factor productivity growth is key to unlocking the region’s higher growth potential. For oil importers, raising physical capital accumulation through greater investment will also play an important role.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper identifies constraints to economic growth in the Kyrgyz Republic, using the Hausmann-Velasco-Rodrik diagnostic approach. It finds that large infrastructure gaps, weak governance and rule of law, and high cost of finance appear to be the most binding constraints to private investment and growth. Additional critical factors are the quality of education and onerous regulations. There is room to improve both the quality and cost/efficiency of education spending. Although relatively low, labor costs have exceeded productivity growth and there is room to improve labor market efficiency. Despite important investments, the infrastructure gap remains large and the country ranks relatively low on infrastructure quality. Weak governance undermines growth through various channels: investment, human capital, and productivity. Weak institutions increase the cost of doing business and make the appropriation of investment returns less certain, overall reducing investor’s risk appetite to invest. Public debt is on the high side and the composition of spending is tilted toward current spending.