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Enhancing Competitiveness in Central Asia

image of Enhancing Competitiveness in Central Asia

Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have recorded impressive economic growth rates since 2000, driven mainly by the export of commodities and labour. However, the end of the commodity super-cycle and the recent economic slowdown highlighted the risks inherent in this reliance on minerals exports and remittances, as well as the challenges to be overcome to achieve more stable and inclusive growth. The Central Asian countries have long recognised the importance of enhancing the competitiveness of their economies, diversifying the production structures and improving the resilience to external shocks. This will require ambitious reforms in three areas: governance, connectivity, and business environment. This publication focuses mostly on aspects of the business environment and reflects several years of OECD work with Central Asian countries on access to finance, business internationalisation and skills development. Each of the country case studies presented here is the result of a country-specific project carried out by the OECD, hand-in-hand with the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan.

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A regional agenda for economic diversification in Central Asia

This chapter analyses the major drivers of economic growth in Central Asia since 2000, notably commodities exports and migrant remittances, and their effects, such as the dependence on a few commodities and on labour migration. It also offers an overview of the challenges ahead to further diversify the Central Asian economies, in particular those related to public governance, connectivity and the business environment. It then highlights the major business environment issues that are the focus of the next chapters.

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