Enhancing Competitiveness in Central Asia

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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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Business environment in Central Asia: Skills

This chapter provides an overview of skills challenges facing the private sector in Central Asia. Vocational education and training (VET) can play a crucial role in responding to the needs of the labour market and of the economy. Employers must be involved in VET policy making to ensure it provides the right mix of skills. The OECD has helped design VET instruments in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. These two case studies suggest a need to strengthen firms’ involvement in public-private dialogue on skills, and to support the implementation of key VET instruments for small and medium-sized enterprises.

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