Central Asian economies will grow by 4.9% in 2021. This forecast was made by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The region will continue to grow by about 4.8% next year, driven by continued expansionary policies and strong external demand for the region’s major exported goods and labour. The report notes that growth in 2021 is driven by the stabilization of the domestic situation after the gradual easing of restrictions on COVID-19. Another important factor was the increase in lending to businesses and households, spurred by temporary containment measures imposed by central banks.
By country, the EBRD expects Uzbekistan’s GDP to grow by 6.8% in 2021 and by 6% in 2022. In June, experts predicted an increase of 5.6%. In Kazakhstan, according to EBRD experts, the country’s GDP by the end of 2021 will be 3.6%. In 2022, the economy will achieve further growth of 3.8% thanks to stronger external demand and continued fiscal stimulus measures to support domestic consumption.
The EBRD lowered its forecast for economic growth in Tajikistan by the end of 2021 to 4.9%. The bank had previously expected this figure to be 6.5%. It was assumed that such growth will be achieved after the recovery of the volume of remittances of labour migrants. EBRD also downgraded Kyrgyzstan’s economic growth forecast … GDP is expected to grow by 2.5% by the end of 2021. In the summer, an increase of 6.6% was expected.
Prices for fuel and food are growing in Kyrgyzstan. Only diesel fuel rose in price by 1.92 soms (9.7 tenge) over the month. If at the end of September the average price for diesel fuel was 51.42 soms, then as of November 1 it reached 53.36 soms. The most expensive diesel fuel in Kerben is 58.69 soms (297.3 tenge), and the cheapest diesel in Karakol is 52.27 soms (264.8 tenge). Gasoline has also risen in price. Fuel AI-92 increased in price by 82 tyiins – from 56.84 to 57.66 soms (292.1 tenge), and AI-95 – by 80 tyiins – from 61.22 to 62.02 soms (314.13 tenge ). Potatoes have risen in price too. Over the last month, its price increased by 5.17 soms (26.19 tenge) to 35.1 soms (177.78 tenge).
The lower house of the Tajik parliament adopted a draft of the new Tax Code. Entrepreneurs have been waiting for this document for almost three years. During the discussion of the project, the Minister of Finance of Tajikistan Fayziddin Kakhkhorzoda said that in the new Code the number of taxes was reduced from the existing 10 to 7 items, and the income tax rate was reduced from 13% to 12%. Also, the rate of the main tax – VAT, whose share is more than 40% in the total volume of tax revenues to the budget, from January 1, 2022, will decrease from 18% to 15%, and by 2027 – to 13%. The draft Code also contains many other innovations, but not all of them will work after the adoption of the new tax legislation. That is, the new norms of the Code will be applied in stages.
The food crisis in Turkmenistan is getting worse. In the east of the country, flour has not been delivered to state-owned stores for several months, according to local media reports. And if the flour is delivered, then people will be able to buy it once a month – five kilograms per family. The authorities do not explain the reason for the delay in flour supplies but promise that it will go on sale in the coming days. Therefore, there were huge queues at the shops. In addition, in Ashgabat, bread is sold only at night. The vacation rate is three loaves per person.
The European Union has allocated 2 million euros for the Program to Support the Digital Development of Kyrgyzstan. The Ministry of Digital Development of the Kyrgyz Republic agreed on this with the representative of the e-Governance Academy (eGA) Tõnis Mäe, who flew to the Kyrgyz Republic from Estonia as part of a working visit. The main goal of the program is to support the digital development of Kyrgyzstan by reducing unemployment and inequality through accessible communications and digital education.
Also, the European Union plans to allocate 83 million euros to Uzbekistan for the implementation of grant projects for 2021-2024. The EU is going to expand financial and technical cooperation for the development of the Aral Sea zone.
The projects of Tajikistan are going to be financed by the South Korean Export-Import Bank (Eximbank). The bank is expected to support major transport projects in the country.
Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan have established a joint development fund (CCDF). Its authorized capital will amount to $ 50 million (with a subsequent increase to $ 200 million). At the same time, the agreement itself was signed back in March this year during the visit of the President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov to Uzbekistan. But Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed it only this week. The fund was established for the modernization and development of the economy. The headquarters of the fund will be located in Bishkek.
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