Asian Development Bank (ADB) is going to provide Tajikistan with financial support to help the country improve its finance and energy sectors. The Kursiv edition has prepared a survey of significant economic and financial events in the Central Asian region. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have been named as countries with oppressive economies. The exchange rate of the U.S. dollar has surged in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan due to the Russian military operation against Ukraine. At the same time, Uzbekistan has lifted restrictions on the export of cement, clinker and glass.
Asian Development Bank is going to grant Tajikistan $465 million over 2022-2024. The country will receive about $193 million this year, according to Asia-Plustj.info. These funds will be allocated to the development of projects in the capital city of Dushanbe; improvement of the energy sector; strengthening of civil defense and road infrastructure improvements. However, the final size of the grant hasn’t been approved yet, the bank noted; this information is going to be clarified.
The ADB also reported it is going to provide Uzbekistan with $247 million for the reconstruction and modernization of about 106 kilometers of road between Derbent and Denau in the Surxondaryo region and the 87-kilometer road Gizar-Bukhara-Nukus-Beyneu.
At the same time, neighboring Kyrgyzstan relies on Russian assistance. On February 25, the head of the Kyrgyz cabinet Akylbek Japarov met with his Russian counterpart Mikhail Mishustin, who said that Russia provided Kyrgyzstan with $10 million of assistance last year.
Heritage Foundation has presented its yearly Index of Economic Freedom – 2022. The survey is based on ten key criteria, including economic and trade freedom, investment openness, the level of state intervention in the economy, corruption, etc. Kazakhstan has a modest level of economic freedom (ranked 64th). Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have been called countries with a low level of economic freedom and ranked 116th and 117th respectively. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have been determined as the countries with an oppressive economies.
How foreign currency has reacted to the war in Ukraine
In the early morning of February 24, Russia launched a so-called special military operation against Ukraine. Many eyewitnesses and media report gunshots and bombing shells in many Ukrainian cities. The rate of the U.S. dollar has changed immediately. Thus, the Russian ruble is traded at 90 rubles per one dollar; this is a historic height.
However, this has happened not only in Russia but also in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan. On February 24, in Kyrgyzstan, the local currency som was traded at 95 som per one dollar instead of 10 som as it was before. kg. It forced the National Bank of Kyrgyzstan to intervene in the market where it sold $13 million. As a result, on February 25, the rate of som rose a bit to 89-90 som.
In Kazakhstan, the dollar’s rate has risen from 437.2 tenge to 465.9 tenge per one dollar. The National Bank of Kazakhstan also intervened in the currency exchange market and sold $138 million. On February 25, the exchange rate rose from 464 to 472 tenge which forced the bank to sell $38 million more.
On March 12, Turkmenistan is going to hold early presidential elections. The current president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedow, who has been ruling the country for 15 years, isn’t going to participate. So far, the Central Election Commission has registered nine candidates, including Sardar Berdymukhamedow, son of the current president. He’s already launched his election campaign.
No export restrictions
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan has approved the lifting of export restrictions for cement, clinker and glass. Starting March 1, any company will be able to sell these products abroad with no limitations. Moreover, the export promoting agency is going to reimburse about 50% of exporters’ transportation costs. This rule will be in effect until January 1, 2024.