Regional markets – Focus on Central Asia


At the time of writing, the Central Asia region is understood to be in a situation of economic flux. Having been benefiting from modestly rising oil prices, benign global financing conditions and solid growth in the Euro Area, a June 2018 report from the World Bank described momentum easing in Europe and Central Asia.

Growth-supporting factors, such as stronger demand from the Euro Area  and disbursement of EU structural funds in Central Europe, have started to wane, it explained. Central Asia’s economic activity is centred on irrigated agriculture in the south and on heavy and light industry and mining in Kazakhstan. Over the past decade, the region has emerged as a vital region in the global energy market, having long possessed large volumes of oil and natural gas, but largely remained underdeveloped.

Kazakhstan, for example, is the region’s leading oil producer and the ninth-largest country in the world, while Turkmenistan is the region’s main gas exporter, and exports its reserves through a Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline. Uzbekistan also supplies gas through the upgraded pipeline network. The wider energy landscape is, therefore, significant to the markets in Central Asia.

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