Central Asia: Mapping Future Prospects

Author: 
Malcolm Dowling
Ganeshan Wignaraja
Description: 
Paper No. 05-2006
JEL codes: 
Organisation: 
Abstract: 
Central Asia has emerged as one of the worlds fastest growing regions since the late 1990s and has shown notable development potential. This is significant for a region comprising largely of small landlocked economies with no access to the sea for trade. Among the advantages, of the region are its high- priced commodities (oil, gas, cotton and gold), reasonable infrastructure and human capital as legacies of Soviet rule; and a strategic location between Asia and Europe. Furthermore, many Central Asian Republics (CARs) have embarked on market-oriented economic reforms to boost economic performance and private sector competitiveness. Central Asia: Mapping Future Prospects considers the regions economic prospects to 2015. It charts recent economic performance, highlighting the economic revival. It also synthesizes recent forecasts and constructs scenarios for future economic variables against a constant global background. Projections include, among others, gross domestic product (GDP), manufactured exports per head, GDP per capita and poverty. A special theme chapter develops a manufacturing competitiveness index to compare the CARs with other transition economies and explores the impact of economic reform and supply-side factors (e.g. foreign investment and human capital) on industrial performance