Closed, But Growing

by Nathan Hamm on 1/14/2005 · 1 comment

RFE/RL reports that, despite having some of the least free economies in the world, both the Turkmen and Uzbek economies grew about 7% in 2004. It may not be the 21% that Turkmenistan claims, but it’s still not bad considering how bad the business climate is in these countries.

Read the article for details on where the growth is coming and to to get the pulse of these economies. Needless to say though, if these economies are getting 7% growth under pretty abysmal conditions, they certainly could be doing much better. Perhaps even the average citizen might feel significant benefits.

“Only if the government sticks to liberalization in 2005 can this pace [7 percent GDP growth] be sustained and even sped up,” Bakirov said. “But if the government stops privatization and continues creating obstacles for medium- and small-sized business, this growth will also stop. The biggest mistake of the authorities is that they don’t create the same conditions for all players of the game. Without this, they cannot have a healthy competitive economy.”

Only then, Bakirov said, will ordinary people “feel” the benefits of economic growth.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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