The historic spirit of cross-border trade in Central Asia is being revived in the energy sector.
A forward-looking, regional approach is needed for countries in Central Asia to respond to the pandemic and prepare for future public health threats.
Governments in Central and West Asia must commit to reforms and get them right, or face a downward spiral. The costs of the crisis are already obvious in rising deficits and debt. There is no room for complacency.
Central Asia’s long-term economic prosperity depends upon participation in global value chains and upgrading to higher value-added activities.
State-owned enterprises, including power utilities, in many countries have collected a menagerie of assets unrelated to their core business. And they are selling cheap.
Trade via rail in Central Asia has proven highly effective in recent years. It needs further support to take it to the next level.
With expanding regional cooperation and a readily available platform, the building blocks are in place for Central Asia to achieve energy security, resilience and economic competitiveness.
By working together with countries to make sound socioeconomic development strategies, multilateral financial institutions can contribute substantially to the fight against the pandemic.
Addressing the climate emergency will require all the funding possible from as many diverse sources as possible. Islamic climate finance instruments could help in Asia and in many other parts of the world.
Bold action is required by policymakers and central bankers to keep the region’s economies afloat and contain the pandemic.