Mr. Peter J Kunzel, Phil De Imus, Mr. Edward R Gemayel, Risto Herrala, Mr. Alexei P Kireyev, and Farid Talishli
The Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries are at an important juncture in their economic transition. Following significant economic progress during the 2000s, recent external shocks have revealed the underlying vulnerabilities of the current growth model. Lower commodity prices, weaker remittances, and slower growth in key trading partners reduced CCA growth, weakened external and fiscal balances, and raised public debt. the financial sector was also hit hard by large foreign exchange losses. while commodity prices have recovered somewhat since late 2014, to boost its economic potential, the region needs to find new growth drivers, diversify away from natural resources, remittances, and public spending, and generate much stronger private sector-led activity.
Tajikistan was hit by severe external shocks in 2009. The government plans to address the structural energy deficit and achieve energy independence. Tajikistan should proceed with care on the Roghun project, paying close attention to social, macroeconomic, and debt sustainability. The need is to strike a careful balance between social and capital spending, which are complementary for growth. Macroeconomic policies are appropriate, but the weakened health of the banking sector and of state-owned enterprises needs to be addressed urgently.