Business and Economics
Experts see the Chinese economy as a danger to Kazakhstan. We are currently working with the West to build a new railroad; however, a Chinese railroad already passes through Kazakhstan, which could have an adverse impact on the plans.
Today, China is Kazakhstan’s number one strategic partner. In the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the World Trade Organization it is our strongest ally.
China’s economy focuses on quantity over quality as it mass-stamps millions upon millions of products every year. Read the full story »
Translation of TajikVoice’s post (RUS)
In late February, the Tajik President’s son Rustam Emomali was appointed to a newly created government post within the Customs Agency to tackle contraband and customs violations. The public found out about this fact in early March. The appointment caused widespread debate on the Internet and in Tajik media. The people were clearly against the decision. Not only was the son of the president appointed to a kind post that takes years of service to earn, he was also instantly promoted to the rank of major. Read the full story »
Bishkek Business Club is announcing the start of its Big Brother campaign!
The government influences business using numerous monitoring bodies and does not allow entrepreneurs to act without its supervision.
The government lives on taxes paid by entrepreneurs; thus, the business community is a kind of “Big Brother” for politicians and has the full right to monitor and evaluate their activity.
Over the course of the coming year, the Bishkek Business Club will be vigilantly observing the activity of officials and deputies and selecting winners in six categories: Read the full story »
Another Turkish shopping and entertainment giant has fallen in Uzbekistan. The victim this time is Turkuaz, which had occupied the former GUM building near Chorsu market and the metro station bearing the same name.
“Yesterday morning there were lots of policemen here, including the “masquerade” [special services wearing facemasks]. Several dozen people were escorted out and loaded into police vans,” a local taxi driver told Uznews.
When asked what had happened and why the supermarket was being closed, a police sergeant cut off, “That’s it, no more supermarket.” Read the full story »
More than 340 000 people in Uzbekistan will benefit from a US$88 million IDA Credit, approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors today, to improve water supply operations in the Syrdarya region of Uzbekistan. The credit forms the basis of the Syrdarya Water Supply Project which aims to improve the availability, quality and sustainability of public water supply services in selected six districts of the region, World Bank news service reported.
The Government of Uzbekistan has assigned high priority to improving environmental and public health conditions associated with seriously deficient water supply services in the province of Syrdarya. The project covers nearly half of the total population of the Syrdarya region, which has a total population of about 700 000 people.
Currently the towns are supplied with treated water through regional transmission schemes or from around 250 individual wells which have now reached a state of acute disrepair causing a breakdown of water supply in many towns. It is estimated that 25% of the project towns receive no piped water and have to rely on water tankers. Out of those who have access to piped water, only about 10% receive 24-hour service; for all others service is unsafe and costly and consumers have to invest time and money in alternative supplies, including drawing raw water from irrigation canals.
Editor’s note: Dordoi is the largest market of Central Asia, but with the establishment of the new Customs Union between Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, it’s experience a fall in sales, reports neweurasia’s Rahat. “While the debate goes on among Kyrgyz politicians and private sector, Dordoi businessmen ponder on their future,” he writes. “Once a certain and profitable trade now seems doomed, and sadly, may be headed in the direction of legends.” Photographs by Rahat (CC-usage).
Dordoi is a huge market made of metal containers with the total square of equal to 250 hectares. The monthly rent for a container ranges from 2,000 soms to 175,000 soms (40 USD to 3500 USD) depending on the location within the market. Dordoi consists of several markets, dozens of food courts, mosques, exchange offices, baths, small sewing factories, huge warehouses and taxi stations. The market employs around 100,000 people.
Under a strong people’s pressure Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mobarak of Egypt had to leave their beloved palaces and run away from those who just wanted to tear them up to small pieces.
Unfortunately, new authorities will not be able to get all their money back they stored in advance outside of the countries. Kyrgyzstan still tries to find the Bakievs’ treasures.
Another unfortunate is that we still have this kind of rulers in many countries around the globe. They keep enriching day after day and enjoying the power. Handelsblatt, leading German language business newspaper, has counted former and current leaders’ wealth and rated them according to how big is their wallet. (Note: One of the Central Asian leaders is closing the rating. Guess who and find the answer by reading this piece to an end).
So the Top 3 is as following:
1. King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia with more than $40 billion. Oil rich country can afford monarchy’s whims. Forbes reports approximately $1 billion a day from oil exports (as of 2008) which automatically brings the King to the magazine’s The World’s Richest Royals list.
2. Hosni Mubarak, ex-President of Egypt, with around $40 billion. ABC News indicated that experts believed the personal wealth of Mubarak and his family to be between US$40 billion and $70 billion founded on military contracts made during his time as an air force officer. Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported that Mubarak and his family might be worth up to $70 billion due to corruption, kickbacks and legitimate business activities.
3. Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei Darussalam, with $20 billion and whose famous for his vast automobile collection of 3,667 cars, which included unique modifications of Ferraris and Bentleys, worthy over U.S.$789 million. Read the full story »
According to Ukraine’s State Statistics Service, the largest GDP growth in 2010 in the CIS was reported in Uzbekistan (8.5%), Belarus (7.6%), Kazakhstan (7.5%), Moldova (6.5%), and Azerbaijan (5%).
Talking about inflation in Central Asia Kyrgyzstan has a lead in this not a positive improvement, 8%. Kazakhstan’s inflation growth is 7.1% and Tajikistan with 6.5%.
According to the statistics, in 2010 the total gross domestic product (at constant prices) in the CIS countries fell by 6.9%. The worst country result in this particular indicator belongs to Kyrgyzstan with -1.4% fell, Ukrinform, main state information agency of Ukraine, reports.
Editor’s note: The Turkmen government has announced plans to replace MTS with three supposedly private, independent telecoms, but both opponents of the regime and simple logic make the project seem highly dubious, reports neweurasia’s Annasoltan. “We might be seeing Evgeny Morozov’s thesis in ‘The Net Delusion’ confirmed,” she writes.
The suspension of operations at MTS (read here and here), the largest mobile phone service provider in Turkmenistan, on 21 December, has created a huge vacuum in the mobile phone service industry. Upwards to 2,5 million mobile customers, or roughly half of the country’s total population, have been without telephone, sms and internet services.
No official explanation for the closure has been given, but unconfirmed reports say that Ashgabat wanted to have a 51 percent stake in MTS, which the company simply could not do. There may have also been some ambivalence over foreign involvement in domestic affairs, some observers believe. Indeed, last week the president gave orders to officials to open at least three private national mobile phone service companies.
According to officials, Berdimuhammedov wants these new companies to be created jointly with more famous international telecommunications companies. At the same time, though, the “Turkmen people” must maintain over 50% ownership. Moreover, each company should operate under conditions of “market economy competition”, Turkmenistan’s reputation as a high risk state for foreign investors because of its lack of economic reforms and transparency notwithstanding. The president has dubbed this as-yet conceptual company “Galkynysh” (
Development Revival*) — a curious name for an ostensibly private business.
The management of state-owned property has become especially topical now that the country’s budget is going through a difficult period. As we look for potential sources of income for the state, we often overlook the colossal potential of the government’s assets, particularly revenue from companies that are predominantly state-owned. Given the low quality of corporate management in these companies, the level of theft and corruption, which was recently highlighted by opposition MPs, is unsurprising. Read the full story »