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IMF: Caucasus, Central Asia See Robust Growth, But Risks Remain

25 October 2013

Economic growth in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) is expected to remain robust, but lower growth in key trading partners such as Russia and China could pose a threat to this outlook, the IMF said in its latest regional assessment.

The IMF's Regional Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia, released October 25, projects that growth in the region will average about 6 percent in 2013-14.

This strong growth reflects the expansion of production in hydrocarbons and other extractive industries as well as firm growth in domestic demand, supported by stable remittance inflows, the report says.

"The favorable outlook presents an opportunity for the region to begin the structural transformation into dynamic emerging economies," said Juha Kähkönen, Deputy Director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, who unveiled the report in Almaty, Kazakhstan.


Expansion continues...

Growth for the region's oil- and gas-exporting countries-Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan-is projected to pick up slightly, to about 6 percent in 2013 and 6.2 percent in 2014 (see table). This growth is driven mainly by the recovery in oil and gas production in Kazakhstan and elsewhere.

For the oil- and gas-importing countries-Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Tajikistan-growth is set to slow to about 5 percent in 2013 before rising to about 5½ percent in 2014, if private investment and external demand pick up as expected.  [Read full reporthere]