World Bank predicts Central Asian stagnation and urges cooperation

The Caucasus and Central AsiaCentral Asian stagnation: The economies of Europe and Central Asia continue to face difficult headwinds in an increasingly complex and uncertain global economic environment, with short-term prospects differing substantially across countries, according to a new report from the World Bank that was published yesterday.
Following a contraction of 1.1% in 2015, GDP in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is expected to show practically no growth in 2016, implying a downward adjustment of more than one percentage point since late last year, the report predicts, with the South Caucasus (down 3.3 percentage points), Central Asia (down 1.6 ) and Russia (down 1.3) especially badly affected.
World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller“Many countries in Europe and Central Asia continue to experience hard times due to a combination of political, fiscal and monetary challenges that are impeding growth and testing the resilience of already fragile economies,” World Bank Vice-President for Europe and Central Asia Cyril Muller said at the report’s launch. “Policy-makers in the region urgently need to make tough choices in order to restore growth and create jobs, for which coordination and cooperation are essential going forward.”
 In the east of the region those oil-exporting countries and countries that depend on remittances from those oil-exporting countries are in recession, or close to recession, the report found with the historically slow pace of growth in global trade, low and volatile oil prices, and ongoing geopolitical tensions continuing to adversely impact on their economies; but it also argues that lower potential growth in China could create certain opportunities for the western part of the region, as producers in these countries were likely to face less competition at home and in secondary markets.