New IMF report lays out recipe for Central Asian economic growth

Central AsiaCentral Asian economic growth: Nurturing a more competitive business environment, fostering worker talent, and improving access to finance are the keys to boosting long-term economic prospects in the Middle East and Central Asia region, according to a new IMF report, Avoiding the Mediocre. Bringing them closer to global standards in these three areas could double long-term growth rates in most countries in the region, the report argues, and, while the resulting boost to growth would be lower for the oil-rich countries of the GCC, the Caucasus and Central Asia, the impact could still be large enough to offset recent declines in long-term growth rates.
Identifying critical reforms to raise productivity growth and, in some countries, build up physical capital such as machinery, buildings, and computers, is key to unlocking the region’s growth as higher productivity and physical capital would not only raise long-term economic growth directly but would also help absorb the region’s rapidly growing labor force into productive economic activities.
In the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia greater global trade integration would help raise private sector-led development of physical capital and productivity. To this end, transitioning to higher value-added exports through investment promotion would help attract multinational investment and link the CCA region into international supply chains, the study concludes.