Sary Shagen on the west bank of Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet anti-ballistic missile testing range. (Credit: Sergey-USSR/Bigstock)
Sary Shagen on the west bank of Lake Balkhash in Kazakhstan, a former Soviet anti-ballistic missile testing range. (Credit: Sergey-USSR/Bigstock) (via: bit.ly)

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC RI) recently conducted a study on the ‘Structural and economic transformation towards sustainable development’ in the countries that are part of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) – Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan – as well as Armenia.

The study focuses on structural economic transformation of the SPECA and Armenian economies; the role of science, technology, and innovation in economic transition; the countries’ private sectors; and regional economic cooperation and integration.
Vladimir Popov, Research Director at DOC RI, oversees the project. He observed that “sweeping liberalization of the 1990s in the former Soviet Union countries led to premature deindustrialization in the region. Such a deindustrialization inhibited economic growth. In addition, the Dutch disease – reallocation of capital and labor to the resource sector at the expense of manufacturing – affected the resource rich countries of the region (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan). “However, since the mid-1990s and especially in the 2000s and 2010s many countries have made substantial economic advances – 5 countries in the region (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan) increased their output no less than Central Europe as compared to 1989 (1.7 times and more). Uzbekistan and Tajikistan’s achievements are especially impressive because they are not based on resource exports. The UN ESCAP study analyzes the factors behind these changes”.

The results of the joint project with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) will be presented at the Economic Forum in Almaty, Kazakhstan 20-21 September. The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute will also lead a session on structural economic transformation at the forum.

Established as an expert forum in 2002, DOC RI opened its headquarters in Berlin in 2016 and currently has additional offices in Vienna and Moscow. Its research is based on a special methodology of dialogue developed by its expert community and provides solutions enhancing inclusive development and decreasing and preventing tensions in various parts of the world.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP)
UN ESCAP serves as the United Nations’ regional hub promoting cooperation among countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. The largest regional intergovernmental platform with 53 Member States and 9 Associate Members, ESCAP has emerged as a strong regional think-tank offering countries sound analytical products that shed insight into the evolving economic, social and environmental dynamics of the region. The Commission’s strategic focus is to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which it does by reinforcing and deepening regional cooperation and integration to advance connectivity, financial cooperation and market integration. ESCAP’s research and analysis coupled with its policy advisory services, capacity building and technical assistance to governments aims to support countries’ sustainable and inclusive development ambitions.