IMF Expects Modest Recovery in the Caucasus and Central AsiaPress Release No. 09/338
October 3, 2009
IMF Middle East and Central Asia Director Masood Ahmed said today in Istanbul that countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) have been severely impacted by the global crisis, with growth for the region projected to drop from 6.6 percent in 2008 to 1.5 percent in 2009. “Policymakers in the region have responded to the downturn by easing fiscal and monetary policies and strengthening social safety nets. The region as a whole should see a modest recovery in 2010, although the degree of the upturn will vary among countries. The energy importing low-income countries still face a difficult year head, and some countries will need additional donor support to contain the adverse impact of the crisis,” said Ahmed, speaking ahead of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings.
The IMF expects that most energy exporters of the region—Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—will record solid growth in 2009, owing to long-term energy export contracts, supportive policies, and limited linkages to international markets. With global energy demand increasing, most energy exporters are expected to grow strongly in 2010.
One exception is Kazakhstan, which is likely to see growth contract by about 2 percent in 2009, with recovery in 2010 held back by lingering problems in the banking system.