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Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA): The Transition Journey and the Road Ahead

Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA): The Transition Journey and the Road Ahead

Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, May 19–21, 2013

On May 19-20, the IMF and the EBRD, together with the Swiss and Kyrgyz authorities, jointly sponsored a conference in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic to exchange views on the experiences and lessons of the twenty-year post-Soviet transition in the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA) countries and the key economic policy priorities and challenges and going forward.

Participants included high-level CCA policy officials, policymakers and former policymakers from countries outside the CCA, high level academics whose research focuses on transition and growth, and management, staff, and former staff of the international financial institutions. The IMF focused on stability, growth, volatility and diversification, while the EBRD focused on private sector engagement. The World Bank gave an address on growth and human capital and infrastructure investment.

The forum was organized along four main themes, with a concluding session focusing on takeaways for the road ahead:

  1. The Transition Journey
  2. Challenges and Priorities Going Forward
  3. Macroeconomic Policies to Foster Growth
  4. Structural Reforms to Foster Growth

Disclaimer

The website contains papers and web links to papers that were presented at the conference. The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.


AGENDA

Day 1, May 19, 2013

2:30–5:30 pm Bilateral Meetings
7:00 pm Welcome Remarks and Conference Dinner
  • Opening: Djoomart Otorbaev, First Deputy Prime Minister, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF
  • Erik Berglöf, Chief Economist and Special Adviser to the EBRD President
  • Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director for Central Asia, World Bank
  • Laurent Guye, Ambassador of Switzerland to the Kyrgyz Republic

Day 2, Monday, May 20, 2013

Session I: The Transition Journey: Experience and Lessons of the Past 20 Years

Session Chair: Werner Hermann, Swiss National Bank

8:30–8:45 pm Opening Address

Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

8:45–9:35 am Panel Discussion
9:30–10:00 am Open discussion
10:00–10:30 am Coffee break

Session II: Challenges and Priorities Going Forward

Session Chair: Masaru Honma, EBRD

10:30–11:00 am Keynote speech

“The Unfinished Reforms in Central Asia and the Caucasus: What Next?”, Professor Gérard Roland, University of California, Berkeley
PresentationThe unfinished reforms in the Caucasus and Central Asia: What Next?

11:00–11:30 am Discussants:
11:30–12:00 pm Open discussion
12:15–1:30 pm Lunch

Address: Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, SECO
PresentationLuncheon Speech by State Secretary Ineichen-Fleisch

Session III: Macroeconomic Policies to Foster Growth

Session Chair: Peter Bekx, Director for International Economic and Financial Relations and Global Governance, DGFIN, European Commission

1:45–2:10 pm The Caucasus and Central Asia: From Transition to Emerging Markets

Juha Kähkönen, Deputy Director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF
PresentationThe Caucasus and Central Asia: from Transition to Emerging Markets
PresentationBackground papers: Economic Growth-Moving from Transition to Emerging Markets in the Next Decade

2:10–2:30 pm Discussants:
2:30–3:00 pm Q & A and open discussion

Session IV: Structural Reforms for Private Sector-led Inclusive Growth

Session Chair: Hossein Samiei, Division Chief (Central Asia), Middle East and Central Asia Department, IMF

3:15–3:45 pm Private Sector Growth in Transition

Alex Plekhanov, Senior Economist, EBRD
PresentationPrivate sector growth in transition

3:45–4:10 pm Growth and Sectoral Reforms

Ahmed Eiweida, Sector Leader for the Caucasus, World Bank
Evgenij Najdov, Country Economist for the Kyrgyz Republic, World Bank
PresentationGrowth and Sectoral Reforms

4:10–4:40 pm Discussants and Open Session:
  • Temir Sariev, Minister of Economy, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Bozidar Djelic, former Deputy Prime Minister, Serbia
4:00–5:00 pm Coffee break

Session V: The Road Ahead

5:00–6:15 pm Round Table Discussion
Facilitator: Min Zhu, IMF
  • Erik Berglöf, EBRD
  • Marek Dabrovski, CASE and Bank of Finland
  • Mark Horton, IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department
  • Paul Inderbinen, Swiss Ministry of Finance
    PresentationCredibility, Fiscal Institutions and Rules

  • Henry Kerali, Regional Director for the South Caucasus, World Bank
  • Djoomart Otorbaev, First Deputy Prime Minister, Kyrgyz Republic
  • Gérard Roland, University of California, Berkeley

Concluding Remarks: Min Zhu, IMF

6:30 pm Press Conference (EBRD, IMF, NBKR, Swiss authorities)
8:00 pm Dinner/Reception by the Kyrgyz Authorities

Remarks: Min Zhu, IMF

Address: Zina Asankojoeva, Governor, National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic

Day 3, Tuesday, May 21, 2013

9:00–5:30 pm Bilateral Meetings
10:00 am Celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Introduction of the Kyrgyz som
Speech by Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Zhantoro Satybaldiyev and Speaker of the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic Mr. Asilbek Jeenbekov

(By invitation of the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic)