The economic situation in Central Asia is gradually improving, thanks to the continuous economic stabilization and livelihood policy measures of various governments.
According to official data from Kazakhstan, in 2020, the government’s total expenditure for supporting the economy and helping people’s livelihood reached 6.3 trillion tenge (approximately 15 billion U.S. dollars), equivalent to 9% of GDP. In May last year, Kazakhstan established the National Committee for Promoting Economic Recovery and launched the "Restore Economic Growth Package", including implementing the "Employment Road Map", expanding the scale of housing construction, adjusting the personal income tax collection system, strengthening credit support for industry and commerce, and attracting foreign countries. Measures such as investment and protection of corporate rights and interests in accordance with the law. Under the framework of the "Employment Roadmap", the Kazakh government has implemented about 6,700 infrastructure construction projects in 2020, creating jobs for more than 239,000 people. In 2021, the government plans to continue to provide employment assistance to 1.3 million people under this framework, and strive to reduce the national unemployment rate to 4.9%.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, Uzbekistan has invested and supported key areas such as energy, agriculture, construction, transportation, health, and education. According to statistics from the Uzbekistan Economic Research and Reform Center, the country’s automobile and real estate trading markets have taken the lead in picking up, and automobile sales have returned to pre-epidemic levels in August 2020. In February this year, the number of real estate contracts in the country increased by 19.7% year-on-year. In 2021, Uzbek remittance income will increase rapidly, becoming an important driving force for economic recovery.
Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan have also introduced a series of economic stimulus plans, including optimizing the business environment, reducing taxes and fees for enterprises and individuals, providing preferential loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, stabilizing market prices for important commodities, and launching infrastructure construction.
At present, a new round of epidemic has occurred in parts of Central Asia. Countries in the region have initiated and accelerated vaccination plans while continuing to prevent and control the epidemic. Some countries have also actively introduced vaccines from China.
Experts pointed out that when the economy of Central Asia can fully recover to the level before the epidemic, especially the recovery progress of the service, trade and other industries, depends largely on the speed of vaccination. The economic recovery in Central Asia is still in the early stages of eliminating the impact of the epidemic, and most countries are still facing long-term structural problems such as the decline in people's spending power and the lack of vitality in the service industry.