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Uzbekistan seeks to improve economy through diplomacy

Monday, June 26, 2017

Significance

Hydroelectric dam projects in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have long been a sticking point in their relations with Uzbekistan. Resolving these disputes will challenge Uzbek President Shavqat Mirzioyev as he pursues a new pragmatic foreign policy designed to lift his country out of semi-isolation and revive the stagnant economy. The sequencing of trips abroad after his December election shows an awareness of the need to secure inward investment and export markets.

Impacts

  • Uzbekistan is unlikely to participate fully in Russian-led regional security but may be more cooperative.
  • Greater Uzbek openness is especially well-timed as it will mesh with China's One Belt One Road initiative.
  • Farmers will be given heart by Mirzioyev's initiative to let them export produce without going through quasi-state intermediaries.
  • Mirzioyev will make more personnel changes to consolidate his domination of elite politics.
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