Post COVID-19: Building Resilience in Central Asia

Virtual event hosted by Central Asia Program at the Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian studies at the George Washington University in cooperation with the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), July 9, 2020.

About the Event:

The social and economic impacts of the novel coronavirus are amplified in Central Asia, where healthcare resources are limited, supply chains are vulnerable, and government revenues are dependent on a narrow range of commodities produced by extractive industries. While the spread of the disease in Central Asia is moderate, the economic repercussions are more serious. With cross-border trade volumes and commodity prices at historic lows due to COVID lockdown measures, the region’s national governments are straining to implement policy measures that address both disease containment and economic stimulus – a difficult balancing act that if executed poorly could significantly exacerbate the consequences of coronavirus. The resilience of the region, or the ability of its people, communities, governments and systems to withstand the impacts of negative events and to continue to grow despite them, is being put to the test. The ITIC report, authored by Dr. Ariel Cohen and Mr. James Grant, discusses four primary areas of resilience-building that, if addressed, will enable Central Asia to not only weather the remainder of the COVID storm, but emerge with stronger and more competitive economies that can continue to improve quality of life for its citizens.

Moderator: Marlene Laruelle, Ph.D., Research Professor and Director of the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies (IERES), Co-Director of PONARS (Program on New Approaches to Research and Security in Eurasia) and Director of the Central Asia Program. Opening Remarks: – His Excellency Ambassador Javlon Vakhabov of Uzbekistan – Daniel A. Witt, President of the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC). Panelists: – Dr. Ariel Cohen (Author), Senior Fellow at the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC), a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council Eurasia Center and a member of the Council of Foreign Relations. – James Grant (Author), Research Fellow with the International Tax and Investment Center (ITIC) and Manager of ITIC’s Energy Growth and Security (EGS) program. – Javier Piedra, Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia, USAID. – Eric Livny, Lead Regional Economist for Central Asia in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)