USAID intends to invest $15.2 million in trade in Central Asia. The funds will be used to increase the budget of the agency’s event programs. According to a published by USAID document on a budget increase for Central Asian countries, the United States seeks to “help the region to abandon dependence” on Russia.
“Reducing Central Asia’s dependence on Russian markets and export routes by providing alternatives was a long-term priority, but it is now a pressing need and an opportunity as we seek to help the region move away from dependence on Russia,” USAID document said.
After the allocation of this amount, the total budget of the agency’s program in Central Asia could be approximately $34 million.
The project will be deployed in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
According to the agency document, the conflict in Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions have a “huge impact” on the economies of these countries. Experts are convinced that restrictive measures against Moscow, as well as the withdrawal of Western companies from Russia, “led to a contraction in the Russian economy, which is likely to continue in the long term.” As a result, Russian imports from Central Asia will also decrease, the document says.
“Companies in the region urgently need to find new markets for their exports, both goods and services.”
The program is supposed to “respond to the economic consequences” caused by the Ukrainian crisis. According to USAID, these include the decline in remittances, the outflow of migrant workers from Russia, currency devaluation, inflation, loss of export routes and markets.
In particular, the countries of the region will be provided with “technical support” to increase trade in international markets. In addition, it is planned to “help” government agencies and enterprises in matters of logistics, as well as establish contacts with organizations from key sectors.
Earlier, USAID Deputy Assistant Director Anjali Kaur said that decoupling the economies of Central Asia and Russia should be the goal of US policy.
Oct. 5, 2022