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Challenges, Policy Options, and the Way Forward

Economic Diversification in Selected Asian Landlocked Developing Countries (Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Turkmenistan)

image of Challenges, Policy Options, and the Way Forward

The study examines the trade and development challenges facing Asian Landlocked Developing Countries and their prospects for export diversification. It offers recommendations based on the case studies of the selected countries. The report argues that, despite complex trade and development challenges, the countries studied have significant potential to diversify their economies into the production and export of higher-value-added products in several sectors. These include agriculture (including agro-processing), light manufacturing (such as textiles, leather, and leather products), information and communications technology, tourism, and the construction sectors. Using the product-space approach, the report also identifies specific products that hold potential for export expansion and diversification in each country. For instance, agriculture and, to a lesser extent, manufacturing, are promising sectors for diversification, including niche products such as mandarin oranges (Bhutan), cashmere (Mongolia), silk (Turkmenistan), and cereal (Kazakhstan). The rich cultural heritage and varied geography of these countries are also conducive to tourism. In addition, there can be synergies between tourism and improvements in the quality of some local food and manufacturing products. However, a number of improvements in micro- and macro-economic policies and institutions are necessary to realize this potential.

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Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is located in Central Asia, south of the Russian Federation and west of China. At the southern border, it neighbors three other Central Asian countries: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan. The country extends over about 2.7 million square kilometers, as large as Western Europe. While the country does not face any ocean, it borders the Caspian Sea, an enormous landlocked salt lake surrounded by Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkmenistan.

English

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