Palm Oil Developments No.59 (December 2013) p18-25

Central Asia – The Untapped Market

Hisamuddin Mohamad Aspar and Mohamad Fairus Mohd Hidzir

The Central Asian Region (CAR) consists of five republics in the core region of the Asian continent, which stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west, to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the South to Russia in the north. Sometimes the area is also referred to as Middle Asia. The republics are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. All of them are part of the former Soviet Union with a total population of 64.7 million as of 2012. The region continued to post solid economic growth in 2012, though, at 5.7%, which was moderately lower than in previous years. The main contributor to the economic growth in the region is from the gas and petroleum industries especially in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. However, inflation remained in double digits in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, reflecting administrative price increases, faster currency depreciation, and demand pressures from wage increases. Average inflation is expected to rebound moderately in 2013 and 2014, in-line with strong economic activity in the region.

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Author information:
* Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB),
6 Persiaran Institusi, Bandar Baru Bangi,
43000 Kajang, Selangor, Malaysia.