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The COVID-19 pandemic, the subsequent economic downturn, and the far-reaching negative effects of the war in Ukraine, have created additional development challenges for Central Asian economies. This includes the countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA),…
The COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine have disrupted global value chains and created new challenges for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) enshrined in the 2030 Agenda. This became particularly consequential for many economies in Central Asia, which have strong trade ties…
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to hit hard the countries of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) and highlights the need to diversify from current, resource-dependent models of economic development. This will mean putting ‘innovation and technology that…
Countries in the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) are falling behind potential on many metrics of innovation performance.  R&D spending remains below 1 per cent of GDP, almost entirely publicly funded, and SPECA countries rely extensively on natural resources,…
A small sub-set of small- and medium-sized enterprises – innovative, high-growth enterprises (IHGEs) – plays an outsize role in innovation and structural transformation as they spearhead experimentation with new ideas to create value, address challenges, and reduce transaction costs. A critical…
Transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy away from a resource-intensive model of economic growth is central for sustainable development among the seven countries of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,…
Countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe have been hit hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens to derail sustainable development progress in the region. However, there is also a stronger momentum towards regional cooperation, and countries can…
With the COVID-19 pandemic, Trade facilitation has acquired even greater importance for the land-locked countries of Central Asia, as it helps remove burdensome formalities for their trade and transport operations. Simplifying and digitalizing procedures helps diminish physical contacts along…