Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from 18 March to 24 March 2023

Central Asia Watch Team : Alexiane PradierMaxime DelayeLucien MoreelsSophie MarcAudrey ColinMarion Bretton et Julie Eifler-Bolander.

The files we follow : Multi-vector policies in Central Asia; Mongolia and Central Asia/South-East Asia relations; New Silk Roads;  Resources, energy, raw materials and environment; Security, Defence and Border Conflicts; Humanitarian and development aid; Other forms of international cooperation in the area;  Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen internal policy; Culture and religions in Central Asia…

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– Mongolia and Central Asia/South-East Asia relations- Julie Eifler-Bolander –

On 18 March, the Sustainable Investment Summit between Mongolia and China ended. Launched on 16 March, it brought together according to Mongol media Montsame representatives of banking, finance, agriculture, mining and construction. More than 200 Chinese investors and 200 Mongol businesses were present : this is in this respect the biggest trade event in the last 10 years. One of the Chinese representatives explained that Chinese investors were particularly interested in “projects, related to the mining, railway [and] transportation”. Mongolia hopes to “boost [its] development” while creating “new jobs, competitive salaries, and solutions to many challenges that youths have faced”. If Mongolia develops more and more its “Third Neighbour Policy”, it remains highly dependant on China, which is the leading investor of the country, with already 5,4 billion US dollars.

On 23 March, Mongolia repeated the same exercise with representatives of Russian businesses, which was also reported by the media Montsame. This second Business Forum attracted more than 40 Russian companies, as well as the Governor of Irkutsk province : this region is “the main bridge for trade and economic cooperation between the countries”.

Besides, it was announced that a Summit of the Mongolian, Russian, and Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry would be organised on 8 June.

– Resources, energy, raw materials and environment in Central Asia – Audrey Colin –

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited Kazakhstan from 18 to 20 March, according to the UK Embassy in Astana.

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