Central Asia Geopolitical Watch – from 25 March to 31 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; Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen internal policy; Other forms of international cooperation in the area;  Culture and religions in Central Asia…

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– New Silk Roads – Julie Eifler—Bolander –

According to the National Statistics Office of Mongolia, Mongol foreign trade increased in January and February, comparatively to the same period last year. The country traded with 118 countries in the word, with 2,2 billion US dollars of exports and 1,2 billion US dollars of imports. The media Montsame reported that the total foreign trade turnover increased by more than 55%, with 1,5 billion US dollars more. This is particularly linked with the increase of coal and metal export, especially toward China. Besides, China remains the first exporter in Mongolia,  with 35,5% of Mongol imports, closely followed by Russia, with 28,1%. However, it is interesting to see that Japan, South Korea, the USA and Germany are the other most important exporters in Mongolia, even though their share of imports is still too low (from 2,3 to 8,7%) to compete with Mongolia’s two neighbors.

We can assert than the new highways and the modernization of road-ports between China and Mongolia, in the framework of the New Silk Road Project, contributed to increase the Mongol foreign trade. We also see that in terms of foreign trade, Mongolia’s “Third Neighbour Policy” remains quite limited.

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

On 30 March, the Kazakh Minister of Agriculture, Yerbol Karashukeyev, took the decision to ban imports of wheat (except seed wheat) into the territory by road transport for a period of six months.

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