Top 10 events in Central Asia in 2017
Today the Central Asian region plays a significant role in the world. The politics, the economy, the social development and the instability of the region attracts the attention of experts and analysts. The Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studied (KazISS) under the President of Kazakhstan reviewed the ten most important events in the current year. The key importance is political and economic development, stability and security in Central Asia.
BNews.kz tells about the improving of the economic conditions, political processes, the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the appointment of Kazakhstan to the United Nation Security Council.
During a speech in the Central Communication Service`s lecture room, the head of KazISS Yerlan Karin said, that many think tanks are focused on the geopolitical factors, as previously they were based on the economic events. According to KazISS one of the ten events in the world is market recovery: improving of the economic conditions of Central Asia.
According to the Institute and other international organizations, more favorable economic conditions of Central Asia are expected.
"Compared with the previous periods, the economic conditions will be improved through the world market recovery, especially stabilizing the oil prices. There will be the less reduced state,” E.Karin said.
The experts of KazISS regard the political processes of external actors: Russia, China, the US, Turkey and Iran as one of more important event.
This year, the region will be affected by the political climate of the nearby countries. These are the preparing in 2018 for the presidential elections in Russia, the development of the new US policy of Donald Trump, the presidential elections in Iran, the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, which will sum up the results of the first five-year period of the current Chinese President Xi Jinping, also the referendum in Turkey, which contributes to the changes in the political system.
"The inauguration of the new President-elect Donald Trump will take place on the January 20, in the US and the next month is considered the "honeymoon". The new leader is beginning to take in a new team and the key administration figures. Presidential elections in Iran also will have a particular impact on the countries of Central Asia. During the electoral campaigns, the Iranian leaders will have to follow certain rhetoric -it will have an impact as on their relationship with the United States, as on the climate of both outside and inside the region,” E.Karin said.
There is a new demographic mark: achieving the 70,000,000 of population in Central Asia. It is the third event in the top 10.
"2017 is expected to be a crucial period from the demographics point of view. The population will reach 70, 000,000 at least and probably will rise this year. In our opinion - this is a very important event, which should be taken into consideration by the Central Asian governments,” the expert said.
On the background of these events, Uzbekistan will remain the key newsmaker in 2017.
2017 will be the first and a significant year for the new administration of Uzbekistan; a lot of important initiatives are announced. The current year is declared as the year of dialogue between the people and person`s interests. It explains how the administration intends to implement the fundamental and key reforms in various fields and economic policy, in the social development and domestic policy, the analysts say.
"The improving of the relationship with the nearby countries Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is expected, which also have an impact on regional processes," E.Karin said.
However, the presidential and parliamentary elections will take place in some Central Asian countries, which will be included in the new electoral cycle.
"Two presidential elections are expected in February - in Turkmenistan, in the mid-year - in Kyrgyzstan. In Kyrgyzstan, the experts don`t exclude the early elections. The candidates of three registered parties will participate in Kyrgyzstan. It is a major innovation for the political life, if elections in Turkmenistan is more or less predictable, the elections in Kyrgyzstan are uncertain. The current President Atambaev said he wouldn`t run for president and leave the successors,” E.Karin said.
The experts regarded the continuation of terrorist risks for the region as the second upcoming events. Prerequisites for the growth of radicalism are remained.
"We believe that the region will be affected by the factors of radicalism, especially with the changes of the current situation in Syria and Iraq, the problem of gunman`s threat in Central Asia is actualized. This year will be crucial in the development of the Central Asian radical in the sense that there will be new organizations, other groups will disappear. All this will lead to the inner rearrangement,” the lecturer said.
There is instability in Afghanistan, which will also remain as a key factor in the Central Asian countries.
"The Afghan factor is one of the determinants in Central Asia in the global geopolitics. The deliberations of the current Afghan administration are saved. One of the difficult situation in Afghanistan is that the parliamentary elections are postponed from 2015 to 2016, from 2016 to 2017, and is still unknown if these elections are held. But even if the elections are held, it will contribute to the political struggle in the country,’’ E.Karin said.
The three top events completed the following: further growth of Chinese investment in projects of Central Asian countries, half of the region's population will use the internet; Kazakhstan is in the non-permanent members of the Security Council.
"45% of the region's population is expected to have access to the Internet and social networks. People will have as much as possible access to the information and, accordingly, the requests to the governments of Central Asian countries will intensify. At the same time, the new projects with Chinese investments will be implemented and released,” E.Karin said.
Kazakhstan is a non-permanent UN Security Council member. It finishes the series of top 10 events. It also attracts the attention of the world community in the region. The whole series of events in 2017 in the region promises to be eventful and interesting.