Carnelutti Russia

Newsletter Central Asia and the Caucasus November 2022

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) supports greater access to finance for Armenian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through Inecobank. The EBRD’s new financing of 9 Mln Usd to this leading Armenian bank will be on-lent to local firms with export potential for investments in modern, greener equipment and production upgrades.
Russia's Lukoil will stop exports from its Caspian oilfields via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline from December due to Western sanctions and divert them to the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) system, four sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters. As a significant route for Kazakhstan's oil, CPC oil exports are excluded from the ban.

Italy can be the perfect bridge between the southern coast of the Mediterranean and the rest of Europe. According to the Intesa Sanpaolo study office, Russian gas supplies to the EU plummeted by 80% between March and September. To fill the gap, Brussels is looking for new markets. From shipowner's strong push to invest in sustainable ships.
Georgian PM and Binance CEO discuss Georgia's stable business environment. Binance is the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange.
Germany will open the Hydrogen Diplomacy Office in Astana to institutionalize interaction between the governments and experts of Kazakhstan and Germany to create a stable fuel energy cycle. German direct investment in the country's economy surged 25 percent last year and exceeded 320 Mln Usd. Last year, bilateral trade turnover increased by nearly 6 percent to 2.2 Bln Usd.

Kazakhstan starts exporting oil through Middle Corridor from New Year. 1.5 Mln tons of oil, a relatively modest amount, will be sent through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in 2023. However, the volume of oil moving along the alternative routes is still relatively minuscule. Last year, Kazakhstan sent 54 Mln tons of oil to Europe through the Caspian Pipeline Consortium route that crosses through Russia for hundreds of kilometers before ending up at the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.

Russia, the world's largest wheat exporter, is trying to persuade Kazakhstan to reduce its rail transit fees for agricultural goods as it tries to get its bumper grain crop to eager buyers, including China. Russia's determination to lower transit fees looks like an attempt to capitalize on a boom year. As of this month, more than 150 Mln tons of grain have been harvested in Russia this year, marking a roughly 30 Mln tons increase on the usual amount. Those are record-beating numbers. China is a natural destination for that bounty, as is Central Asia, which, when taken together with Afghanistan, is estimated to have annual grain import needs of around 9 Mln tons. Russia'sability to tap that market to its full potential would help its farmers, but only at the cost of squeezing KKazakhstan'swheat growers.
EBRD helps build the climate resilience of Kyrgyz Railways. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is facilitating better connectivity in the Kyrgyz Republic and beyond by supporting the sustainability of Kyrgyz Railways, Kyrgyz Temir Jolu (KTJ), responsible for managing and maintaining railway infrastructure and rolling stock across the country. The financial package of up to 11 mln Euro, organized by the EBRD, will consist of a 12-year sovereign Bank loan of up to 8 Mln Euro plus a 3 Mln Euro grant provided by the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a 30 Mln Usd grant to help strengthen disaster risk management in Tajikistan and reduce economic losses due to climate change and disasters caused by natural hazards. Since Tajikistan joined ADB in 1998, the bank has provided over 2.5 Bln Usd in assistance to the country, including around 1.9 Bln Usd in grants. ADB’s 2021–2025 country partnership strategy for Tajikistan focuses on three strategic priorities: structural reforms to enhance resource allocation and mobilization, improving labor productivity through human capital development and fostering better livelihoods by investing in the land-linked economy.
Russian Railways Introduces Discount on Shipments Through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The 20% discount will apply to export-import container shipments through Russian-Kazakh border crossings, provided the cargo also passes through the Bolashak-Serkhetyaka border between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
UzAuto signs a cooperation agreement with John Deere. John Deere Walldorf GmbH & Co. KG is a subsidiary of the largest manufacturer of agricultural machinery in the world, John Deere, with advanced knowledge, experience, and know-how in the field of agricultural machinery. The company employs more than 75 thousand people. At the end of 2021, the company's net revenue was 44 Bln Usd, and its net income was 6 Bln Usd. The company pays great attention to the development of R&D, so in 2021 the related expenses amounted to about 2 Bln Usd. Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated 11.11.2021 No. No. PP-7 provides for subsidizing the following costs of consumers when purchasing agricultural machinery of domestic manufacturers: 15% of the cost of agricultural machinery; interest expenses exceeding ten percentage points when purchasing agricultural machinery based on credit or leasing conditions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed creating a "gas union" with Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to establish a mechanism to ship natural gas between the three countries and to other nations, including China. Russia is known as a significant natural gas exporter, while the amount of natural gas produced by Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan is barely enough for their consumption. The two major economies of the Central Asian region share a gas pipeline to Russia and a pipeline transporting natural gas from Turkmenistan to China.

Uzbekistan is looking to introduce a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets beginning in 2023, but regulators have already taken the initiative in issuing licenses to operators. The National Agency for Perspective Projects (NAPP), the country's chief digital assets regulator, has granted permits to two firms to operate "cryptocurrency stores." Crypto Trade NET LLC and Crypto Market LLC are the first to receive such licenses and have the designation of local firms.