Pakistan's key stock prices were expected to surge starting this week in a sign of approval of the country's debt rescheduling agreement struck recently with the Paris Club of creditors, financial analysts told IRIN on Thursday.
Kyrgyzstan it is desperate to tap into the expected increase of economic aid to Central Asia. But Kyrgyz leaders are finding that the country's already high debt is hindering their ability to attract new aid and investment.
The defeat of the Taliban appears to be reviving a debate about pipeline construction in Afghanistan that would widen international access to Central Asia's vast energy resources. A few observers argue that pipelines might speed Afghanistan's reconstruction.
The war in Afghanistan has overshadowed important energy developments in the Caspian and Black Sea region. In October, Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) started shipping oil from the giant Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan to the Russian port of Novorossiisk. And on December 19, the Odessa-Brody pipeline in Ukraine is scheduled to become operational.
Details of the quid pro quo governing US-Uzbek relations are emerging. In return for Uzbekistan's strategic support in the anti-terrorism offensive in Afghanistan, the United States stands to provide Tashkent with comprehensive economic support, according to a memorandum signed by the two countries in Washington. The United States hopes the aid will foster economic reforms in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan's fledgling economy relies heavily on Japanese trade and investment for growth. And while most observers have concentrated on Uzbekistan's new military alliance with the United States - Uzbek press reported on December 6 that Washington would soon announce a $100 million aid package - its partnership with Japan seems to be solidifying.
As the anti-terrorism campaign continues to captivate international attention, a confrontation between major oil producing states is building. Falling oil prices are the source of friction. Saudi Arabia is leading an effort by oil producers to cut production and stabilize prices. However, Russia is not complying with the Saudi initiative.