Economic Developments - August 2018

Temporary ban on import of gasoline by railway from Russia to Kazakhstan came into force on August 10, 2018. This is due to over-abundance of AI-92 gasoline in Kazakhstan after completion of modernization of oil refineries. Presently Kazakhstan has more than 300,000 tons reserves of gasoline which is almost a 30-day reserve.

China has expressed interest in joining the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, by building a link from Pakistan to China. This could act as alternative to Chinese plans to build a fourth China-to-Turkmenistan pipeline. China-to-Turkmenistan line has to cross several mountain ranges and it would be cheaper and easier for China to build a line from Pakistan across the Karakoram Range to its Western border.

Work on TAPI gas pipeline in Pakistan was scheduled to commence in May, 2018, but could not start due to change in government. Newly elected administration of Imran Khan is expected to start doing it soon. Targeted timeline for project completion was 2021, but, under an alternate plan, the project would be finished by 2020.

Kazkah President Nursultan Nazarbayev said it was investing in several transport hubs to benefit from the trillion-dollar Belt-Road Initiative (BRI) championed by Chinese leader Xi Jinping that aims to be modern version of ancient Silk Road trading routes.

Documents containing serious corruption charges against Chinese companies relating to Kyrgyzstan’s biggest infrastructure project, a 433km road linking capital Bishkek in the North with the country’s main city in the South, Osh, have appeared in Kyrgyz media. The project is funded by a US$850 million loan from the Exim Bank of China under BRI with China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) as the main implementing partner.

A US$1.8 billion dispute between Iran and Turkmenistan relating to quality and quantity of gas supplied to Iran by the latter is headed into arbitration. Both countries have agreed to abide by the decision.


August 31, 2018



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About the Author

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar

Former Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia; President, Institute of Global Studies and Distinguished Fellow, Ananta Centre

Ambassador Ashok Sajjanhar belongs to the Indian Foreign Service and has acquitted his responsibilities in the diplomatic service for 34 years. He was Ambassador of India to Kazakhstan, Sweden and Latvia and has worked in senior diplomatic positions in Indian Embassies/Missions in Washington DC, Brussels, Moscow, Geneva, Tehran, Dhaka and Bangkok and also at Headquarters in India. He negotiated for India in the Uruguay Round of Multilateral Trade Negotiations and in negotiations for India-EU, India-ASEAN and India-Thailand Free Trade Agreements.

He contributed significantly to strengthening strategic ties and promoting cultural cooperation between India and USA, EU, Russia and other countries.Ambassador Sajjanhar worked as head of National Foundation for Communal Harmony to promote amity and understanding between different religions, faiths and beliefs. Ambassador Sajjanhar has been decorated by Governments of Kazakhstan and Latvia with their National Awards and by Universal Peace Federation with Title of ''Ambassador of Peace.'' Currently Ambassador Sajjanhar is President of Institute of Global Studies, New Delhi. He writes, travels and speaks extensively on issues relating to international relations, foreign policy and themes of contemporary relevance and significance. He appears widely on TV panel discussions. Ambassador Sajjanhar is interested in reading, music and travelling. His wife Madhu is an economist and an educationist. They have a son and a daughter both of who are accomplished singers. Their son passed out of Yale University and their daughter is pursuing her PhD at University of Minnesota.