Growth in central Asian economies is set to outpace the global average, according to 'Insights – central Asia and Mongolia', a report by German lender Commerzbank. The report also reveals that German businesses are seeing more and more opportunities in Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia.

“We assume that in the future, economic growth in the region will be considerably higher than the global average and that, as a result, business relations with Germany will be further intensified,” said Axel N Bommersheim, regional head at Commerzbank, financial institutions.

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Foreign investments and its proximity to the high growth markets of China and Russia have aided the region’s industrialisation and growth. But, each economy is developing at a different pace. Greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that out of the six destination countries, Kazakhstan accounts for the majority of projects between January 2003 and December 2014. The country has benefited an energy boom thanks to its oil reserves, and is a significant partner to Germany.

Uzbekistan, a leading exporter of gold, is excelling in the fields of cotton production and manufacturing. The country is also home to uranium deposits and energy reserves. Turkmenistan, which has the fourth largest natural gas reserves in the world, is enlarging its processing volumes. Mongolia’s large raw materials deposits can help its economic growth, but the country is yet to exploit its full potential in this area. Water resources and major dependence on remittances coming from immigrants working in Russia are important factors for Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

fDi Markets reveals that out of a total of 37 sectors in this region, coal, oil and natural gas accounted for 14% of projects between 2003 and 2014. The project volume in this sector peaked in 2003, when 22 projects were tracked.

“In the majority of these countries, raw materials continue to dominate foreign trade and foreign exchange inflow. The reserves of natural gas, gold and copper, as well as the production of cotton, are of global significance; yet development in this area is not over by far, despite significant infrastructure investment taking place,” said Rainer Schäfer, head of country risk analysis at Commerzbank.