Central Asia Competitiveness Initiative


Launched in November 2008, the Central Asia Competitiveness Initiative is part of the Global Relations. It aims to help create a sound business climate for investment, enhance productivity, support entrepreneurship, develop the private sector, and build knowledge-based economies to render this region more competitive and attractive to foreign investment.


Participating countries
Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.


Located at the crossroads of East and West, and with a total population of almost 100 million people, an educated workforce and abundant energy resources, Central Asia (including Afghanistan and Mongolia) is emerging as an attractive destination for investment and trade. In order to boost competitiveness of participating countries and the region as a whole, the OECD Central Asia Initiative is working with governments, the private sector and other organisations to strengthen legal and economic institutions, develop the SME sector, and increase the capacity of business representative organisations.


This initiative exists to:

  • improve competitiveness in participating countries through better policy design and implementation
  • support private sector development with a focus on SMEs
  • foster economic development and stability
  • encourage regional integration

To achieve these objectives, the initiative encourages the exchange of best practices and experiences in policy reforms relevant to improving the business climate, support regional dialogue, and assists governments in developing policies that build a dynamic business environment for local businesses and foreign investors. Specifically:

  • policy reviews identify sector-specific policy barriers to business climate reform and priority policy reform requirements
  • forums for dialogue and peer review facilitate the exchange and application of OECD instruments, tools and methodologies, and the development of recommendations to address policy barriers and reform initiatives
  • strategic support helps governments implement structural reforms in targeted policy areas and capacity-building efforts in the region

Project factsheets

Kazakhstan Regional Competitiveness Project

Kazakhstan Regulations for Competitiveness Project

Kazakhstan Sector Competitiveness Strategy (Russian)

Investment and Competitiveness in Central Asia (Russian)


Seminar on the issues related to the establishment of Corps A, 11-12 July 2012

Investment Policy and Promotion in Central Asia, Vienna, 24-26 April, 2012

Launch of the Central Asia Competitiveness Outlook, Davos, 27 January 2011

Initiatives for the Agribusiness, Retail and Information and Communication Technologies sectors, Astana, 29-30 June 2011

Second Meeting of the Human Capital Working Group: Tools to Support Vocational Education and Training Systems, Paris, 14-15 December 2011

News release on Kazakhstan-OECD meetings in Astana, Astana, 29 November to 1 December 2011

Public-private working groups adopt measures to enhance the competitiveness of key sectors in Kazakhstan Astana, 28-30 September 2011

Ministerial Roundtable of the OECD Central Asia Initiative, Paris, 18 June 2010

Launch of the Kazakhstan Sector Competitiveness Strategy, Astana, 3 November 2010

Promoting Investment in Times of Economic Crisis and Beyond, Astana, 17 September 2009

Launch of the Central Asian Initiative to boost investment and competitiveness, Berlin, 4-5 November 2008


Afghanistan's Minister of the Economy speaks about economic and competitive priorities


Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister speaks about the impact of the economic crisis in Kazakhstan 

Key publications‌





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