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Notes from the Field: Uzbekistan (Part 2 of 3)

12.28.2005
Reforms in Uzbekistan have largely failed to materialize, despite 4-5 presidential decrees on the economy. Part of the reason for this relates to coordination failures within government agencies related to the economy, and because laws seem to be implemented when convenient for the government and ot...

Armenia Gets $235 Million

12.27.2005
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) decided to give Armenia more than $230 million over the next 5 years. But the money comes with a set of conditions. Addressing reports of irregularities in the referendum on reforms to the Armenian constitution held in November, Ambassador Danilovich contin...

Privatization: Gradual or Rapid?

12.26.2005
An interesting story about privatization of the Afghan Telecom. The debate – jobs vs. efficiency – is not unique to Afghanistan; it is arguably applicable to any developing economy out there. Afghanistan has become a nation of state-owned industries that don’t make anything, bureau...

Solutions to Bad Governance

12.26.2005
Jeffrey Sachs talks about good governance in this op-ed that appeared in The Korea Herald. Elections, he argues, although important, are not enough to limit the abuse of power and hold governments accountable for their actions – a host of other mechanisms need to be put in place to improve gov...

NGO Bill Passed in Russia

12.23.2005
The bill which establishes tighter control over NGOs operating in Russia was passed today with an overwhelming majority (357-20-7) in the State Duma just before it left for the winter break. Before the law comes into force, it still has to be approved by the Federal Council and signed by the Preside...

Markets and Predictability

12.23.2005
Free markets work, was the message relayed by Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan recently. "On average, world standards of living are rising in large part because of the widening embrace of competitive free markets, especially by populous and growing China and India," he said. and Open an...

Notes from the Field: Uzbekistan (Part 1 of 3)

12.22.2005
Driving around Tashkent, it is remarkable how slowly business has been developing. I arrived on the Constitution Day holiday, yet the commercial district was virtually deserted, unlike the main boulevards on holidays in Baku, Tbilisi, Chisinau, or Almaty. The bazaar was the exception, where people c...

Declining Trust and Russia’s “Miracle”

12.21.2005
Citizen's trust in governments, international institutions, and companies continues to decline, shows a new WEF survey conducted in 20 countries. Some interesting findings: Trust in companies is falling in developed countries, yet in some developing economies (China, Nigeria, Kenya, Indonesia, and...

Latest on WTO Talks

12.21.2005
The Economist takes a critical look at the recent WTO meeting in Hong Kong. The meeting's most notable accomplishment was that it did not collapse as previous gatherings had in Seattle, in 1999, and Cancún, in 2003. The main new achievement was to agree on a date, the end of 2013, for the elimina...

Rights vs. Reality in Uzbekistan

12.21.2005
The Uzbek Constitution and its law "On Education" grant everyone the right to seek higher education. Educational establishments, according to the Law, can be public or private, provided that the organization is licensed. It is a surprisingly liberal policy for a government that has become increasing...
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