China-proposed BRI to support Central Asian countries in post-pandemic recovery: World Bank

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The economy of the Central Asian countries is expected to recover to 3 percent in 2021 due to a modest rise in commodity prices and investments within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, said the World Bank in a report on Wednesday.

The economic recovery "will be supported by foreign direct investment as the subregion deepens its integration with the Belt and Road Initiative," the World Bank said in its latest Global Economic Prospects.

In particular, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth of Uzbekistan, the region's most populous country, will reach 4.3 percent in 2021 and 4.5 percent in 2022, it said.

According to the bank, Uzbekistan registered a 0.6-percent GDP growth in 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, the bank pointed out the setbacks for Central Asia's economic development in the future.

"The immediate outlook for economic growth in the region is clouded by uncertainty over the recent surge in COVID-19, which has contributed to social unrest in some countries, as well as the risk of escalating geopolitical tensions," it said.

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