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The Central Asian Economies in the Twenty-First Century$
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Richard Pomfret

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691182216

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691182216.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

The Role of Natural Resources

The Role of Natural Resources

(p.39) 3 The Role of Natural Resources
The Central Asian Economies in the Twenty-First Century

Richard Pomfret

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the characteristics of the natural resources that are important for Central Asia. At independence, cotton was the most important commodity export from Central Asia, but cotton did not share in the commodity boom, never repeating the 1995 peak price of over a dollar per pound. In the twenty-first century, cotton has been displaced by oil and gas and minerals. However, all the governments have shown concern about ongoing dependence on primary product exports, whose importance increased after independence despite plans for economic diversification. The chapter then reviews the resource curse literature that highlights why primary product dependence may be harmful. Resource curse outcomes are not inevitable, but resource-abundant countries do face significant obstacles if they want to avoid such an outcome.

Keywords:   natural resources, Central Asia, cotton, oil, gas, minerals, primary product dependence, economic diversification, resource curse, abundant resource

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