Information about Middle East Oriente Medio
Front Matter

Front Matter

Sarosh Sattar, and Clinton Shiells
Published Date:
April 2004
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The low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States : progress and challenges in transition/edited by Clinton R. Shiells and Sarosh Sattar—Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund: World Bank, 2004.

  • p. cm.

Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 1-58906-321-X

1. Former Soviet republics—Economic conditions. 2. Poverty—Former Soviet republics.

3. Former Soviet republics—Commerce. 4. Expenditures, Public—Former Soviet republics.

I. Shiells, Clinton R. II. Sattar, Sarosh.

HC244.L68 2004

Price: US$36.00

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The CIS-7 Initiative was launched at a conference in London in February 2002, and endorsed by ministers from the CIS-7 and donor countries in Washington in April, with the objective of promoting poverty reduction, economic growth, and debt sustainability among the low-income countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)—Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The Initiative was supported by the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. It aimed to draw greater international attention to the development challenges faced by the CIS-7 Governments of the CIS-7, the international financial institutions, and bilateral donors all agreed that, though much had been accomplished during the first decade of transition, the agenda for reform still remained substantial. Also, it was clear that although the countries differed in many respects they faced similar economic development challenges.

A follow-up conference—Low-Income Countries of the CIS: Progress and Challenges—was convened in Lucerne, Switzerland, January 20–22, 2003. The objective was to achieve an understanding of the remaining development agenda in the CIS-7 countries and the key policy measures that could be taken by the governments and donors to improve future prospects of the countries’ populations. It also provided an opportunity to broaden the debate by bringing together a larger and more diverse group of participants. Country delegations included officials from the key economic ministries and civil society, parliamentarians, academicians, and members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In addition to the representatives of the international financial institutions, there were many participants from bilateral donors and international NGOs. Speakers, including those who presented papers at the conference, were not only staff from the international financial institutions but also academicians.

This volume is the record of the Lucerne conference. The first chapter provides a summary of the major findings and key themes emerging from the conference. The remaining papers highlight the presentations made at each session of the conference. Although space constraints made it difficult to include all 21 papers in this volume, all the conference papers have been posted on the Initiative’s website ( The views expressed in this volume are those of individual authors and are not necessarily those of the institutions with which they are affiliated.

The conference and this volume are products of many persons in addition to the authors. Special thanks are extended to Johannes Linn (World Bank) and John Odling-Smee (IMF), who played key roles in launching and supporting the CIS-7 Initiative; to Cheryl Gray, Samuel Otoo, and Jakob von Weizsacker (all World Bank) and Paulo Neuhaus and David O. Robinson (both IMF) for organizing the conference; to the Swiss Government for its generous hospitality and support; and to the Dutch Government for its assistance. In addition to the editors, the authors are grateful to Gail Berre of the IMF External Relations Department for her assistance in the editing and production of this volume and also to Meta de Coquereaumont, Paul Dyer, Jeren Kabaeva, Paul Mathieu, and Bruce Ross-Larson for their invaluable assistance during the editing process.

Mohsin Khan


Middle East and Central Asia Department

International Monetary Fund

Shigeo Katsu

Vice President

Europe and Central Asia Region

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