Commonwealth of Independent States
Key Emerging Markets: Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine
Major Industries: Agriculture, Automobile, Defence, Energy, Renewable Energy, Healthcare
Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS) was first founded by Russia, Ukraine and Belarus on December 8, 1991 before eight other former USSR-states officially joined CIS on December 21, 1991. Following the departure of Georgia, CIS now boosts of 10 members - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
Stability of Region
CIS is a politically complex region to navigate, and remains beset by instability due to underdevelopment and diverse socioeconomic composition. Distrust towards Russia has increased following the annexation of Crimea. Apart from the more widely known conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan are set on the course of collision over Nagorno-Karabakh. This comes on the back of rising threat of terrorism in Central Asia and political transition in various countries. However, a bright spot may lie in the rising diplomacy prowess of Kazakhstan, who could play a crucial role in maintaining stability in the region.
Due to her endowment in natural resources such as hydrocarbons and a wide range of metals, CIS remains largely supported by primary industries. Agriculture sector is another key economic driver for Ukraine and several Central Asian countries. While trade barriers have been lowered through the CIS FTA agreement, the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union in could further boost regional integration with its targeted creation of common market for the free flow of labour, capital and goods by 2025. Diversification into sunrise industries as well as export partners in the East could entail greater headroom for economic growth.
Staging a slow but steady recovery from the recession in 2014 - with economic growth of 2.3% and 1.3% in 2018 and 2019, Russia’s economic progress looks to be halted once again with the slump in oil prices as a result of the weakened global demand for energy. The government’s fiscal policies and implementation of structural reforms will be instrumental in determining the rate at which the economy recovers post-Covid-19.