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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade and remittances in Eurasia

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Roman Romashkin
POLICY SEMINAR
Virtual Event - Food Policy Research and Capacity Development in Eurasia
Co-Organized by the Eurasian Center for Food Security (ECFS), World Bank Group, and IFPRI
DEC 2, 2020 - 07:30 AM TO 09:00 AM EST

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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade and remittances in Eurasia

  1. 1. Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trade and remittances in Eurasia (joint ECFS-IFPRI policy research) Roman Romashkin Deputy Director of ECFS
  2. 2. Outline • National economies and food systems • Household welfare and food security • Agri-food trade • Remittances from Russia to Central Asian countries • Food trade policy tracking 2
  3. 3. COVID-19 situation in Russia and Central Asia Total cumulative Per 1 mln population Confirmed cases Deaths Confirmed cases Deaths Russia 2 269 316 39 527 15 550 271 Kyrgyzstan 72 427 1 266 11 101 194 Kazakhstan 172 969 2 417 9 211 129 Uzbekistan 73 014 609 2 181 18 Tajikistan 12 118 86 1 270 9 Global 62 195 274 1 453 355 Source: World Health Organization [Accessed: 30 Nov. 2020] Russia ranks fourth in the number of confirmed cases after the US, India and Brazil 3
  4. 4. COVID-19 impact on national economies and food systems  Decline in economic activity and demand for services (transport, tourism, HoReCa) and energy goods  Drop in energy goods prices and depreciation of national currencies  Growth of unemployment and poverty  Deterioration of food and nutrition security  Export restrictions and disruptions of value chains  Restriction of labor migration  Distant working and moving from urban to rural residency  Developing digital technologies and e-commerce 4
  5. 5. COVID-19 impact on main economic indicators of Russia and CA countries  Kyrgyzstan is the most vulnerable to the pandemic  Economic declines and national currencies devaluations impact negatively on trade values and remittances  Primary agriculture has not been affected much Q2 /Q1 2020, % Russia 9,4 Uzbekistan 5,5 Tajikistan 5,2 Kyrgyzstan 8,4 5
  6. 6. Agri-food trade values for January-July in 2019 and 2020: intra-regional trade continues to grow 6 2% 19% 19% 3% 2% 19% 2% 19% 26% 6% 1% 26% 13% 3% 24% 1% 51% 12% 12% 4% 13% 25% 7% 38%
  7. 7. Remittances from Russia to Central Asian Countries, 2010-2019 Uzbekistan 8 Tajikistan 32 Kyrgyzstan 23 Remittance share in GDP, 2019 (%) Ex Rate 2013 31,82 Rub/$ Ex Rate 2014 37,97 Rub/$ Ex Rate 2015 60,66 Rub/$ Ex Rate 2019 64,73 Rub/$ 60% Ruble depreciation compared to 201419% Ruble depreciation compared to 2013  Compared to 2013, in 2019 Russian ruble depretiated by 103%, while valued in $ remittances to Uzbekistan reduced by 30%, to Tajikistan – by 38%, to Kyrgyzstan – by 9%.  Valued in Rubles, remittances to Uzbekistan increased by 43%, to Tajikistan – by 26%, to Kyrgyzstan – by 85%.  Increasing residents shares in remittances 7
  8. 8. COVID-19 impact on remittances from Russia to Central Asian Countries 13% 39% 24% 12% Ruble devaluation in Q2 2020 compared to Q2 2019 7% 35% 19% 60% Ruble devaluation compared to 201446% 42% 33% 13% 7% 7%  Current percentage reduction of dollar remittances to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan is comparable to remittance decline in 2015  Remittances to Uzbekistan is more resilient now compared to the situation of 2015  Both residents and non-residents remittances to Tajikistan are vulnerable  Non-residents remittances to Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan are the most vulnerable compared to residents remittances  The current crisis has led to a significant reduction in ruble- valued remittances to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan  A decline in remittances and export values could increase poverty, deteriorate current account balances and lead to further devaluation of national currencies in CA countries Amid devaluation of national currencies and decreasing consumer demand, it is important to ensure social safety nets for vulnerable population groups and provide the competitiveness of agricultural production 8
  9. 9. Thank you for attention!

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