Page 63

The

theory

role

of

underlines

economic

the

positive

backwardness

in

inducing systematic substitution for

the ability to connect with the rest of

and Foreign Direct Investment, the

the world. In practical terms, that would

West could help boost civil society

mean a Craigslist in Kazakh or Uzbek.

discourse in the region by providing

the prerequisites for industrial growth

Today there are the first signs of

connectivity that is not vulnerable to

with state intervention compensating

eCommerce taking root in some of the

censorship. With millions going online

for the inadequate supplies of capital,

most isolated states in Central Asia.

in the near future in Central Asia, an

skilled

and

Turkmenistan, a country that is ruled

opportunity opens up for the U.S.,

technological capacity encountered in

by an authoritarian regime that builds

and the EU, which have in the past

follower countries seeking to modernize.

golden statues of the president made to

decade set up several military bases

To put it in laymen’s terms, emerging

rotate towards the sun is ranked as one

in the region to wage the war against

economies can learn from the mistakes

of the most unfriendly places in the world

terror in the neighboring Afghanistan

of the developed nations and make a

to start a business. However, Arzuw.com,

and to promote democracy. This will

great leap forward. Throughout history

which in Turkmen means hope or wish, is

allow for outside content to bypass the

there have been many cases of this

one of the first online stores to open in the

established government censorship and

phenomenon, i.e. Germany in the 19th

country. The service delivers flowers and

would thus expand the region’s links

century, Soviet Union in the 1930s and

jewelry within the limits of the Turkmen

to the outside world.

labor,

entrepreneurship

Although most

the Baltic states in 1990s. Today it is the

capital, Ashghabat. However since no

countries in Central Asia are ruled by

turn of the frontier markets in Central

credit cards exist in Turkmenistan, the

authoritarian leaders who do not want

Asia to catch up to the developed

target audience is the Turkmens living

to give up control, even North Korea

world in the field of telecom and

abroad, who want to deliver gifts to their

has recently set up a 3G network,

Currently there is no strong legal foundation, regulations or banking sector to support the development of eCommerce... e-commerce. Instead of the decades spent building the copper or fiber

relatives back home through the internet. Mobile

payment

is

another

which shows that new technology will be

allowed

and

deployed

because

optic backbones, Central Asian nations

important trend to watch in Central

technological

will adapt wireless Internet which is

Asia. In fact this one of the few last

the rest of the world is increasingly

cheaper and more effective. The rollout

hopes for the telecom providers to stay

essential today.

will be seen as a mere upgrade by

in the game. This method of payment

The free flow of information within

millions of consumers who already have

which allows people to transfer cash

the region will lead to a more active

a cell phone. Given the falling costs

using

citizenry

of

facing

increasingly popular in countries where

saturated markets in the rich world,

there is no regular access to banks or

transparent capital markets. Web use

have been focusing their attention on

the internet. In fact, the front line of the

in Central Asia would probably repeat

developing nations. Already extremely

mobile payment market is currently in

patterns

popular in Asia, netbooks will also have

Kenya, where the revolutionary mobile

and other emerging economies and

a major role in this market.

payment system M-PESA is already the

the demographics would also favor

hardware,

manufacturers,

their

mobiles

has

become

and

compatibility

greater

with

transparency,

which one day will lead to efficient and

elsewhere

such

as

China

Most of the populace in Central

world’s most successful with 9 million

a speedy up take, given the young

Asia that speaks English is already

users. NGOs in Africa actively use the

population. Currently there is no strong

online, so the newcomers to the Net

system to transfer payments to remote

legal foundation, regulations or banking

will demand content in local languages.

areas and microfinance institutions use

sector to support the development of

While the type of content demanded

it to make and collect loans.

eCommerce, but once the legislation

by users in BRIC countries using mobile

So what are the benefits of these

web is primarily entertainment, Central

changes?

Asians will most likely be attracted to

economic benefits such as job creation

Aside

from

the

obvious

is established and the major players emerge, one would be stupid not to go long their stock in the new decade.iBR

i n t e r n at i o n a l bus i n ess r e v i e w

63

International Business Review - Spring 2010  

The Spring 2010 edition of the IBR.

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