Minimum Wages in Central Asian Countries 2017

When speaking about Central Asian countries, I'm referring to the five former Soviet Union member states - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The total population of these countries is about 70 million.

Recommended reading: Population changes in the former Soviet Union, also see: Minimum wages in Central Asia 2013

As it has been already 4 years since my latest article about minimum wages in Central Asian countries, I decided to take a fresh look and compare. 4 years is a decent amount of time. 

Minimum wages in Central Asian Countries 2017

Country National currency 2017 2013 Growth
Turkmenistan 650 TMM $185.00 $154.00 20.13%
Kazakhstan 24459 KZT $73.56 $121.00 -39.21%
Kyrgyzstan 5052 KGS $72.43 $17.00 326.06%
Tajikistan 400 TJS $45.44 $52.00 -12.62%
Uzbekistan 149,775 UZS $18.56 $40.00 -53.60%

Currency exchange rates as of November 14, 2017

Wow - is the first word I would like to express. There are some nations (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan) with a negative minimum wage growth if converted to the USD.

Unfortunately, I haven't kept data for minimum wages in national currencies for 2013, but there is a simple explanation how I can explain this negative growth: local currency devaluation against USD. As I have been living in another former Soviet Union member state Georgia for more than 6 years already, I've experienced local lari (Georgian national currency) devaluation against USD for a couple of times during the past years, with latest happening right now. See: GEL Loses Another 16.5% Against USD; -17% Against EUR.

Seems the same problems I've experienced in Georgia are happening in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Speaking about 326% growth for a minimum wage in Kyrgyzstan during the last 4 years, this number seems high to me, maybe I didn't enter the correct data for 2013. Back in 2013 it was hard to find any data about these countries, I assume I could make a mistake back then

Turkmenistan - the only country (except Kyrgyzstan) showing a decent +20% increase in a minimum wage. Also, Turkmenistan is the only having a minimum wage set double and even triple than rest of the countries. It should be noted that Turkmenistan has worlds 4th largest natural gas reserves and Turkmenistan is among the few countries where economic growth have continued to grow during the crisis of 2009 and seems Turkmenistan is performing rather good these days as well. See: Turkmenistan GDP 1990 - 2014

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