Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New 'Great Game' for Central Asia Riches

Over the weekend I cam across this excellent article on how China, Russia and the West are all vying for the rich energy and mineral resources in Central Asia. It makes for fascinating reading, and developments in Central Asia will no doubt help shape the investment world.

Saturday December 15, 2:28 pm ET
By Douglas Birch and Mansur Mirovalev, Associated Press Writers
China Ascendant in New 'Great Game' Over Central Asian Riches, Including Oil, Precious Metals

KHORGOS, Kazakhstan (AP) -- The driver of the 18-wheel tractor-trailer from China idling at the Kazakhstan-China border said apples were the cargo he brought to Almaty, Kazakhstan's booming commercial center.

For Kazakhs, there's a tart irony in the shipment.

Almaty's region is where the first apple trees were found and the first apple orchards planted. The city was a center of the Soviet Union's s fruit industry. Its very name means "Father of Apples."

In the past few years, Chinese fruit, vegetables, TV sets, T-shirts and tires have flooded markets along the old Silk Road in former Soviet Central Asia. Each day, all along the Chinese border, hundreds of tractor-trailers rattle west.

These goods are the most visible sign of Beijing's growing power here as China, Russia, the United States and others compete for financial and strategic advantage on the borders of some of the world's most turbulent countries -- Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

To read the full story, click

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