Central Asia Program Series Publications Voices from Central Asia

The Politics of Islamic Finance in Central Asia and South Caucasus

Voices From Central Asia No. 2, July 2012

By Fuad Aliyev

Kazakhstan is the most welcoming towards Islamic finance in the region, and plans to become a regional hub linking Central Asia to the Islamic world by 2020.

Uzbekistan has the best potential market for Islamic financial institutions in the region, but is cautious in participating in the activities of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank.

Islamic finance is viewed not as a commercial activity, but as Islamic activism by most of the Central Asian and Azeri regimes, and therefore considered as part of the “Islamic threat”.


Fuad Aliyev has served as lead analyst at the Center of Economic Reforms under the Ministry of Economic Development of the Azerbaijan Republic and Executive Director of Azerbaijan Marketing Society. In 2011-2 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Washington DC.

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