Matthew Gray

PANEL 1: Dynamics of Sino-Russian-Central Asian Relations

When Tigers Meet in Central Asia, Does Grass Thrive or Succumb? A Socio-Industrial Field View of Investments and Private Sector Engagement

Matthew Gray, ESG Risk in Eurasia’s Emerging Markets, Morningstar, Denmark

Central Asia is thriving with geopolitical relevance, investment engagement, and socio-industrial growth; galvanized by Russian and Chinese commitment to the region. This session will explore why this is happening, why the risks are overblown, and who is involved in this story of growth, stability, and soft power. It will recognize Russia and China certainly, as well as the Other 7 (“O7”) states, while considering how the O7’s own relations with Russia and China affect the region. {The O7: European Countries, US, Turkiye, Gulf States, India, Japan, and South Korea.} Three vantage points will explore this: First is the overlooked role of Central Asian agency as they navigate Russia, China, and the “O7” actors. Central Asian countries have sharpened their international statecraft, diplomatic agility, and industrialization strategies.  Second is the role of fluxing 07 presence over the past 20 years amidst the stable presence of Russia and China, particularly their socio-industrial impact across the energy transition, manufacturing value-add, and logistical re-mapping. Third is the role of China as the Great Galvanizer, Russia as the Legacy Link, and their combined Convening Power as a tenet of Soft Power.