Kazakhs with their backs to the wall

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The crises, first in east Asia, then on the doorstep in Russia, have side-swiped Central Asia but the downturn is not without hope. Kazakhstan is pressing on with reforms despite the slide in commodity prices, and opening up to foreign banks. Uzbekistan may be stuck in a time warp, but Azerbaijan shows new signs of offering value to foreign banks and investors. By Suzanne Miller.