Mongolia failed to develop the rail network while the economy was booming. Now the economy is slowing and coal prices are falling, it's finding it can't make up the difference by boosting exports because of bottlenecks.
Kazakhstan's membership of the Russia-led Customs Union continues to cause controversy. The bone of contention has so far been the damage the membership it's inflicting on Kazakhstan's economic interests, but the Kremlin's behaviour towards Ukraine is clearly raising tension amongst Kazakh officialdom.
The global economic recovery will continue to gain traction, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicts in its latest World Economic Outlook released on April 8. However, it sees growth becoming more uneven, with emerging markets presenting the greatest risks.
On April 1 the Asian Development Bank joined the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in downgrading its outlook for Mongolia's economy in 2014. One of the world's fastest growing, the Mongolian economy faces problems on several fronts in 2014 that promise to make this year a turning point.