The EU, Central Asia, and the Development of Continental Transport and Trade
Since the collapse of the USSR, a number of initiatives have embarked, separately or together, on the momentous task of rebuilding trade and transportation arteries across Central Asia and the Caucasus. The underlying logic has been two-fold: by reconnecting the landlocked new states of the region to their neighbors and historic trading partners, the heart of Asia can become a land corridor connecting Europe to Asia. This paper plots out the main lines of transport and trade development in Central Asia and their potential for both regional states and the European Union. To this end, the paper presents an overview of existing arrangements and plans, ranging from the EU’s TRACECA project to China’s Silk Road Economic Belt. Following this, it seeks to look two decades into the future of Eurasia-wide transport and trade. On that basis, it identifies four major emerging issues, including the geopolitics of transport and trade as well as the necessity of developing soft infrastructure, which are bound to become important both to Central Asia and Europe but which, to date, have been relatively overlooked.
Discovering Opportunities in the Pandemic? Four Economic Response Scenarios for Central Asia
Executive Summary The COVID-19 crisis represents not only an unprecedented economic disruption but also an opportunity for Central Asia. A specific economic policy response may trigger either game-changing reforms that […]
Rethinking Greater Central Asia: New American and Western Approaches to Continental Trade and Afghanistan
Executive Summary: Greater Central Asia is reeling from the twin shocks of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. The chaotic U.S. withdrawal risks postponing indefinitely […]
Political and Economic Reforms in Kazakhstan Under President Tokayev
Executive Summary Kazakhstan’s leaders have long harbored ambitious visions for their country’s future. The country’s first President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, launched several far-reaching goals for the country’s development, most notably in […]