Eurasia, along with Africa, is the last big frontier of global integration. While the last two centuries were marked by rapid economic integration across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, there is still need for a catch-up across the vast continental space encompassing Europe and Asia (Eurasia). Central Asia is centrally located in this super-continent. Its development will be one of the critical factors for the effective integration of Eurasia. At the same time, Eurasian economic integration represents a major opportunity for Central Asia, as it moves from being a land-locked region far from markets to one positioned at the core of a dynamic and rapidly connecting economic space with access to the major new markets and sources of finance, knowledge and power in the world.
The article explores six issues: (i) How severe is the current global financial and economic crisis and its impact on Central Asia? (ii) What are the implications of the Eurasian economic integration process? (iii) What are Central Asia's need and potential for economic integration and cooperation? (iv) How to reap maximum benefits from Central Asia's energy and water resources for the countries in the region? (v) How to facilitate trade and transit within the region and with the major neighbours? And, what can be done to improve the private business climate in Central Asia?
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016