Integration in Central Asia: Prospect Vector
2019 has become a year of integration and reinforcement of cooperation in Central Asia. The region has all conditions for sustainable development of both bilateral and multilateral relations. This has been reached due to the constructive and pragmatic policy which is based on historical friendship of five countries. This is evidenced by the Second Summit of Central Asian leaders held in November in Tashkent.
“The President of Turkmenistan took part in the Second Consultative Meeting of Central Asian Leaders for the first time this year. He didn’t take part in the meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital previously. Therefore, this is good news. In November, Uzbekistan made a statement on its plan for cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union,” said Expert of Institute of World Economics and Politics, Zhumabek Sarabekov.
Experts said that trade between the countries in the region has shown annual growth. The value amounted to US$4.3 billion last year. The amount was increased to US$4.1 billion in the first nine months of 2019. The number of joint projects rose by four times as well. Uzbekistan is the main trade and economic partner of Kazakhstan in the region. The mutual import and export between the countries amounted to US$2.6 billion from January to September this year, which is an increase by a quarter.
“Uzbekistan is one of the main countries in the region to give export priorities to Kazakhstan. This interest is evidenced even in the current priorities of Uzbekistan. Governments of both countries set a goal to increase the trade value to US$5 billion. Work is being actively conducted by both parties. The mutual visits of presidents of the two countries and constant contacts between prime ministers are being conducted and taking to the right direction,” said Spokesperson of Export Insurance Company, Bakhadir Ayupov.
The decision to organize the Year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan in 2018 as well as the Year of Kazakhstan in Uzbekistan in 2019 has become a landmark in the development of bilateral cooperation between the two countries.
Nearly 20 large events that contribute to strengthening of cultural relations of the two Turkic nations were held as part of the projects. Analysts said that the integration processes will continue to gain momentum due to the availability of the conditions created for the mutually beneficial cooperation.