Central Asia: Strengthened integration
Central Asian countries are entering a new stage of integration. The recent visit of the Head of State to Ashgabat and Tashkent has created new opportunities for further cooperation. According to local experts, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are set to deepen ties.
RUSLAN IZIMOV, HEAD OF EURASIAN STUDIES, INSTITUTE OF WORLD ECONOMICS AND POLITICS:
- I think that personal relations and long-term cultural, economic ties have been well established. They provide the basis for continuing this interaction at the regional level. Regional cooperation is gaining its momentum.
Political scientist Sayin Borbasov claims that the visit of Nursultan Nazarbayev to Uzbekistan will give a powerful impetus to the development of economic relations between the countries. Over the past two years, the neighboring states have seen a 35% increase in trade totaling US$2 billion.
SAYIN BORBASOV, POLITICAL SCIENTIST:
- Rather than exporting vegetables and fruits from distant foreign countries, it is much more profitable for Kazakhstan to import them from the neighboring Uzbekistan. Our President spoke about this during the meeting with his counterpart in Tashkent. Uzbekistan benefits by importing oil, coal, grain, flour, meat and other goods from Kazakhstan. I’m confident that after the visit of the Head of State, not only trade turnover will grow, but also the cultural ties between the neighboring countries will be significantly strengthened.
According to historian and political analyst Nurlan Seidin, Nursultan Nazarbayev's foreign policy has resulted in preservation of stability in the Central Asian region and has led to opportunities for economic cooperation. The leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan discussed a whole range of cooperation prospects. One of them is the development of an industrial cluster with Turkmenistan.
NURLAN SEIDIN, DEPUTY CEO, KAZAKHSTAN INSTITUTE OF STRATEGIC STUDIES:
- As a result of the meetings, a number of projects are emerging which will give a new impetus to the industries of the Central Asian countries. Regarding the energy sector, there is an interest in oil and gas. In addition, we should highlight the geopolitical location of our countries. The presidents talked about this, discussed creation of the North-South transport corridor and establishment of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway link.