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Central Asia Economics

            Johannes Linn begs the question, what are the prospects for regional economic integration and regional cooperation in Central Asia? Simply put, the prospects are good.and bad. .
             Central Asia's "land-linked" position gives it great opportunity for economic integration- as Austria, Switzerland and other European countries achieved - but even though the intraregional trade between Central Asian countries grew five-fold during 2000-2008, the share in total trade dropped dramatically, demonstrating the need of interconnectedness of Central Asia and their neighbors. The proposed solution to this "disconnection" problem was the introduction to regional cooperation, and with aid from multinational organizations and initiatives, this solution was set in motion. .
             Even though these organizations, for example the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), mean well in trying to integrate Central Asia with Eurasia, some don't fully succeed in regards to regional economic cooperation progress. .
             SCO's leading member countries (China and Russia) have issues agreeing upon key challenges of the region, and SCO hasn't established relationships with the other regional organizations, hindering them from possible advancements. EurAsEC, another organization - members including Russia and Kazakhstan - has limitations as well: for example, not including key countries like Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Without these two major Central Asian countries, the EurAsEC will be forever stalled from fully integrating the entirety of Central Asia into regional cooperation. However, EurAsEC is partnered with the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), giving them an effective financing tool.
             The U.S.'s vision of Afghanistan as the "hub" of Eurasian integration has prompted many initiatives including the "New Silk Road" and "Norther Distribution Network", to help integrate Central Asia into the world economy. These initiatives are trying to stabilize and increase Afghanistan's overall economy, gaining access to Central Asia, South Asia and other economies.

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