Any integration is always more pluses than minuses

Any integration is always more pluses than minuses

By Eric Gatev

The path to stability, progress, economic, military and political independence of the region lies through the integration of the Central Asian countries, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev said on several occasions, referring to the need for a practical transition from words to action regarding closer economic integration of the five Central Asian countries.

It is Kazakhstan that for more than a decade has been the main initiator of all integration processes in the Central Asian space. Many experts rightfully call the President of this country the main integrator of the region. Speaking about the need to unite, Nursultan Nazarbayev emphasized: "God himself told us: 55 million people, there is no language barrier, a mutually complementary economy, in one space, transport, energy ties. This region can fully provide itself with food, energy and so on. Even the market would be self-sufficient. The question is, what more do you need? ... ".

Indeed, what is still needed is that the relatives in many respects, close to each other territorially and mentally, finally unite? After all, any association, any integration is always more pluses than minuses, analysts say. The fact that Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will only benefit from their own cohesion, do not doubt outside the region. For many, it is obvious that in the event of a merger, the five Central Asian countries are capable of becoming a great force in world politics and economics. It should be especially noted the entire mental, cultural and historical proximity and similarity of peoples and ethnic groups inhabiting the Central Asian region. And this is a huge economic potential of such good-neighborly partnership. And given the richness and diversity of resources with which these five countries are endowed, there can be no doubt that they would be useful to each other under conditions of real cooperation, thought out and beneficial for each of the parties. The humanitarian history of integration will be facilitated by a common history and a culture of good-neighborliness. Of great importance is the experience of cooperation in such regional associations as the CIS, CSTO, SCO, EurAsEC and CICA.

In addition to what has long been obvious to the expert community, not to mention the politicians themselves, such cooperation of regional players with common roots and similar goals should help them break away from the tenacious peripheral zone of world economic processes. And here it is very important to build a competent regional policy without interference from outside mediators. The fact that the problems of Central Asia should be solved by the countries of the region themselves, without the participation of external forces, agree, in particular. In general, it is mutual integration that can allow the region to withstand global financial and political shocks. The region should be economically competitive and politically stable - this is the only way to talk about order and not chaos in uneasy global conditions. To put it more simply, cooperation within the framework of Central Asia is not only the disclosure of the region's economic potential, but also an effective defense against unfriendly economic, political and ideological interventions from old and new world centers of influence. And here is a good time to recall the rather long-standing intention of the head of Kazakhstan to create the Union of Central Asian States . Nursultan Nazarbayev announced his initiative in February 2005, in the Address to the people of the country. "We need to move from words to close economic integration, move to a common market, a common currency," said the head of state. According to Nazarbayev, the integration of Central Asia is a path to stability, progress, economic, military and political independence of the region. "Such an association meets the interests of ordinary people living in the region," the president of Kazakhstan noted then. At the same time, it is worth recalling that attempts to unite in the region were made earlier. In particular, before the idea of ​​creating such a union, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan already formed the Central Asian Union .  And in 1994 these countries proclaimed the introduction of a common economic space among themselves. Later, Tajikistan joined the alliance, and the association became known as the Central Asian Economic Community. But the global partnership never happened, which is understandable, because such a union has many deep barriers connected with a large number of internal regional contradictions.

Thus, experts have repeatedly assumed that the creation of a single economic space will inevitably lead to an aggravation of the problem of the uncertainty of borders, especially between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. We must not forget that the countries of this region, with all the diversity of their resources, are competitors, because most of them supply raw materials - natural and vegetable. The failure in the implementation of most of the ongoing integration projects is related to the long absence of regional self-identification of countries, when most of them did not connect their prospects with the prospects for the development of the entire region. Even Kazakhstan, tired of many unsuccessful attempts to reanimate the idea of creating a full-fledged regional alliance, eventually became more positioned as a Eurasian state, rather than Central Asian. Integration in Central Asia was also hampered by different models of economic development, and dissimilar political formats with varying degrees of openness to the world. Hence the mutual territorial claims and turmoil about the distribution of water resources.

And here the main question arises. How can we still integrate the five Central Asian countries? Where to begin? The answer, as usual, lies on the surface. It is not necessary to start anything. The integration process is already underway, and it's been launched a long time ago. Mainly, integration is based on growing statistics of trade interaction. It is worth noting that the most difficult for many is the very awareness and recognition that the process of combining interests and ways of building regional policies, the process of integration still goes on, and this happens regardless of the subjective will of some of the Central Asian leaders. The important thing is that the question of real integration must be solved now, without delay. After all, the basis for uniting the efforts has already been created, now it's up to the creation of a protected common market, the creation of a Central Asian bloc, like that in the region yet. But which in the region itself, it must be supposed, is still more waiting, rather than being afraid.


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