CENTRAL ASIAN COOPERATION: TOWARD TRANSFORMATION

Natalia USHAKOVA


Natalia Ushakova, Ph.D. (Econ.), chief researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences Center for Foreign Economic Research (Moscow, Russia)


The history of the subregional structure that unites Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and was named the Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CAC) on 28 February, 2002 dates back to the beginning of the 1990s. In 1990, the Central Asian republics of the Soviet Union and Kazakhstan made their first attempt to join forces in order to restructure their national economies and signed the Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical, and Cultural Cooperation.

When these republics gained their state independence, the idea of regional integration was given a new boost by the desire of the young sovereign states to facilitate reform of their national economies and become part of the globalizing world economy. So on 30 April, 1994, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan signed the Treaty on the Formation of an Integrated Economic Space (IES) aimed at implementing joint programs to step up economic integration and envisaging the free movement of goods, services, capital, and manpower, as well as coordinating credit, budget, tax, price, customs, and currency policy. This treaty became the legal basis for the regional organization of three and then four of the regions stateson 26 March, 1998 it was joined by Tajikistan. On 17 July, 1998 it was officially named the Central Asian Economic Community (CAEC).

It is important to note that the formation of this structure was in no way meant to counteract the unifying processes occurring within the CIS, as the mass media were often wont to assert. It was dictated by the need to find ways to make rational use of the regions common resources due to the drastic cutback in economic trade ties with the former union republics and the extremely limited opportunities for gaining access to markets beyond the CIS. Of course the fact that Russia had no coherent and efficient policy in Central Asia also played its role in this process, although this was not a determinant factor. From the very beginning, the CAEC states stressed that their rapprochement did not mean regional isolation and was not aimed against the CIS, and they declared the open nature of the new union. The preamble of the Treaty on the Formation of an IES states that one of the motives for signing this document was the need to adopt measures for implementing the Treaty on the Formation of an Economic Union in the CIS, which the Commonwealth republics entered into in September 1993. In 1996, Russia was granted the status of observer in the CAEC, and in 1999, Georgia, Ukraine, and Turkey obtained this status.

The Treaty on the Formation of an IES was based on the fact that there were conditions in the region conducive and expedient for developing the integration process: geographic proximity, ethnic-lingual, cultural, and mental communality, the desire of the people to maintain and develop good-neighborly relations, and the advantages of joint use of Central Asias extremely rich natural and resource potential. It is also worth including the need to retain a single transportation and communication system that would ensure both free movement within the region and efficient use of its transit potential; interdependence in the use of water and energy resources due to the regions natural and climatic features and the nature of the republics economic development within the framework of an integrated national economic complex (INEC); and the importance of consolidating efforts for resolving environmental problems and ensuring national security. While retaining (during the first years after demarcation) many positive, although extremely deformed, elements of the once single unionwide economic space, as well as the belief in the possibility of accelerating economic processes using organizational-political methods, which became deeply entrenched during the Soviet era, and the euphoria of the first years of sovereignty led to overestimation of the real potential of integrating factors, which being quite powerful in the long term underwent perceptible erosion during the first years of independent statehood. Initially, the level of integration interaction proved much too high. What is more, the fact that the economies of the Central Asian countries were not ready for profound integration on a market basis was literally ignored.

The efforts to implement the Treaty on the Formation of an IES yielded certain results. In particular, a contractual-legal basis for cooperation was laid and its organizational mechanisms approved. Several integration programs were launched, a list of priority investment projects was drawn up (after adjustment in 1997 they amounted to 25), and some of them began to be implemented. The Central Asian Bank for Cooperation and Development went into albeit limited operation using capital created by means of share contributions from the member states.

The CAEC states successfully coordinated their activity in planning and constructing their national segments of the Trans-Asia Europe (TAE) optical fiber communication line, and are currently working together on the feasibility study of a project on the joint use of artificial Earth satellites for exchanging television and radio programs. Agreements are in effect on the interstate rental of land and roads. There are also positive shifts in other areas.

On the whole, however, multilateral cooperation within the CAEC has not undergone extensive development. Most questions, including the most important problem of water use in the relations among the regions countries, are primarily regulated on a bilateral basis. In March 1998 a long-term (five-year) agreement on the use of the energy resources of the Syrdaria River Basin was signed, which Tajikistan joined a year later. On its basis, the CAEC countries were supposed to sign a multilateral document every year on joint and comprehensive use of the resources of the Naryn-Syrdaria cascade of reservoirs for the year in question, which envisages specific regulations on the provision of water and electricity from the Toktogul hydraulic power system in exchange for gas, coal, fuel oil, and electricity delivered by countries further down the river. But the lack of efficient mechanisms for implementing this document and the aggravated contradictions regarding water use have led to the partners preferring to resolve these questions under bilateral terms.

In this way, the results of CAECs activity proved much lower than anticipated, and a significant number of the prospective integration projects have not been implemented. This is largely explained by the increased divergence in economic interests of the regions countries under the new conditions, in the nature and rates of the socioeconomic reforms they are conducting, and in the level of liberalization of the economy and involvement in the world economy, as well as by the differences in political and ideological preferences that filled the vacuum formed after the collapse in the Soviet Union.

When the administrative vertical that ensured resolution of the regions most important problems in the Soviet Union (albeit by means of totalitarian methods) ceased to exist, the contradictions among the Central Asian states with respect to the main problems of developing natural resources became aggravated. And national egoism took the upper hand when setting tariffs and prices for the use of transportation routes and electricity transmission lines. The fact that the new sovereign states rejected the former ideological stereotypes when interpreting their history revealed in it many more disuniting than uniting aspects.

The differences in rates and dimensions of economic liberalization and in the level of state regulation of the production-economic and financial spheres complicated the mutual convertibility of national currencies (primarily the Uzbek sum), and caused serious difficulties in payment relations among the economic entities. What is more, the integration potential of the four CAEC republics was significantly reduced by the foreign economic reorientation that began in them toward efficient markets outside the CIS (the percentage of countries outside the Commonwealth in the total foreign trade turnover of the CAEC states increased from 37.4% in 1994 to 60.3% in 2001). The priorities of the CAEC countries on these markets do not entirely coincide, and correspondingly the vectors of their geo-economic and political interests diverge, on the one hand, and the member states in this organization are competing with each other to attract investments from industrially developed countries, on the other. In the long term, reorientation toward markets outside the CIS, on which the unions countries are the suppliers of raw materials and the products of primary processing, is only serving to reinforce the ineffective structure of their economies, in which emphasis is placed on the resource-producing branches. As world experience shows, the integration potential of such economies is low.

A certain role was also played by the differences in the viewpoints of the leaders and ruling elite of the four CAEC countries on many world and regional problems, including integration in the post-Soviet space, which were not so noticeable at first, but became aggravated over time. We need to keep in mind that in the 1990s forces formed in the Central Asian republics that represented relatively big national capital, which has its own interests that often do not coincide with long-term national tasks, never mind interstate problems.

Since the end of the 1990s, the maximalist precepts that reigned during the initial period of formation of the CAEC gradually gave way to a more realistic approach toward evolvement of the integration process. One task came to the foreground: to create a free trade zone as an effective mechanism for gradually forming an integrated economic space. Priority areas of cooperation were drawn up: resolving the problems of joint and rational use of water and energy resources, coordinating policy in developing a transportation and communication system, improving economic ties and developing import-substituting industries, and creating as favorable conditions as possible for cultural and humanitarian contacts. And specific measures were designated for implementing these ideas.

But the economic interaction process was doomed to a non-start. The low efficiency of these efforts is shown by the reduction in the interregional trade volume, from 2,133.4 million USD in 1994 to 1,579.4 million USD in 2000 (almost 1.4-fold).1 However in 2001, its reduction was not only halted, in comparison with the level of the previous year, this index even rose by 7.8%. But this trend was short-lived and compared with the corresponding period of 2001, in the first ten months of 2002 the interregional trade volume dropped by 1.8%.2 Between 1994 and 2001, the trade percentage in the total volume of export-import transactions among the CAEC countries and in trade with CIS countries dropped from 15.6% to 7.2% and from 25.6% to 18.1%, respectively. In this way, this index for the CAEC countries is now much lower than when the states of the European Community began integrating, where in 1958 trade turnover among the first six countries to join this union amounted to 31.7% of the total volume of their foreign trade.

Table 1

Percentage of Interregional Trade in the Export-Import Transactions of the CAEC Countries

Countries

Indices

1994

2001

In all trade

In trade with CIS countries

In all trade

In trade with CIS countries

Kazakhstan

Export

5.8

10.0

3.4

11.3

Import

10.6

15.3

1.8

3.5

Turnover

8.6

13.3

2.7

6.9

Kyrgyzstan

Export

41.7

63.6

19.7

55.7

Import

37.7

53.4

32.1

58.4

Turnover

39.6

58.1

25.8

57.3

Tajikistan

Export

9.0

40.2

14.2

43.6

Import

47.1

72.8

35.7

45.7

Turnover

35.1

68.3

25.2

45.1

Uzbekistan

Export

28.2

41.3

9.3

27.2

Import

7.4

13.8

12.8

34.5

Turnover

18.7

30.5

11.0

30.9

CAEC Countries.

total

Export

15.0

28.7

6.0

19.6

Import

16.2

23.1

8.6

17.3

Turnover

15.6

25.6

7.2

18.1

Sources: Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv v 1994 g. Statisticheskii iezhegodnik, pp. 56-57; Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv v 2001 g. Statisticheskii iezhegodnik, Moscow, 2002, pp. 82-83; Statisticheskii biulleten SNG, No. 8, 2002, p. 93.

As can be seen from the table, trade ties with CAEC partners are of no particular importance to Kazakhstan, which accounted for 60.7% of the total GDP of these countries in 2001, and more than 63% of their foreign trade turnover and of trade within the CIS as a whole. (By the way, in some cases, the import of gas from Uzbekistan, for example, this index is much higher.) For Uzbekistan (31.4% of the GDP for the CAEC countries, 27% of their total foreign trade turnover, and 24.3% of the trade volume within the CIS) interregional trade in the purely economic respect plays a secondary role, but serves as an efficient lever of influence on its regional neighbors. Interregional ties are still significant for Kyrgyzstan (4.5% of the GDP for the CAEC countries, 4% of their foreign trade turnover, and 4.5% of the trade volume for the CIS republics) and Tajikistan (3.4% of the GDP of the CAEC countries, 5.6% of their foreign trade turnover, and approximately 8% of the trade turnover with CIS states), which are dependent on Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan for deliveries of energy resources. What is more, Kyrgyzstan is tied to the markets of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in terms of export of its food and textile industry production, and Tajikistan to Uzbekistans market in terms of export of unprocessed aluminum and electric power. But Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistans clout in the CAEC cannot be compared with the role played by the leading countries of this organization, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Nor has interregional investment cooperation been significantly developed, including in the business sector. For example, of the 3,800 enterprises with foreign capital formed by 1999 in Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan accounts for only 22, and their percentage in the export of all such enterprises operating in Uzbekistan amounted to only 0.02%. Twelve of these enterprises were founded in Uzbekistan with the participation of Kyrgyz investors.3 The percentage of Kazakhstani and Uzbek investments in the total volume of foreign investments in Kyrgyzstan at the end of the 1990s amounted to 1.36% and 0.2%, respectively.4 Ninety-one enterprises have been founded in Kazakhstan with the participation of Uzbek capital, and 53 with Kyrgyz capital, which amounts to a total of a little more than 9% of all the enterprises with foreign capital in operation in the republic.5

Against the slowdown in economic integration, integration impulses aroused by the need to oppose common threats to national security have gained momentum. These threats are related to hotbeds of conflict beyond the region (the North Caucasian knot in the West, Afghanistan, Kurdistan and Kashmir, in the south, the potential threat from Xinjiang, and so on) and within it (the Ferghana Valley), as well as an increase in religious and political extremism and terrorism. In April 2000, the CAEC countries signed a Treaty on Joint Action in the fight against terrorism, political and religious extremism, transnational organized crime, and other threats to the stability and security of the treaty signatories.

The change in the geopolitical situation in the world and the region after 11 September, 2001 (including the greater foreign, primarily American, military presence in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; as well as the Bush Administrations unconcealed desire to maintain its long-term economic and political influence in the region, and so on), and the new phenomena in the world economy aroused by globalization have prompted the CAEC leaders to modify the four in keeping with the new realities, extend regional cooperation beyond the framework of economic cooperation, and correspondingly transform this structure.

At the meeting in Tashkent held in December 2001, the heads of the CAEC states, for the purpose of further advancing and diversifying the political dialog, improving the forms and mechanisms of regional economic integration, increasing mutual understanding on questions of an integrated security space, and drawing up joint measures for maintaining peace and stability in the region, spoke out in favor of stepping up diversified cooperation in political, trade and economic, scientific and technical, and cultural humanitarian relations6 and decided to turn the CAEC into the Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CAC). On 28 February, 2002, the presidents of these countries, Nursultan Nazarbaev, Askar Akaev, Emomali Rakhmonov, and Islam Karimov, signed the treaty on its founding. Along with expanding its sphere of activity, it was envisaged that the CAC will resolve problems of importance not only for the region as a whole, but also for each of the member states individually. There are no plans to form military structures within the four states since they already exist under the Collective Security Treaty (CST) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). One of the tasks of the new organization is to exchange experience in building a democratic society. Its participants plan to organize discussion clubs, where political scientists and journalists can openly discuss interstate and regional problems.

An executive body of the CAC is being formed, and a Committee of National Coordinators has been created, one for each country. They have been invested with rather broad powers and are directly subordinate to the heads of their states. They are to rely on the foreign ministry structures of their republics when carrying out their activity, also using the experience of the Executive Committee and the material-technical basis of the CAEC. Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov has been elected as the chairman of this organization. Its contractual-legal base is being formed both by drawing up new agreements based on its founding documents, and by inventorying the CAECs normative base, which makes it possible to determine continuity in the obligations of the sides and cancel ineffective documents.

Stepping up the political dialog within the CAC presumes (among other things) developing cooperation in the foreign policy sphere, which is dictated primarily by the need to balance relations with the main players in the region: the U.S., Russia, China, and the European countries. In so doing, it is recognized that the systems of interests that have formed in the CAC states under the CST, SCO, EurAsEC, and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) cannot be violated. The new structure is striving to maximize any possible advantages from participating in the antiterrorist coalition and from the U.S. military presence, and make use of these opportunities jointly, rather than allow each country to do so independently, in order not to aggravate the situation in the region. Equally important are issues relating to ensuring regional security against external and internal threats from radical Islamic fundamentalism and religious extremism.

Particular attention in the CAC states is being paid to relations with Afghanistan, since security, stability and further democratic development of the region are closely related to eradicating the hotbeds of terrorism that remain in this country and the transnational drug syndicates that feed them. By supporting the efforts of the international antiterrorist coalition and the U.N. to achieve comprehensive settlement of the Afghan problem, the CAC states are showing their willingness to activity assist in involving Kabul in the integration processes going on in the region. They are drawing up measures aimed at coordinating efforts to render Afghanistan economic assistance under the international aid program for restoring its economy. At the fourth meeting of CAC heads of state (December 2002 in Astana), a decision was adopted at the proposal of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov to invite Afghanistan to join this structure as an observer.

The most important aspect of cooperation is still bilateral and multilateral economic cooperation. Its priority areas are determined by the urgency of the problems aroused by the special geographic, historical, and economic features of the region, and are the same as those that featured during the previous stages: transportation, power engineering, and the use of transborder water resources. But having rejected the idea of broad and comprehensive economic integration, the CAC countries are concentrating their attention on specific tasks relating to the rational joint use of natural and technogenic resources, and the choice of forms and methods of cooperation that meet the nature of the set tasks and the real level of interaction in the national economies.

According to the decisions adopted at the meeting of the CAC heads of state in Dushanbe (October 2002), priority projects are to be defined in the near future for establishing practical cooperation in transportation and power engineering. In particular this concerns building new facilities and reconstructing existing enterprises, encouraging their joint operation, and developing the production and delivery of energy resources. Particular attention is being paid to coordinating tariff and customs policy for all forms of transport, which is still a bone of contention in relations among the CAC states. Work is continuing on the project that was generated as early as the CAEC for forming an International Water and Energy Consortium, the implementation of which will make it possible to improve the mechanism for the joint use of transborder water resources. What is more, it was deemed expedient at this summit to create a transportation consortium, which would promote the resolution of customs and border problems, as well as a foodstuffs consortium, which could make a contribution to ensuring the regions food security. Measures were designated for removing the barriers to creating joint ventures. According to S. Primbetov, an aide to the Kazakhstan President and CAC coordinator from Astana, when coordinating a common regional development strategy, initial efforts should be aimed at drawing up specific cooperation projects, keeping in mind prerequisites for subsequent, more intensive trade and economic integration of the individual national economies.7

The idea for forming an integrated economic space is being reviewed today only in the long term. It could take years, even decades, to form. As Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbaev stressed in his speech at the CAC summit (December 2002), it should be carried out in stages: the development of trade and economic ties, business and investments, followed by monetary, financial, and currency relations, and then comprehensive harmonization of legislations.8 In the foreseeable future, the four countries are striving to create a free trade zone, thus trying to find mutually acceptable solutions to questions regarding customs, borders, and taxes, and also using the experience of the EU to the extent possible.

These approaches are nothing new; they were designated as early as the second half of the 1990s. However qualitative shifts in economic cooperation are related to the nascent trends within the CAC in boosting cooperation at the micro level, and in establishing and extending direct contacts between the economic entities and business circles of the Central Asian states. The potential for this cooperation, including in the border regions, is still not being used to its full advantage. But by giving more significance to the development of border trade, the CAC countries are taking measures to improve its legal basis.

On the initiative of the presidents of the organizations member states, the first business forum in its history was held in Tashkent in November 2002 on Central Asian CooperationStepping Up Economic Integration, which was attended by the businessmen and leaders of several economic departments in the CAC republics, and representatives of international economic and financial organizations and investor countries. They discussed the following questions: financial-credit support of regional cooperation; aspects of the dynamic development of small and medium businesses and the creation of joint ventures; developing foreign trade within the CAC; creating transportation communication lines that will promote the expansion of regional trade; and forming a reliable system of information support for businessmen. It is expected that this business forum will help to activate economic ties within the CAC, implement joint projects, and attract foreign investments for carrying out specific tasks. The forum showed the growing interest of business circles in cooperating in the sphere of small and medium business, the potential and integrating role of which was quite optimistically evaluated by representatives of the World Bank and the Asian Bank for Development who attended the forum.9

An important place in the activity of the CAC is occupied by the environment, primarily issues regarding the Aral Sea. Viewing its degradation as a global, and not merely regional problem, the CAC heads of state are focusing attention in its resolution on raising the efficiency of cooperation with international organizations and institutions.

As a structure embodying the new model of regional cooperation in Central Asia, the CAC is essentially a formation in process. The results of its activity are still rather modest. Positive trends are designated in foreign policy cooperation. For example, the four countries proceed from the same standpoint on urgent issues in this sphere in the U.N. and OSCE. To a significant extent, their approaches to forming a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia are in harmony. Some progress has also been made in border questions. At the summit in October 2002 a document was signed on delimiting the Uzbek-Tajik border (1,100 km). In the fall of 2002, an agreement was reached on the final delimitation of the borders between Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. But in Uzbekistans relations with its neighbors questions have still not been resolved regarding simplification of the border crossing and customs procedures. Proposals on drawing up a multilateral agreement on fighting illegal migration and transborder crime have not undergone any practical development. Economic cooperation is still treading water. The idea for a multilateral project to form a water and energy consortium has not moved past the discussion stage. For example, Kyrgyzstan thinks that all the participants should have equal rights in the consortium and that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are not fully taking into account the interests of the smaller countries.10 Cooperation in water use and power engineering is still being carried out on a bilateral basis, whereby gas wars are continuing among the CAC countries. At the summit in December 2002, the heads of state had to admit that many agreements on key problems are being relegated to back stage again.11

Real activity is frequently replaced by an abundance of new initiatives that are not substantiated and largely duplicate previous agreements. For example, it is presumed that in order to efficiently use the available resources, it would be more expedient not to form an international anti-drug center, as was proposed at the CAC December summit in 2002, but to reinforce the structures engaged in similar issues within the SCO (in which all the CAC states participate) and the CST (in which Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan participate). At the same time, inventorying the organizations normative documents has been unjustifiably delayed.

Regional cooperation (this concept frequently replaces in official and business circles of the member states today the previously widely used term integration) is too contradictory for us to draw final conclusions about the future of the CAC. It is obvious that for objective and subjective conditions we cannot talk today about integration in the full sense of this word, but only about the possibility of establishing stable diversified cooperation among the four countries. The progressive development of this process could boost the integration potential of the long-term factors mentioned above. In so doing, this potential could grow as the elements of complementariness of the national economies increase as a result of structural changes during the implementation of socioeconomic development strategies in these republics. This aspect of cooperation is being increasingly recognized by the business circles of the regions countries, particularly by the representatives of small and medium businesses. The growing interest in expanding regional cooperation, which is being enforced by the countries own market economy practice (albeit small) and by EU experience, which is being increasingly disseminated in this sphere, largely coincides with integration strivings by a certain portion of the power structures in the CAC countries, thus strengthening it.

Certain stimuli for developing unifying trends are also encouraged by coordinated participation of the four countries (and Turkmenistan) in the Special U.N. Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) drawn up by the U.N. European Economic Commission (EEC) and the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Ocean (ESCAPO) to boost cooperation among the regions countries and stimulate their economic development and integration into the economy of the countries of Europe and Asia. Each Central Asian republic acts as a coordinator in a certain sphere: Kazakhstan in developing the transportation infrastructure and simplifying the procedures for crossing the state borders; Kyrgyzstan in the rational use of water and energy resources; Uzbekistan in restructuring the industrial sphere in order to create competitive international enterprises, and so on.

However disintegrating factors, including subjective ones, are also gaining momentum, and the struggle for leadership in the region is intensifying. According to EU experts, increased cooperation among the countries is primarily being hindered by insufficient political will.12

The widening foreign policy gap between the CAC countries is also playing a disintegrating role. For example, Uzbekistan is becoming increasingly drawn into the orbit of U.S. influence (which is also beginning to manifest itself in Tajikistan), since Tashkent is placing its main stakes on America in combating the threat of religious extremism and ethnic conflicts. And this is causing its waning interest in the CAC as a tool for ensuring regional security, which also means in the four states as a whole. Uzbekistan is becoming increasingly distanced from its regional neighbors, right down to closing its borders. Its standpoint questions the further development of the unifying processes in Central Asia, since without the participation of this key country in the geographic and demographic respect not one large-scale project can be carried out. Speaking at a conference on The Economic Aspects of Integration Processes: The Experience of the European Union (March 2003 in Astana), a representative of the Tajikistan Strategic Research Center characterized the current situation as degradation of integration.13 It is hardly productive to talk about making changes to the format of the CAC since this would largely duplicate the cooperation among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan within the EurAsEC, SCO, and CST, to which they are party. And issues that are not part of the sphere of activity of these organizations can be resolved on a bilateral basis, as is currently being done.

All the same, it is presumed that the CAC can survive if not as an integration association, at least as a structure within the framework of which it is most convenient to conduct joint searches for efficacious alternatives for resolving individual local problems to mutual advantage. Accumulating experience in jointly resolving specific issues and developing their mechanisms will create a foundation for moving on in the future to cooperate on larger economic and political problems. In so doing, the priority should apparently be placed on coordinating the economic interests of the member states, which is the most reliable ground for developing long-term, undiscriminating, and stable cooperation. But this alternative, although optimal for the CAC itself, may weaken the potential of its interaction with other subregional structures in the CIS, which are viewed as kinds of integration knots, the widespread threads between which will help to draw up the pieces of the former Soviet economic space into a single whole. Developing cooperation at the micro level, within the EurAsEC and SCO, could neutralize the effect of these trends to a certain extent, whereby there are plans to raise the economic component in the activity of the latter. Greater interaction among the economic entities of these subregional structures within the framework of each of these formations will help to fill in the gaps and reinforce the still flimsy fabric of economic cooperation in the post-Soviet space. It seems expedient to form a mechanism of permanent consultation between the CAC and the EurAsEC. This will make it possible to identify areas where the interests of these two regional formations intercept and where joint efforts are advantageous in implementing individual projects of top priority for each of them, such as transportation, including pipeline, and power engineering, as well as in the formation of a single education and scientific and technical space.


1 See: Sodruzhestvo Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv v 1994 g. Statisticheskii iezhegodnik, Moscow, 1995, pp. 56-57; 10 let Sodruzhestva Nezavisimykh Gosudarstv (1991-2000), Statisticheskii iezhegodnik, Moscow, 2001, pp. 70, 74-77; Statisticheskii biulleten SNG, No. 8, 2002, p. 91.
2 See: Rossiiskaia biznes-gazeta, 14 January, 2003.
3 See: Sovet po vneshnei politike pri Komitete po mezhdunarodnym delam Gosdumy RF. Polpred. Iezhegodniy spravochnik, Moscow, 2001, p. 103.
4 See: V.U. Chinaliev, Vneshneekonomicheskie sviazi Kyrgyzstana, Moscow, 2001, p. 103.
5 See: N. Isingarin, 10 let SNG. Problemy, poiski, resheniia, St. Petersburg, 2001, p. 218; Aziia i Afrika segodnia, No. 12, 2001, p. 33.
6 Tashkentskoe zaiavlenie glav gosudarstv Kazakhstana, Kyrgyzstana, Tadzhikistana i Uzbekistana ot 28 dekabria 2001 g., Kazakhstanskaia pravda, 28 February, 2002.
7 See: Kazakhstanskaia pravda, 10 January, 2002.
8 See: Kazakhstanskaia pravda, 29 December, 2002.
9 See: Narodnoie slovo, 28 November, 2002.
10 See: Panorama, 11 October, 2002.
11 See: Rossiiskaia biznes-gazeta, 14 January, 2003.
12 See: Panorama, 7 March, 2003.
13 Panorama, 7 March, 2003.

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