Wider politics hampering Central Asian efforts for integration

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, the five Central Asian countries that gained independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, share similar historical and cultural backgrounds.

They formed close economic relations during the Soviet period, with the transportation system, energy supply and food security being brought under a unified system.

Since their independence, these countries have tried regional integration in order to restore past economic relations and resolve their financial plights.

In 1994, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan signed an agreement creating an economic union aimed at establishing a Central Asia Economic Union based on economic integration. In 1998 it became the Central Asian Economic Cooperation (CAEC) with the participation of Tajikistan.

However, the integration of Central Asian countries exists only on paper. Due to a lack of funds, the realization of economic cooperation experienced..........