(MENAFN - Daily Outlook Afghanistan) Central Asia has vaststores of energy and natural resources. But to achieve a brighter future the regionmust pursue economic integration. Sustainable stability, economic growth, trustbuilding and viable friendly relations among the neighboring countries cancontribute to effective bilateral cooperation in the region. The regionalcountries shall work on developing a system to create conducive tradeconditions, extending joint markets, improve transportation infrastructure,strengthening investment and encouraging the regional and internationalentrepreneurs and commercial associations to take part in the economicopportunities of the Central Asia. Central Asia has more than 70 million populations and more that 5percent annual economic growth rate that is considered as a big regionalmarket. It also can play a vital role in international development initiativessuch as One Belt and Road Initiative.
Central Asia can play an important role ininternational crises including food security, access to clean water andpreserving water resources.
Itis amazing that the Central Asian countries pursue their own economic model inorder to align themselves with the world economic convergence and regionaleconomic integration.
Central Asia's impressive growth
Central Asian countries have achievedimpressive economic results with relatively high growth rates over the last tenyears based on natural resources underpinned by rising global prices for thoseexports. The reason for the high growth rates: Central Asia became attractiveto the EU and the US, as well as other Western countries and the People'sRepublic of China (PRC) as providers of energy and natural resources.
Regional integration initiatives
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)has, apart from the PRC and Russia, only member states from Central Asia,excluding Turkmenistan.
The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) is aneconomic union of states located in central and northern Asia and EasternEurope. The Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union was signed on 29 May 2014 bythe leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia, and came into force on 1 January2015. Treaties aiming for Armenia's and Kyrgyzstan's accession to the EurasianEconomic Union were signed on 9 October and 23 December 2014, respectively.Armenia's accession treaty came into force on 2 January 2015. Kyrgyzstan'saccession treaty came into effect on 6 August 2015. It participated in the EAEUfrom the day of its establishment as an acceding state.
Russian foothold within the region in theregion is already facilitated under a series of organizations (CollectiveSecurity Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC),and the Customs Union Commission (CUC)) which allows them to cement political,economic and security ties with Central Asia. Similarly, USA and China havealso made critical overtures to the Central Asian states. For the USA, theseuntapped markets are critical for economically recovering post-war Afghanistan;aiming towards enhancing its security and economic ties with Central Asianstates. Thus, it is highly likely that the geopolitical significance of CentralAsia will persist in the current political dimensions. In this regard, theglobal powers are clearly defining the geopolitical and geo-economic interestsin the region and powerfully seeking towards spreading and maintaining theirinfluence in Central Asia. Yet, how the Central Asian states tackle via theirdiplomacy remains the most interesting factor.
Central Asia enjoys vast natural resources.Central Asia plays a vital geopolitical role in the region and has thepotential to change to a powerful regional player. Regional EconomicIntegration not only can unify the region but also can support the aim ofCentral Asian governments, neighboring countries, and international partners tobolster the region against destabilization from a broader invasion of extremismand terrorism, primarily from the south. These countries shall solve the realissue of convergence in the region. The basic steps have been taken and nowthey shall create a joint market and develop a unique Central Asian treaty toenable them to address their economic, military and political concerns.