Policy Papers - Analysis

Policy Paper No. 11 – Economic relations and trade Analysis of the EU’s comparative advantages and Central Asian interests

This paper assesses the implementation of the EU’s Central Asia policy and its perception in Central Asia since 2007. It analyses the EU’s economic and trade policies as well as tangible outcomes in the relationship between the EU and Central Asian countries. It also compares the EU’s approach and results with other external powers in the region such as Russia, China and Turkey and examines how the EU is perceived in Central Asia as an economic and trading partner.
For the EU and its member states to assist Central Asian countries in improving their economic development and regional stability, existing economic engagement must be maintained and expanded through tailor-made economic initiatives. In particular, the EU could continue to support small and medium enterprises, better explain EU trade and business regulations to the Central Asian partners and increase awareness of the kind of trade agreements available to Central Asian countries. The EU could also further support Central Asian countries by providing technical and English language training, promoting good governance in business, assisting the countries with agricultural practices as well as border management to facilitate cross-border trade.

Did you know?

South Korea’s economic engagement in Central Asia is limited by geographical barriers – it cannot access the region by land without travelling through North Korea.
(p.13)

All five Central Asian countries were part of the Soviet Union, which meant also integration of transportation and energy networks, identical economic and related practices […]. Consequences can still be felt across Central Asia.
(p.12)

All Central Asian countries except Turkmenistan are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
(p.11)

China is the second largest trading partner of Central Asian countries combined. This is due to its Belt and Road Initiative, which intends to link Chinese infrastructure to that of Europe’s via regions like Central Asia.
(p.11)