Central Asian Republics: Forms of International Integration and the Impact of the Crisis of 2008
INSTITUTIONAL REFORM IN CENTRAL ASIA: POLITICO-ECONOMIC CHALLENGES, J. Ahrens & H. W. Hoen, eds., London: Routledge, 2012
26 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2009 Last revised: 5 Sep 2011
Date Written: December 14, 2009
This paper analyses the changing forms of international economic integration in Central Asia Republics (CARs) of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan from their emergence as independent states at the time of the break-up of the Soviet Union to the world financial crisis of 2008. The analysis demonstrates some substantial differences in forms of international integration which follow from different starting conditions and transition strategies. Countries that emphasised fuel exports (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) saw rising GDP alongside a narrowing of their economic bases, losing much that was inherited from the past. In the case of Kazakhstan, natural-resource endowment also lent credibility to domestic financial groups operating in the liberal environment allowing them to benefit from international liquidity and finance their operations through borrowing abroad. Kyrgyzstan followed most closely the neo-liberal path, but the outcome was a similar loss of the established economic base and descent into dependence and peripherality. Uzbekistan followed a path of state-supervised transformation, using the established base to prevent rapid peripheralisation. The implications of the financial crisis of 2008 reflected the differences in international integration. However, striking though some differences may be, the analysis also shows similarities in that the CARs remain peripheral economies largely excluded from, let alone able to move up the hierarchies within, international production networks.
Keywords: Central Asia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Eurasian Economic Community, economics of transition, economic development, foreign trade, GDP, international integration, composition of exports, autarkic industrialization, financial crisis
JEL Classification: F14, F4, O11, P50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation