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tjir_v1n1reb01 - Richard Pomfret. Central Asia Turns South?...

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Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.1, (Spring 2002) 1 Richard Pomfret. Central Asia Turns South? Trade Relations in Transition. The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Chatham House: London, 1999. 46 pages. $14,95 pbk. ISBN 1862030847. The Central Asian Republics, once a part of the former USSR and independent since 1991, have started to seek new trading partners and new markets. However, the first years of their independence have been very hard mainly because of the economic problems they are having. There are infrastructure problems and not enough investment capital or experienced entrepreneurs, which mean that these countries are less able to be competitive in world markets. The short book being reviewed here, written by Richard Pomfret, contains five chapters. The first chapter presents a general outline of the trade relations of the Central Asian republics and offers basic economic data about the Central Asian countries in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which includes Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, who founded the ECO in 1985, and also includes since 1992 Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan . The ECO succeeds the Regional Cooperation for Development Organization, and much as the former organization did it promotes economic, technical, and cultural cooperation. The second chapter discusses the infrastructure in place in Central Asia that is so important in determining the trade and development that occurs in the region. As Pomfret points out, the transportation and telecommunications infrastructure between the Central Asian republics and their southern neighbors is generally poor. This part of the book also presents the important debates going on related to the oil and gas pipelines that are being planned for. The third chapter focuses on the trade potential and trade policies of the Central Asian countries. As the author points out, of the ECO countries only Turkey and the Kyrgyz Republic are members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) although Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have WTO observer status and are applying for membership. (Iran also became a member of the WTO in 2001) Pomfret concludes that the trading potential of the Central Asian republics is less than that of the three largest economies of the ECO, Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, who have long been market economies involved in world trade unlike the Central Asian countries that are in the process of changing over from central planning. As for
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course POLS 494 taught by Professor Garymoncrief during the Fall '11 term at Boise State.

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tjir_v1n1reb01 - Richard Pomfret. Central Asia Turns South?...

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