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Trade policies in Central Asia after EU enlargement and before Russian WTO accession: Regionalism and integration into the world economy

  • Pomfret, Richard

This paper analyses the choices between regionalism and multilateralism, and the impact of WTO membership on the five Central Asian countries. The two main sections analyse (1) why the large number of regional trade agreements which the Central Asian countries have signed have had little economic impact, and (2) the consequences for the Central Asian countries of Chinese and Russian WTO membership and the consequences of the current Central Asian applicants’ (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) own WTO accession. During the1990s, many regional trade agreements were signed - arrangements both among the Central Asian countries, and between Central Asian countries and their neighbours (Russia to the north, China to the east, and Iran and Turkey to the south) – but not implemented and, although the Kyrgyz Republic became a WTO member in 1998, the Central Asian countries vacillated between pursuing regional and multilateral trade policy avenues. The Central Asian countries’ relationship to the WTO became a more pressing issue after China’s long-running WTO accession negotiations were successfully concluded in December 200 and as Russian negotiations are move forward. At the same time the push towards regionalism is also affected by external events such as the European Union’s deeper integration, symbolized by the appearance of euro banknotes in 2002, and the eastward expansion of the EU in 2004.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Systems.

Volume (Year): 29 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 32-58

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecosys:v:29:y:2005:i:1:p:32-58
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  1. Richard Pomfret, 2003. "Trade and Exchange Rate Policies in Formerly Centrally Planned Economies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 585-612, 04.
  2. Babetskaia-Kukharchuk, Oxana & Maurel, Mathilde, 2004. "Russia's accession to the WTO: the potential for trade increase," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 680-699, December.
  3. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline, 2002. "Trade Flows in the Former Soviet Union, 1987 to 1996," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 76-90, March.
  4. Baffes, John, 2004. "Cotton : Market setting, trade policies, and issues," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3218, The World Bank.
  5. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund, 1998. "Disintegration," International Finance Discussion Papers 618, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline, 2000. "Disintegration and trade flows : evidence from the Former Soviet Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2378, The World Bank.
  7. Bacchetta, Marc & Drabek, Zdenek, 2002. "Effects of WTO accession on policy-making in sovereign states: Preliminary lessons from the recent experience of transition countries," WTO Staff Working Papers DERD-2002-02, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  8. Ga�l Raballand, 2003. "Determinants of the Negative Impact of Being Landlocked on Trade: An Empirical Investigation Through the Central Asian Case," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 520-536, December.
  9. Pomfret, Richard, 2001. "The Economics of Regional Trading Arrangements," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199248872, March.
  10. F. Campos, Nauro, 2004. "What Does WTO Membership Kindle in Transition Economies?: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 395-415.
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