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Trade and Transport in Central Asia

In: Central Asia and the Caucasus: At the Crossroads of Eurasia in the 21st Century


  • Richard Pomfret

    (University of Adelaide)


Until 1991 Central Asia was part of the integrated economic space of the Soviet Union without borders and with a relatively efficient transport network, but oriented toward the needs of the Soviet economy. The role of the Central Asian republics in the Soviet division of labor was as providers of raw materials, primarily cotton, minerals, and energy products; roads and railways led north or west to the Russian republic, and eastern and southern borders were effectively closed to trade. Since independence the Central Asian countries have continued to exploit their comparative advantage in raw material exports, but their trade has been hampered by poor transport facilities and by failure to improve the soft infrastructure of trade. Being landlocked exacerbates these weaknesses, but location could be turned to advantage as Central Asia is adjacent to the world’s most dynamic large economies. To benefit from this the hard and soft infrastructure of transport and trade need upgrading, and regional cooperation to facilitate transit is needed to stimulate intra- and extra-regional trade.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Pomfret, 2011. "Trade and Transport in Central Asia," Book Chapters,in: Werner Hermann & Johannes F. Linn (ed.), Central Asia and the Caucasus: At the Crossroads of Eurasia in the 21st Century, chapter 3, pages 43–62 Emerging Markets Forum.
  • Handle: RePEc:emf:chpter:centasia-3

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    Cited by:

    1. Julien Vercueil, 2012. "Panorama économique de l'espace eurasiatique," Post-Print halshs-01420847, HAL.
    2. Vakulchuk, Roman & Irnazarov, Farrukh, 2014. "Analysis of Informal Obstacles to Cross-Border Economic Activity in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan," Working Papers on Regional Economic Integration 130, Asian Development Bank.

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    Central Asia; Caucasus;


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