IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Trade and Transport in Central Asia


  • 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, 2010. "Trade and Transport in Central Asia," Other Working Papers centasia2010trade, Emerging Markets Forum.
  • Handle: RePEc:emf:otherw:centasia2010trade
    Note: Presented at the 2010 Eurasia Meeting of the Emerging Markets Forum in January in Thun

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Road infrastructure in Europe and Central Asia : does network quality affect trade ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4104, The World Bank.
    2. Ms. Patrizia Tumbarello, 2005. "Regional Trade Integration and WTO Accession: Which Is the Right Sequencing? An Application to the CIS," IMF Working Papers 2005/094, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Raballand, Gael & Kunaka, Charles & Giersing, Bo, 2008. "The impact of regional liberalization and harmonization in road transport services : a focus on Zambia and lessons for landlocked countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4482, The World Bank.
    4. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton University Press.
    5. Supee Teravaninthorn & Gaël Raballand, 2009. "Transport Prices and Costs in Africa : A Review of the International Corridors," World Bank Publications - Books, The World Bank Group, number 6610, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    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.
    3. Achillas, Ch. & Aidonis, D. & Vlachokostas, Ch. & Moussiopoulos, N. & Banias, G. & Triantafillou, D., 2012. "A multi-objective decision-making model to select waste electrical and electronic equipment transportation media," Resources, Conservation & Recycling, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 76-84.
    4. Angenendt, Nicole & Müller, Christine & Stronzik, Marcus, 2012. "Elektromobilität in Europa: Ökonomische, rechtliche und regulatorische Behandlung von zu errichtender Infrastruktur im internationalen Vergleich," WIK Discussion Papers 367, WIK Wissenschaftliches Institut für Infrastruktur und Kommunikationsdienste GmbH.
    5. Tim Schwanen, 2018. "Towards decolonised knowledge about transport," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 4(1), pages 1-6, December.
    6. Letizia Tebaldi & Teresa Murino & Eleonora Bottani, 2020. "An Adapted Version of the Water Wave Optimization Algorithm for the Capacitated Vehicle Routing Problem with Time Windows with Application to a Real Case Using Probe Data," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-13, May.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Charles Kunaka & Gaël Raballand & Mike Fitzmaurice, 2016. "How trucking services have improved and may contribute to economic development: The case of East Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2016-152, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    2. Monica Beuran & Marie Gachassin & Gaël Raballand, 2015. "Are There Myths on Road Impact and Transport in Sub-Saharan Africa?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 33(5), pages 673-700, September.
    3. Olivier Cadot & Ana Fernandes & Julien Gourdon & Aaditya Mattoo & Jaime Melo, 2014. "Evaluating Aid for Trade: A Survey of Recent Studies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 516-529, April.
    4. Theresa Osborne & Maria Claudia Pachon & Gonzalo Enrique Araya, 2013. "What Drives the High Price of Road Freight Transport in Central America?," World Bank Publications - Reports 17845, The World Bank Group.
    5. Pomfret, Richard, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Kazakhstan," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 48360, World Bank.
    6. Thando Vilakazi & Anthea Paelo, 2017. "Understanding intra-regional transport: Competition in road transportation between Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe," WIDER Working Paper Series 046, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Thando Vilakazi & Anthea Paelo, 2017. "Understanding intra-regional transport: Competition in road transportation between Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2017-46, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    8. Charles Kunaka & Gaël Raballand & Mike Fitzmaurice, 2016. "How trucking services have improved and may contribute to economic development: The case of East Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 152, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    9. Cyril Chalendard, 2015. "Use of internal information, external information acquisition and customs underreporting," Working Papers halshs-01179445, HAL.
    10. Michele Fratianni & Francesco Marchionne, 2011. "The Limits to Integration," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume I, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    11. Donaldson, Dave & Atkin, David, 2015. "Who?s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Pessôa, Samuel & dos Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues, 2016. "Globalization And The Industrial Revolution," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 643-666, April.
    13. Roger R. Betancourt, 2013. "Should the U.S. Lift the Cuban Embargo? Yes; It Already Has; and It Depends!," Annual Proceedings, The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, vol. 23.
    14. Stanley L. Engerman & Kenneth L. Sokoloff, 2008. "Once Upon a Time in the Americas: Land and Immigration Policies in the New World," NBER Chapters, in: Understanding Long-Run Economic Growth: Geography, Institutions, and the Knowledge Economy, pages 13-48, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Wallis, Patrick, 2010. "Exotic drugs and English medicine: England’s drug trade, c.1550-c.1800," Economic History Working Papers 28577, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    16. Alejandro Ayuso‐Díaz & Antonio Tena‐Junguito, 2020. "Trade in the shadow of power: Japanese industrial exports in the interwar years," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(3), pages 815-843, August.
    17. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Stergios Skaperdas & Constantinos Syropoulos, 2009. "International Trade and Transnational Insecurity: How Comparative Advantage and Power are Jointly Determined," Working Papers 080921, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    18. Minten, Bart & Stifel, David & Tamru, Seneshaw, 2012. "Structural transformation in Ethiopia: Evidence from cereal markets:," ESSP working papers 39, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    19. Obstfeld, Maurice, 2020. "Globalization and Nationalism: Retrospect and Prospect," CEPR Discussion Papers 14990, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Daniel Berger & William Easterly & Nathan Nunn & Shanker Satyanath, 2013. "Commercial Imperialism? Political Influence and Trade during the Cold War," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(2), pages 863-896, April.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:emf:otherw:centasia2010trade. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael Whelan (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.