Djoomart Otorbaev is a former Prime Minister of Kyrgyzstan having also formerly served as a Senior Adviser in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This essay is an adapted excerpt from his latest book entitled Central Asia’s Economic Rebirth in the Shadow of the New Great Game (2023).
The only economic union that is presently operating in the Central Asian region is the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which includes Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. The agreement, signed on May 29th, 2014 in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, marked the launch of the Union. There are five member countries: the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia, and the Kyrgyz Republic. At the same time, three other states hold observer status: Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Cuba.
The EAEU is an international economic union for the free movement of goods, services, and financial and labor resources. The Union has become the successor to the previously established customs union but represents the next, higher level of supranational integration. Under the Charter of the Union, its member countries jointly develop and implement a unified strategy in key sectors and contribute to the modernization and strengthening of the competitiveness of national economies.