An analogue of the Schengen visa, only between the countries of Central Asia can appear in the near future. Such a proposal was voiced by the Kazakhstan senator, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations, Defense and Security D.Nazarbayev. According to her, such a Silk-visa will attract tourists from the far abroad to the Central Asian region. The quotation of the deputy was quoted also by the Kazakh mass media, then picked up by Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Tajik. And practically all comments to these articles from users and readers of information portals are positive.
And this is not surprising: the tourist potential of the Central Asian countries is growing every year, and not only tourist. Such a proposal would not have gained popularity if the countries of this region had any fundamental, unsolvable disagreements that interfere with close cooperation. And this cooperation develops not only because of the economic needs of states.
The countries of Central Asia are, first of all, of a similar culture, traditions, mentality and language. And agreeing with each other in a common and understandable language is much easier. So tourism is one of the necessary areas of cooperation, but not the most important thing. The pooling of potential benefits all Central Asian states is advisable, not just for financial need, but for security. Especially now, when the issue of countering the development and spread of religious extremist organizations is becoming more urgent, in addition to this, the issue of combating drug trafficking from Afghanistan is no less important.
The last point is one of the most painful for the countries of Central Asia, as several drug traffic routes pass through the CIS countries. And this problem can be solved only jointly, by joint efforts, because even if one state in this chain will weaken the work, then this automatically annuls the efforts of others. However, for the common goals, efforts are needed not only in the struggle for regional security.
Let’s not forget that the countries of Central Asia – this huge market – about 70 million people. For example, Bishkek and Astana are planning to increase mutual trade to one billion dollars. And the trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan in 2016 was only 169 million dollars, before the end of this year, the authorities of the two countries intend to bring these figures to half a billion dollars.
Uzbekistan places special hopes on cooperation within the borders of Central Asia. And here is just one example: Tashkent has adopted a program for the development of leather and Karakul industries, and the market for the countries of the Central Asian region is considered the main market. Countries are gradually opening borders and facilitating work for citizens of neighboring countries.
In March of this year, the first consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states was held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting. At the meeting, the presidents stated that Central Asia is not only a geographical and geopolitical, but also a single cultural and civilizational space. An important part of such cooperation is also the future interconnection of the transport and communication policies of the countries. In March, Nazarbayev, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, S.Zheenbekov, Rahmon and the [then-] speaker of the Majlis Akja Nurberdieva representing Turkmenistan at the meeting, discussed the agreement on the junction point of the state borders of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
This question, by the way, could not find a solution for many years, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan reached an agreement on 85 percent of the border. And Shavkat Mirziyoyev at this meeting offered his colleagues to hold regular meetings of the heads of these countries. The idea was supported by the leaders of the states, the following agreed to hold in Tashkent in 2019. By the way, Shavkat Mirziyayev took the initiative to hold such a summit, he said this in September 2017 – at the 72th session of the UN General Assembly. After all, from the very first days after he headed Uzbekistan, he stated that the foreign policy of the republic will be focused on strengthening all-round cooperation with neighboring countries.
Director of the Institute for Regional Problems Dmitry Zhuravlev in an interview with the Tajik media noted that “for Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, communication with each other is now based on the formula” all for one “, and not” everyone for himself. “But in another way, it will not work out either, the policy of isolation and closeness, and no positive economic results.” And to apply such a formula of relations, in this respect politicians and experts not only of Central Asia, but also world ones, need to cooperate as actively as possible. UN experts published the results of research: over the past 10 years, the average GDP growth of the Central Asian countries as a whole was 6.2%, when the whole world developed at a rate of 2.6%. There is a sharp increase in turnover, which doubled in 10 years – from $ 1.6 billion to $ 3.1 billion.
Transit potential is given special attention by the heads of state, therefore in the countries the system of transportation of goods will be simplified further, transport and road infrastructure will develop. And here the President of Kazakhstan urged his colleagues to solve the problem jointly, without political bargaining, putting forward the needs of their country. After all, only in such conditions: open and friendly, the unification of the potential of the countries of Central Asia will give the maximum results.
After all, on the agenda between Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan is one of the most important issues: water, and then disunity can not only hit the economy of all countries, but first, affect the quality of life of citizens of the five states, and lead to a water crisis. And in resolving this issue the most important will remain the political will of the leaders of the countries and the desire to solve the problem. And it seems that the Presidents of the Central Asian states decided to speak the same language, focusing on the focus on such a result, which would satisfy the interests of all the republics. /// nCa, 22 June 2018