Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Central Asian Security and Water/ Energy Relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan

Kakhkharov, Jakhongir (2013): Central Asian Security and Water/ Energy Relations between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Published in: “POLITYKA & BEZPIECZEŃSTWO” No. ISSN 2300-1569 (2013)

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The UNDP (2005) argued that developing a consensus and implementing follow-up action for regional cooperation and integration cannot happen overnight. In view of the many obstacles of history, current politics and institutional weaknesses, and bearing in mind the slow progress with similar efforts elsewhere in the world, one must realistically expect that serious progress in regional cooperation and integration will take years, even decades. The efforts to improve trade relations in Central Asia should focus on improving the trade regimes in those countries in coordination with the WTO entry process, developing their market economies and democratic institutions, harmonizing trade and customs policies, removing significant trade barriers such as taxes on imports that are not levied (or that come at lower rates) on domestically produced goods, foreign currency conversion problems, export bans on some products, and crackdowns on shuttle traders. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan need a strong negotiator/broker to mediate in the search for greater cooperation in the all-important energy sector. Russia might be suitable for this role provided it proves itself capable of being fair to both sides. Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan could bring significant gains for both countries but this also means that their governments should abandon energy self-sufficiency as their policy goals, tackle a distorted system of energy prices, and deal with potential cross-border payment problems.

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