EDB and EFSD Chief Economist Evgeny Vinokurov at the webinar on Prospects for Economic Integration on the Euro-Asian Continent and its Implications for CAREC held by the CAREC Institute in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB)

24 June 2021

On 22 June 2021, the CAREC Institute in partnership with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) held a webinar on the prospects of integration and cooperation processes on the Euro-Asian continent and the implications for CAREC. EDB and EFSD Chief Economist Evgeny Vinokurov was among the speakers. Dr. Vinokurov highlighted energy, water, digital connectivity, and labor migration as particularly important areas for cooperation. He mentioned that Eurasian integration can produce tangible results for the continent if the approach is pragmatic, focuses on doable things, and addresses the issue of significant trust deficit. “Trust can be called talking clubs,” Dr. Vinokurov said. He described the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as very influential as it set in motion many other initiatives by other regional and world players. He further elaborated on premises set out in his book titled “One Eurasia or Many?”.

Summary of expert’s views from the webinar:

  • The Eurasian continental economic integration can produce tangible results if structured properly. It includes, first, concentrating of specific projects and initiatives (hard infrastructure, soft infrastructure, trade facilitation) and, second, addressing the issue of the massive deficit of trust across the Continent.
  • There are gaps to be filled on the institutional level. They include fighting ‘shadow integration’ (arms and drugs trafficking, spread of disease, and cross-border environmental issues), water, and labor migration.
  • Central Asia is at the forefront of the emerging trans-Eurasian economic cooperation agenda. It will also become a principal beneficiary of these developments.

All the recordings and materials for the webinar are available at the eLearning platform of the CAREC Institute.

EDB reports and other publications are available at the EDB website.

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2021