“One Belt One Road” Strategy: the Views from Kazakhstan
Policy makers in Kazakhstan were among the first in Central Asia to support the China-led “Silk Road Economic Belt” (SREB) initiative. However, recently they have begun to re-conceptualize their policies in the region pursuant to the region’s shifting geo-economics and geopolitics. Three fundamental shifts have influenced the emergence of the new Silk Road paradigm in the international relations in the greater Central Asia region. The first is the shift in international trade, investments and economic relations in the Eurasian region, as the decline in global oil prices negatively impacted the economic growth both in Kazakhstan and in neighboring countries. The second is the growth of land-based transportation and communication infrastructure networks, which could potentially open the door for greater regional trade. The third is the formation (albeit in the early stages) of a new regional trade bloc via attempts to unify tariffs, trade regimes, and regulations in order to develop even closer economic relations in the region.
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