The bilateral cooperation between Belarus and Central Asian countries is a good example of fruitful cooperation. This opinion was expressed by head of the department of the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research Anton Dudarenok.
"The Central Asian region today is one of the dynamic developing geostrategic zones of the planet. Experts note the formation of an integrated market with a population of more than 100 million people. Therefore, the interest of the Belarusian side in this foreign policy track is fully justified", Anton Dudarenok said.
At the same time, in 2021, the Eurasian region expect a period of increasing risks of destabilizing socio-political situation, including in the Central Asian region.
Political systems, especially those of small and medium-sized States, will inevitably continue to be tested. According to the head of the BISR department, the main challenge for them is the tension between major international players, the coronavirus pandemic effects.
By his words, the geopolitical and epidemic turbulence is accompanied by an alarming socio-economic situation, health and education challenges, and the related public concern about the future, the breakdown of confidence in state institutions.
"The negative trends of the complicated period that we are all going through can only be overcome together. Belarus and the Central Asian countries have all the necessary conditions for this", Anton Dudarenok said. "The nature of our bilateral relations, the large-scale projects implemented and planned are an example of fruitful cooperation between our countries".
The basis for large-scale cooperation between Belarus and the Central Asian states is the similarity of socio-economic development priorities, the determination to strengthen the real sector of the economy, the rejection of shock therapy, a multi-vector and balanced foreign policy, and similar approaches to solving key international issues, the expert noted.
"Belarus provides an opportunity for stable and predictable trade and transport routes from Asia to Europe. In turn, for our country it is important to develop relations with the engine states of Central Asia, in particular Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. This facilitates the access for the Belarusian business for the capital of the Islamic world, international trading platforms and markets in South and Southeast Asia, where cross-border hubs of political and economic cooperation are being formed", Anton Dudarenok said.
He also noted that taking into account the smooth operation of trade routes in China-Europe-China direction, which pass through Central Asia, Russia and Belarus, our integral transport and logistics capacities allow us to create an economic region of international importance, a transnational zone of cooperation, in the Eurasian space.
"Considering the consequences of coronavirus restrictions, there has been a reduction in contacts between nations. In these conditions, the points that call for our rapprochement are not only the enhancement of industrial cooperation, the development of trade and transport routes, ensuring investment attractiveness, but also the strengthening of cultural and humanitarian ties. Further maintaining contacts in public diplomacy, youth exchanges, expert dialogue, tourism, science and education will contribute to long-term interstate cooperation, developing full potential of bilateral relations", Anton Dudarenok said.