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"New Economic Corridors in the South Caucasus and the Chinese One Belt One Road" Report Presented in Istanbul  
Haber resmi
11/04/2018 - Viewed 620 times

The roundtable meeting for presentation of the TEPAV project report “Armenia and Turkey at the juncture of new economic corridors in the South Caucasus and the Chinese One Belt One Road” was held in Istanbul on March 30, 2018. The TEPAV project report including results of field research in South Caucasus and Central Asia, was presented by Feride Inan. Opening remarks were delivered by Mr Balazs Gargya, Head of Trade and Other EU Policies Section of the European Delegation to Turkey and Selim Koru, TEPAV Policy Analyst.

The report focuses on economic opportunities in the South Caucasus region, specifically between Armenia and Turkey, highlighting the development of economic corridors. In this relation, the report evaluates the changing dynamics in the larger region addressing the escalating presence of China and possibly Iran following the lifting of sanctions. China has made a grand entry into Central Asia and has a growing presence in the South Caucasus since 2013    introducing a comprehensive vision of economic development with its Belt and Road initiative with a thrust to connect China to EU.  The report views the relations between Turkey and Armenia in the dynamic context of the grand project to connect China to Europe and China’s ambition to unleash economic development to its west. As such, the focus of the report is not limited to present Turkish–Armenia relations but looks to future prospects for those relations in a region, which is on the threshold of changes that could alter the very parameters that currently define those relations.

The report traces the trail of Chinese investment in the different countries in the region and includes a detailed mapping of connections between different areas along economic corridors in middle Eurasia in the path of China’s reach to Europe. The primary focus is on the Trans-Caspian Corridor or in Turkish parlance, the Middle Corridor – which starts from China through Central reaching the South Caucasus over the Caspian Sea and then goes onto Turkey and the EU. However, the research extends beyond the Trans-Caspian corridor, to address alternative corridors between China and the EU, and north–south connections.  The idea of economic corridors is closely related to the development of industrial zones and production chains along transport routes.  Hence, corridors as it is addressed in the report, provides an essential infrastructure for the region’s economic integration to overcome the present economic as well as political closures of individual economies in middle Eurasia.

The project was carried out within the framework of TEPAV’s Economic Opportunity Analysis project under the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process: Stage 2 programme funded by the European Union.

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