Despite a complex legacy, the Central Asian region has made significant progress in economic reforms. After a period of slow and negative growth, almost all the Central Asian economies have registered high growth in the last 15 years. Energy resources have played a significant role in choice of economic policies as well as economic performance. Energy investments and transport infrastructure have also helped Central Asia to integrate itself with larger economic regions. Due to slowdown in neighbouring regions and decline in oil prices, the Central Asian region faces difficult economic choices.
Since the break-up of the Soviet Union, the five Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are witnessing transformation of their economic systems. All these countries have moved along this transformation to varying degrees. Despite having a very complex legacy (of central planning, dissolution of the USSR, distorted economic structures, ethnic problems), the region has made significant progress in economic reforms. Due to certain specific features (energy resources, strategic location, political systems and background of political elite) the region has used both standard as well as non-conventional strategies of economic transformation. The Soviet era leaders in more or less non-competitive regimes have tried to pursue economic stability while securing their own dominance in the new political system. In Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, even the second-generation leaders have not changed the policy framework in any significant way. The political elite in the region has also tried to learn few lessons from the Chinese model of development. It means political concentration and stability is paramount for any meaningful economic reform. After a period of slow and negative growth, almost all the Central Asian economies have grown at a respectable rate since 2000. This growth resulted primarily from high energy