Economic integration between countries and co-ordination of their economic policies lead to increased economic links (Balassa 2013). The dynamics of economic integration revolves around major economies, which powerfully projects it national security interests, especially in the sphere of energy .
Asia and Europe are in different economic integrations levels. For instance, while there is a high level of natural gas market integration within Europe, in the Asian contexts they are not highly integrated.
The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute (CAREC Institute) in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and the International School of Economics at Tbilisi University (ISET) organised a two-day regional workshop on ‘Comparison of Economic Integration in Asia and Europe’ held in Tbilisi, Georgia from 30-31 July 2019.
This regional workshop aimed for better understanding of perspectives and legal approaches to formulate regional economic integration, fiscal and monetary integration, and the integration in energy and environment sectors. Best practices and lessons learned on the regional initiatives from Europe as well as country experience on the regional economic integration were also part of the discussion and knowledge sharing in this regional workshop.
Participants included government officials of the CAREC member countries: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China (the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region), Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, and Pakistan. Dr Tapan Sarker from the Department of Business Strategy and Innovation was one of 19 distinguished experts in the related fields.
In his paper with Dr Farhad Taghizadeh-Hesary, Assistant Professor at Waseda University, Japan, titled, ‘Economic Integration In the context of Energy Security’ Dr Sarker discussed the dynamics of economic integration that revolves around major economies, which powerfully projects it national security interests, especially in the sphere of energy and environment.
Their paper further emphasised that, while improved economic integration and intra-regional trade accelerate regional economic development, remarkable theoretical and empirical evidence has shown that it might damage the environment and therefore may hinder the effort towards sustainable development.