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Lapis Lazuli Corridor: Meeting the Economic Aspirations of Afghanistan and Member Countries

Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Rahim

Volume 2 Issue 3 | Sep 2019

DOI: 10.31841/KJEMS.2021.53

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Lapis Lazuli Corridor is a regional route linking Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey. The three landlocked members Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan have great trade potential which could contribute to their sustainable economic growth. However, they face certain challenges not allowing them to exploit their true potential. The landlocked Afghanistan is striving to look for alternative, easier, and economically viable trade routes to European and other international markets. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan experienced high economic growth on the back of oil exports before their economies were hit by international oil market shocks in 2014. Now, both countries have prioritized to diversify their economies. Georgia is located in a strategic position with its key sea ports in Black Sea but needs to reap the gains of strategic location through more transit, trade and regional integration. On the other hand, Turkey is working hard to ensure more political and economic influence in South Caucasus region and Central Asia. The paper discusses how the Lapis Lazuli Corridor can address the economic aspirations of the member countries by analyzing the strategic documents and national priorities of each member country.