The South Caucasus and Central Asia is a region often viewed through a narrow historical lens, in which the Soviet era looms larger than the region’s proud history of centrality to the global economy and as home to cutting-edge thinkers. The region has untapped potential to play an important economic role in the world. As countries reflect on how best to pursue their economic objectives in transforming this potential into reality, they must ask themselves what role their immediate neighbours will play in supporting their aspirations, and how regional relations can best be shaped to maximize collective benefits.To support this strategic, cross-stakeholder thinking, the World Economic Forum initiated the Scenarios for the South Caucasus and Central Asia. This process was launched with a Strategic Dialogue on the Future of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, held in Baku on 7-8 April 2013, and over the past 18 months has involved over 500 participants.The scenario approach that underpins this project supports decision-makers in assessing major changes to their operating contexts, which are beyond their control, and to prepare them to both seize relevant new opportunities and pro-actively address potential risks. It also allows stakeholders to hold a constructive dialogue on current decisions made in the South Caucasus and Central Asia about the future of regional frameworks based on the deeper factors that will shape the region, rather than merely pitting actors against one another in a debate for or against specific institutions.It is hoped that this project will widen the lens through which this region’s prospects are viewed by serving as a resource for stakeholders to create a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Published on: Wednesday 10th of September 2014