Building peace through trade agreements

As recommended by Emeric Crucé – joint undertakings involving the linking of areas


In a step that is likely to boost peace and give new shape to regional energy cooperation, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan signed a trade deal on Wednesday.

This supports the development of a $7.6bn 1,800km pipeline cutting across Afghanistan – a move that will significantly help the countries meet their growing energy demands.

We celebrate this – the latest sign of improving ties between the south Asian neighbours – and hope that they will also take steps to increase their renewable energy capacity and realise their solar potential.

“Each country stands to gain, making this not only the Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India,  (TAPI) ‘Peace Pipeline’, but a pipeline to prosperity as well,” said Klaus Gerhaeusser, director-general of the Central and West Asia Department at the Asian Development Bank, which backs the project.

This brings to mind the teaching of Émeric Crucé (1590–1648), in ‘the New Cyneas’ (translation by Thomas Willing Balch) who saw peace as a pre-requisite to enable safe trading. This report indicates that trade links could be a prerequisite to maintaining peace – or at least an absence of armed conflict.


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