This book presents an analysis of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan whose experiences are equally important to other newly independent countries. These countries were little known to the rest of the world until they gained independence from the FSU. Independence from the FSU brought more challenges than opportunities. Despite huge development potential, based on natural resources, almost all countries in the region continue to suffer from high unemployment and fiscal imbalances. While trade, based on the concept of comparative advantage, is crucial for small economies, as the experience of Singapore and Hong Kong suggests, it has not played a significant role in accelerating growth and alleviating poverty in the Central Asian countries. The book sheds light on these issues which can provide useful development lessons, not only to newly independent countries, but also to other developing countries which are in the path of global integration.