© 2020, CA and C Press AB. All rights reserved.The authors present an analysis of the reasons and factors that explain the T absence of integration arrangements and the extremely weak trade and economic relations between the five countries of Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz-stan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan). Despite a very wide range of unifying factors, such as geographical proximity, similar economic structure, common history, socio-cultural as-pects, and other circumstances, these five countries have never been members of as-sociations that would promote economic cooperation or regional integration between them. Trade between the Central Asian countries has been and remains negligible. On the other hand, all five countries have actively increased their trade since the early 1990s mainly by increasing exports of min-erals. Thus, the EU countries, China, and Russia account for a much larger share of the Central Asian countries’ foreign trade than their regional neighbors. The main fac-tor preventing regional cooperation in Cen-Cen- tral Asia is that all its five countries have weak institutions that do not promote the development of the private sector, as well as poorly developed infrastructure. Moreover, the current geographical distribution and composition of exports from the Central Asian countries suit their governments, be-cause export revenues enable them to ad-dress, to some extent, acute socio-econom-ic problems. The research method used in this study is that of general qualitative analy-sis. The study is based on primary sources. The research was conducted using regional and foreign research literature and data from appropriate official organizations, their publications and websites. The study is divided into the following sections: The Formation of Market Relations in Central Asia; Trade as a Key Manifesta-tion of Economic Integration; The Natural Costs of Integration in Central Asia; Weak Institutions and Other Artificial Barriers to Integration; and The Eurasian Economic tral Union as a Path to Regional Integration.