Over the last two decades, economic relations between the EU and the five post-Soviet Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have evolved around two parallel and contradictory patterns. On the one hand, due to the efforts of the EU, economic relations and inter-dependence have increased and the presence of EU companies in the region has expanded significantly. On the other hand, inconsistent business ethics standards - and the peculiar way in which rule of law is interpreted and applied in the region, also called “the local way of doing business” have hindered and limited the role of foreign companies in the region. Building on recent political developments leading to the opening up of previously closed and inaccessible countries, CENTRAL ASIAN LAW is a research and training programme that aims to promote greater understanding and explanation of the interconnections between legal cultures, local business environments and governance in Central Asia. This will enable the CENTRAL ASIAN LAW team to: 1) produce new empirical knowledge on legal cultures and business ethics in the region; 2) engage with, and challenge, existing theoretical paradigms within socio-legal studies, law, economic and business sciences, Central Asian studies (post-Soviet studies, more generally) and governance scholarship; 3) provide strategic intelligence for business actors interested or already operating in the region; 4) inform international organizations and decision makers in the EU and Central Asia on possible ways to improve the business and investment climate, the rule of law and governance in the region.