CAREC approves over 100 projects worth $17 billion


Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) has approved over 100 CAREC-related projects worth $17 billion. The projects include six land transport corridors that cover 3,600 kilometers of roads and 2,000 kilometers of railways. They traverse the CAREC region north-south and east-west; linking Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and beyond; connecting all member countries.
Secretary Economic Affairs Division Abdul Wajid Rana and officials from ministry of commerce and finance represented Pakistan at the 10th ministerial conference at Baku, Azerbaijan.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $4.7 billion over the next three years to support Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC), 2020’s goals of trade expansion and improved competitiveness.
ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda, while announcing the allocation for CAREC 2020 goals at ministerial conference said we stand ready to assist in accelerating the development of physical infrastructure connectivity, the development of economic corridors, and the improvement of the knowledge base needed to support CAREC’s priorities.
Established in 2001, CAREC brings together Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. It promotes the implementation of regional projects in energy, transport, and trade facilitation from northern China to Caucasus and Europe, and from Kazakhstan to the warm water ports of Karachi, Gwadar and beyond.
About 4,000 km of road and 2,250 km of railway lines have been built or upgraded, opening up corridors of trade and opportunity. Streamlined custom procedures are moving people and their businesses across borders, faster and at a less cost. The electricity transmission lines and upgraded power plants are beginning to boost the vital energy trade in the region that will bring prosperity and security.
The ministers and senior representatives of development agencies have discussed support for the new 10-year strategy for Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programme.
The six multilateral institutions support the work of CAREC that includes ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and World Bank. ADB has served as the CAREC secretariat since 2001.
The multilateral institutions at the forum echoed their support for the work of CAREC and some also offered substantial financial assistance over the next decade. Senior representatives of bilateral agencies from France, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, and United States also attended the forum and supported CAREC 2020. The three-day conference wrapped up with a ministerial retreat where participants discussed how CAREC countries could individually and collectively contribute to a prosperous Asia by mid-century.