11th CAREC ministerial conference opens in Wuhan


The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program convened a ministerial meeting Tuesday in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, with transport and trade policies top of the agenda.
Officials from the 10 member countries are attending the annual ministerial conference to discuss how to implement the CAREC 2020 Strategic Framework (2011-2020), which was endorsed last year in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Key issues for discussion will include transport and trade facilitation policies, energy, as well as the establishment of a CAREC institute.
Chinese finance minister and chairman of this year’s conference Xie Xuren said at the opening ceremony that the increasing cooperation between Central Asian countries will help tap into economic potentials.
He said the conference will enable the countries to jointly face challenges in areas such as social tolerance, income gaps, restrained natural resources and climate change.
Haruhiko Kuroda, president of the Asian Development Bank, said in a keynote speech that amid the global uncertainties, the Central Asian region should push forward strong and effective macro-controls and structural reforms to fuel growth.
According to the CAREC 2020 Strategy, its members will receive billions of U.S. dollars in financial aid to develop regional transport networks, boost regional trade and help secure reliable and efficient energy.
The CAREC program, initiated by the Asian Development Bank in 1997 to encourage regional cooperation, includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.