The 7th Ministerial Conference on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) marked a turning point in the CAREC Program. With the endorsement of key strategic documents, the Program is now entering the implementation phase.
“I believe our progress is a testament to the value we all see in working together and a sign of the great promise our cooperation holds for the future of this region,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda in his Keynote Address to the Conference.
Ministers and Senior Officials from the eight CAREC countries issued a Joint Ministerial Statement acknowledging the increased mobilization of investments in the priority areas of transport, energy, and trade in 2008; endorsing documents that will guide the Program in the years ahead; and recognizing the importance of more actively involving the private sector in regional economic cooperation. The Conference endorsed:
- the Report of Senior Officials to the Ministerial Conference , which provides a detailed review of the Program’s progress and activities in 2008
- the Implementation Action Plan for the Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy to accelerate development of the six CAREC transport and trade corridors;
- the Trade Policy Strategic Action Plan to achieve World Trade Organization membership for all CAREC countries and liberalize trade regimes to improve the investment climate across Central Asia;
- the Strategy for Regional Cooperation in the Energy Sector to expend energy trade, improve energy efficiency and security, and identify mutually beneficial approaches to meet regional energy needs; and
- the CAREC Institute Work Plan for 2009-2011 to provide training for government officials in areas related to regional economic cooperation and support research related to regional initiatives.
The Ministerial Conference was Chaired by Shahin Mustafayev, Minister of Economic Development of Azerbaijan, and Co-Chaired by Xiaoyu Zhao, ADB Vice President, Operations 1.
A total of 147 invited participants attended the Ministerial Conference. They are
- Ministers and Senior Officials from the governments of CAREC participating countries-Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan;
- Representatives of CAREC’s partner multilateral institutions-ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank;
- Observers from other bilateral, multilateral, and regional organizations;
- Delegates from Germany, Japan, Pakistan, and Turkey; and
- CAREC advisors and regional cooperation coordinators.
- Joint Ministerial Statement
- Report of Senior Officials to the 7th Ministerial Conference
- Keynote Address by Mr. Haruhiko Kuroda, President, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
- Statement by Mr. Xiaoyu Zhao, Vice President, Operations 1, ADB
- Collective View of the Multilateral Institutions
- Railway Development Plans in Afghanistan
- Regional Economic Outlook: Economic Developments, Prospects, and Policy Issues in Central Asia
- CAREC Partnership Forum: Discussion with Partners
- Water/Energy/Food Insecurities in Central Asia: Assessment and Response
- Impact of the Global Financial Crisis on Central Asia