Eighth CAREC Ministerial Conference

Ministers at the 8th Ministerial Conference welcomed the program’s significant progress in implementing its project-focused strategies in the priority sectors of transport, trade facilitation, trade policy, and energy. They noted the program’s six multilateral partners have programmed almost $4 billion in loans and grants in these sectors in 2009, double the volume of investment in 2008.

“CAREC is at work across the region building transport and energy infrastructure, simplifying border and trade arrangements, undertaking research on regional issues, and building networks in support of cooperation,” ministers said in a joint statement. “This work is opening new economic opportunities for millions of our citizens.”

Ministers endorsed two plans to advance regional cooperation in the energy, transport, and trade sectors:

  • the Energy Action Plan Framework will deliver investments, knowledge and capacity building, and policy advice in three strategic areas: Energy demand-supply balance and infrastructure constraints; regional dispatch and regulatory development; and analysis of energy-water linkages. The Action Plan outlines diagnostic work in each area that will help establish a shared understanding of opportunities for cooperation and action.
  • the CAREC Program Results Framework will highlight the value and tangible impact of regional cooperation. It will track progress of CAREC operations, indicate areas for improvement, and highlight trends in results. Results Framework data will serve as the basis of a broader CAREC development effectiveness review. This review will articulate program achievements through a credible and transparent process and inform the Program’s decision-making processes.

In a keynote address at the ministerial meeting, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said CAREC countries have much to gain from the trend toward regional integration in Asia and the Pacific. “Asian integration is real. It is happening now,” he said.

“I believe this trend represents great opportunities for the CAREC countries and you are set to seize them. As a key link between Asia and Europe and the Middle East, it is in each of your countries’ interest to be a part of this debate.”

The ministerial meeting was chaired by Bayartsogt Sangajav, minister of finance of Mongolia, and co-chaired by Xiaoyu Zhao, ADB vice president, Operations 1.

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