Ministers of the 10 CAREC member countries–Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan–discussed progress in the program’s four priority areas: transport, trade facilitation, energy, and trade policy.
The meeting was chaired by Mongolia Minister of Finance Bayarbaatar Bolor. Mongolia hosted this year’s ministerial meeting.
In his keynote address, Asian Development Bank President Takehiko Nakao noted that in the current difficult global economic environment, CAREC countries should further strengthen regional cooperation and integration efforts.
“Enhancing the subregion’s connectivity, promoting trade and investment across borders, and improving access to external markets will help improve the prospects of the subregion as a whole,” Nakao said.
Since 2001, CAREC has mobilized $28.3 billion of investments for 168 projects under its four priority sectors. (See full list of CAREC projects.)
CAREC ministers commended new initiatives to develop multimodal transport corridor networks and endorsed a 4-year energy strategy and work plan, which adds clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.
They also commended customs cooperation initiatives and the approval of Kazakhstan’s accession protocol by the General Council of the World Trade Organization.
This year’s meeting, which carries the theme Linking Connectivity with Economic Transformation in CAREC, also tackled the implementation of the Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative, cooperation in sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and endorsed a high-level commitment to road safety in CAREC.
A representative from the International Monetary Fund made a presentation on the global economic outlook and its implications on CAREC member countries.