Baku, Azerbaijan, September 19, 2022: Think tanks in central and west Asia can provide innovative solutions to pressing global challenges such as climate change, COVID-19, and geopolitical conflicts, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Shixin Chen said at a regional forum.
“Facing the pandemic, climate change, energy, and food security challenges, a lot of effort has gone into preparing strategies and action plans”, said Mr. Chen at the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Think Tank Development Forum held on September 15 and 16. “I encourage think tanks to play an active role in providing innovative solutions to the regional cooperation and integration. Developing member countries now desire more fit-for-purpose solutions. Think tanks can provide customized solutions through a country-based approach.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions back into poverty while climate change is increasingly threatening the region through natural hazards, loss of livelihoods, and food insecurity. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and other geopolitical conflicts are taking a toll on the global economy, pushing up energy and food prices. Some countries in the CAREC region are particularly affected given their close economic ties with Russia.
Mr. Chen encouraged think tanks to support developing member countries in building their own research capacities and strengthen their cooperation among various subregional programs like CAREC to encourage knowledge sharing.
The CAREC Think Tank Development Forum is an annual event organized by the CAREC Institute under the guidance of leading think tanks from member countries of the CAREC Program. In its sixth year, the forum centered on the theme Recalibrating Growth Dynamics for Inclusive and Sustainable Economies. Leading practitioners from think tanks, multilateral development partners, governments, and the private sector discussed regional challenges and solutions.
The CAREC Institute is an intergovernmental organization contributing to the CAREC Program through knowledge generation and capacity building. CAREC is a partnership of 11 countries and development partners working together to promote sustainable development through cooperation. Launched in 2001, the program proactively facilitates practical, results-based regional projects and policy initiatives to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty in the region. ADB serves as the CAREC Secretariat and supports the CAREC Institute through technical assistance.