Connecting CAREC: A Corridor Network
The six CAREC corridors link the region’s key economic hubs to each other, and connect the landlocked CAREC countries to other Eurasian and global markets. The Implementation Action Plan for the CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy presents an aggressive investment plan to upgrade all six transport corridors to international standards by 2017.
As people and goods move faster and more efficiently through the corridors, significant improvements are seen in trade between the CAREC countries, with other regions, and in transit trade. Increased trade, in turn, supports business development, creates jobs, and brings a better quality of life to the people of the region.
CAREC 2020— the strategic framework for the CAREC Program, 2011-2020– lays out the next phase of priority investments in transport infrastructure along the corridors. CAREC expects additional investments over the coming decade to complete the infrastructure network and begin the process of developing the transport corridors into logistics corridors and–ultimately–economic corridors.
The corridors were selected based on assessment of five factors:
- current traffic volume,
- prospect of economic and traffic growth,
- capacity to increase connectivity between economic and population centers,
- potential to mitigate delays and other hindrances, and
- economic and financial sustainability.
Each corridor improves access for CAREC countries to at least two large Eurasian markets; and the warm-water ports of Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan open up truly global trade opportunities.
Corridors are not final products, however: once a corridor is established, it must meet the needs of its users. This means improving physical infrastructure is only part of the equation. It is also necessary to ensure border-crossing times and costs as well as other transshipment operations are completed as seamlessly as possible. Harmonization of transport and trade procedures and processes will greatly facilitate the movement of goods and people.