The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated $4.7 billion over the next 3 years to support the new 10-year strategy for the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program or CAREC 2020, and its goals of trade expansion and improved competitiveness.
“We stand ready to assist in accelerating the development of physical infrastructure connectivity, the development of economic corridors, and the improvement of the knowledge base needed to support CAREC’s priorities,” said ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda.
President Kuroda made the announcement at the Development Partners’ Forum on 24 November 2011, held on the sidelines of the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference. Ministers of the CAREC governments and senior representatives of development agencies came together in Baku to discuss support for CAREC 2020. The forum was chaired by ADB Vice President Xiaoyu Zhao.
Multilateral institution partners echoed their support for the work of CAREC and some offered substantial financial assistance over the next decade. Senior representatives of bilateral agencies from France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States also attended the forum and supported the new strategic framework.
To date, CAREC member governments and the six multilateral institution partners have approved over 100 CAREC-related projects worth about $17 billion. These projects include six land transport corridors that cover 3,600 kilometers of roads and 2,000 kilometers of railway. They traverse the CAREC region north-south and east-west, linking Europe, East Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and beyond.
Established in 2001, CAREC now has 10 member countries—Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Its multilateral institution partners are ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank.