Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 30 / Trend A. Akhundov /
Ministers of the 10 Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program nations have agreed on a plan to implement more than $23 billion in new regional transport infrastructure projects, together with energy and trade initiatives, aimed at creating seamless connectivity and greater prosperity in the region, ADB said today
The Wuhan Action Plan, unveiled at the ministers' meeting today, prioritizes 68 transport projects that will contribute to six major corridors linking the ports in eastern People's Republic of China (PRC) with the Caucasus and beyond, and connecting northern Kazakhstan to the trading hubs in Karachi and Gwadar in Pakistan. This will be complemented by efforts to improve border and customs services to allow people and goods to move easily between nations. In addition, CAREC nations aim to raise funds to build and improve energy assets, the message said.
Representatives from CAREC multilateral institution partners - ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank - and bilateral donor agencies from France, Japan, United Kingdom, and the United States - pledged support for the Wuhan Action Plan.
The Ministers, representing Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the PRC, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, also agreed to establish a base for the CAREC Institute in the region by 2014 to support strategic projects through analytical work, training, and knowledge management.
Since 2001, the CAREC region has seen over $19 billion in investments in just over 120 projects, including almost 4,000 kilometers of roads, 3,200 kilometers of railways, and more than 2,300 kilometers of power transmission lines.
Head of the Economic Development Ministry's office Samir Valiyev represents the Azerbaijani side, the ministry told Trend today.
The next meeting will be held in Kazakhstan in late 2013.
The ministers of these countries adopted the document "CAREC 2020: 10-year Strategic Framework for the CAREC Program" at the 10th meeting in Baku in November. The implementation of "CAREC 2020: Vision and Action" will be discussed in 2012.
The CAREC program assists Central Asia countries and their neighbors in realization of their economical potential through promotion of regional cooperation in 4 major fields: transport, trade stimulation, trade policy and energy.
After joining the CAREC program in 2002 Azerbaijan has invested around $3 billion in program projects. Azerbaijani government have contributed around $6 billion to development of transport corridor within CAREC. Azerbaijan's reconstruction of East West highway within CAREC program has transformed the country into a more effective corridor between Caspian and Black seas, which contributed to promotion of trade between Europe and Asia.
The CAREC program established in 1997 is a partnership of 10 countries- Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and 6 multilateral institutions: ADB, European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, UN Development program and World Bank.
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