Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / Eight countries agreed to a strategy in the amount of $18.7bln to improve roads to airports, rail roads and sea ports in Middle Asia during the six Ministries Conference of the Central-Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program to make the region a transit trade way between Europe and Asia.
The Baku representative of the Asian Bank of Development (ABD) reported the plan was ratified during the meeting with participation of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Samir Valiyev, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation represented Azerbaijan at the meeting.
"Middle Asia is a central region in Eurasia and bridges land which connects Europe, Russia, China, South Asia and Middle East.
Competitive transport corridors through CAREC region would be created within the framework of the ratified strategy.
In spite of the fact that the Middle Asia is situated in the centre of the Eurasian contingent presently, less that 1% of trade is transported through Middle Asia.
The ratified plan envisages investments in amount of $18.7bln within the next ten years to construct six new transport corridors, particularly automobile routes and railways. About half of the budget will be allocated by international organizations like ABD, but the other part by the Government.
"It is a great and ambitious strategy. I believe active participation in the project will improve the economic state and conditions of the population in the region," Kharukhiko Kurod, ABD's president, said.
Historically Middle Asia was interlaced with enormous roads which connected the east and west known as the Silk Road. It was an economic road the length of 10,000km from the Mediterranean Sea to the Hwang Ho River.
The proposed new transport corridors will connect both the east and west and the north and south.
"Establishment of secure transport corridors will improve the total investment climate and increase economic development of the region," Emomali Rahmanov, the Tajikistan President, said.
CAREC's program was created in 1997.