Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.17 / Trend, N.Ismayilova /
Next week, Azerbaijan will host the10th Anniversary Ministerial Conference of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program in Baku, Asian Development Bank's Baku Office said in its press release on Thursday.
"The event will celebrate a decade of successful collaboration among 10 countries that has seen almost $17 billion of CAREC-related investments in energy, trade, and transportation begin to improve lives across the region," the press release says.
Since joining CAREC in 2002, Azerbaijan has invested almost $3 billion in CAREC-related projects.
"Azerbaijan's East-West Highway improvements under CAREC have helped make this vital transport artery a faster and more efficient corridor between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, promoting more trade between Europe and Asia. Better roads have helped revive local agricultural and industrial sectors," the press release says.
"Road construction demonstrates Azerbaijan's commitment to building links that improve commerce and the quality of life at home and beyond its borders,'' said Olly Norojono, Asian Development Bank (ADB) Resident Representative in Azerbaijan.
"By playing host once again, the Azerbaijan government is graciously demonstrating its desire to achieve deeper regional cooperation," the press release says.
The Ministerial Conference, to be held from Nov.22-24, is the second time Azerbaijan has welcomed ministers from CAREC member countries after the annual gathering was held in Baku in 2008.
At the conference, CAREC 2020 will be launched as the new strategy for the next 10 years that will help countries expand trade, spur competitiveness in the broader global economy, and reposition Central Asia as the pivot of regional trade.
Financing of CAREC projects over the next 10 years will also be discussed by senior representatives of donor agencies from Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and others at the Development Partners' Forum.
The CAREC countries comprise Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Six multilateral institutions support the work of CAREC: the ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank. ADB has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members-48 from the region. In 2010, it approved a total of $13.8 billion in financing operations through loans, grants, guarantees, a trade finance facilitation program, equity investments, and technical assistance projects. ADB also mobilized cofinancing amounting to $3.7 billion.