Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.24 / Trend, N.Ismayilova /
Azerbaijan supports Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program in achieving its strategic goals, and "we are ready to provide all necessary support to the country, given its importance in the region," President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Haruhiko Kuroda said at a news conference in Baku on Wednesday.
"Today during a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev we discussed CAREC-2020 strategy, also we were able to hold bilateral meetings which discussed the ADB assistance to Azerbaijan in the priority sectors such as energy, transport and water. The meeting also stressed the importance of regional cooperation. Our potential projects that can be implemented in the subsequent few years were discussed as well," Kuroda said.
A ministerial conference of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) was held in Baku on Wednesday.
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.
Road construction demonstrates Azerbaijan's commitment to building links that improve commerce and the quality of life at home and beyond its borders, Olly Norojono said.
Since 2001, CAREC-related investments have totaled $17 billion in energy, trade and transportation. These include building the trademark CAREC transport corridors and energy networks throughout these mainly landlocked nations. Improved infrastructure contributed to a nearly 13-fold increase in intraregional trade between 2001 and 2008, and looking forward, the corridors could triple trade flows by 2017 from the 2007 total.
CAREC 2020 details priority projects, estimated at over $50 billion, needed to complete the six CAREC transport corridors, improve energy security, and promote development of true economic corridors.
Six multilateral institutions (MIs) support the work of CAREC: ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank.
Financing of CAREC projects over the next 10 years will be discussed by senior representatives of the MIs and donor agencies from Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom and others at the Development Partners' Forum on 24 November.
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, ADB approvals, including, cofinancing, totaled $17.51 billion. In addition, ADB's ongoing Trade Finance Program supported $2.8 billion in trade.