First session of SPECA Council of Managers started in Baku

On June 27, the first session of the Council of Managers of UN Special Program for the Economy of Central Asian countries (SPECA) was held in Baku in a new format. The session brought together the executive secretary of UN European Economic Commission (UNESCAP), national coordinators from Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Kirgizistan and Tadjikistan. As a chairman country, the meeting was opened by Azeri economic development minister Heydar Babayev who mentioned the necessity to intensify the activity of the SPECA program.

Babayev offered to reanalyze the realization of 2005-2007 action plan of SPECA confirmed at the session of the regional consultation committee of the program in May 2005 in Astana, Trend reports. The plan includes 28 projects/measures totaling 10,55 mln euros. They will be realized by UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific Ocean and UNESCAP individually or jointly. At present, 14 projects are financed in the sphere of transport, water, energy, trade, statistics and ICT totaling 4 mln euros.

6 projects out of 28 projects/measures have started to be implemented in 2005 transport (two), water and energy (three), trade (one), statistics (one) and ICT (two).

According to Babayev, Azerbaijan is interested in realization of two projects from this program raise of the potential of participant-countries in ICT sphere, as well as support to entrance to World Trade Organization (WTO) and creation of non-formal forum of WTO.

Kazakhstan changes the direction of program to the projects in the sphere of industry and agriculture, and is interested in establishment of Secretariat of SPECA national coordinators. In its turn, Kirgizistan was interested in creation of common energy market in SPECA region.

During the meeting, it was offered to involve Iran, Pakistan and India to the activity of SPECA. First the program implies Asian countries, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.

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