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Saturday 27 October 2012

11th CAREC Ministerial Conference Hosted by China


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(Xinhua) – The Chinese Ministry of Finance announced on Tuesday that the 11th Ministerial Conference on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) will be held from Oct. 29 to Oct. 30 in Wuhan, capital city of central China’s Hubei Province. Finance minister Xie Xuren will lead the Chinese delegation at the event and act as the conference chairman, according to a statement from the ministry’s website.

“Regional cooperation is the best means of ensuring regional prosperity. Next week, the goal will be to agree on how to implement our vision of better trade and transport links and how we can better share ideas and knowledge within the CAREC region,” said Asian Development Bank’s director general of the Central and West Asia Department, Klaus Gerhaeusser.
With the rapid economic expansion of the People’s Republic of China and Japan to the east, the Russian Federation to the north, and India and Pakistan to the south, there is unprecedented opportunity for CAREC countries to emerge as a centre of trade and commerce, achieve higher levels of economic growth, and reduce poverty.

The conference will focus on expanding multilateral cooperation in key areas, establishing a CAREC institute and implementing CAREC 2020 Strategy, the statement said. At the 10th CAREC gathering in Baku, Azerbaijan in November 2011, ministers endorsed a 10-year framework for the region, titled CAREC 2020: 10-year Strategic Framework for the CAREC Programme. This year, the ministers will discuss how to implement CAREC 2020: Vision and actions. Negotiations will concentrate on development of road, railways and cross border connections to facilitate trade and transport through the region. These sorts of improvements will also make indirectly the region more apt to expand tourism.

The CAREC program, initiated by the Asian Development Bank in 1997 to encourage regional cooperation, includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Five other multilateral institutions support the work of CAREC: the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Bank. ADB serves as the CAREC Secretariat.

The CAREC programme prioritises projects and initiatives in four key areas: transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy in an effort to promote economic growth and poverty reduction in the region. Since its formation, the recipient countries were awarded US $19.6 billion in investments for some 120 projects. This includes building or restoration of almost 4,000 km of roads and 3,200 km of railways in the region. In the energy sector, more than 2,300 km of power transmission lines have been constructed and are already providing reliable electricity to homes and businesses.

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