ADB Partners with Wolfensohn Center for Development to Assist Central Asia

News Release | 5 March 2007

WASHINGTON - The Brookings Institution's Wolfensohn Center for Development and ADB will partner to support regional cooperation and integration in Central Asia and neighboring countries.

Under the partnership, the Center's Executive Director, Johannes Linn, will serve as a Special Adviser to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, one of the premier regional organizations for Central Asia.

"We are pleased to begin this new partnership with ADB, which will extend our work to one of the key regions of the world, and one that is often neglected by the international community," said Lael Brainard, Vice President for Global Economy and Development at Brookings.

"Central Asia is clearly of central importance for global stability and for the effective integration of the Eurasian economies," Ms. Brainard said. "CAREC has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to support this goal and we are happy to support it."

Mr. Linn will provide advice to CAREC's eight participating countries and six multilateral agencies on the Program's strategy and action plan; he will assist with high-level outreach to stakeholders in and outside the CAREC region; and will support the establishment of the CAREC Institute, which will undertake research, outreach and training on regional cooperation and integration in Central Asia.

"This partnership comes at an important time for CAREC. The Program has adopted a clear agenda and a detailed action plan for the coming years," said Robert Siy, Jr., Director of ADB's regional cooperation division for Central and West Asia. "We need to tap into the best thinking available to turn the plan into reality and improve economic opportunities for Central Asia."

"The participation of the Wolfensohn Center for Development and Mr. Linn, with his exceptional expertise in Central Asia development and cooperation, will help push the program forward with new vigor," said Mr. Siy.

CAREC is a regional forum set up in 2001 at ministerial level with strong support from ADB. Its principal purpose is to serve as a mechanism to facilitate regional economic cooperation and integration among the Central Asian countries and their main neighbors. Its regular participants are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.