Media Briefing on the CAREC Program

Opening remarks by Makoto Ojiro, Country Director of ADB's Tajikistan Resident Mission, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon and many thanks for joining us today. I am delighted to see you all again, welcome to ADB's Tajikistan Resident Mission and to the press briefing on the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.

Founded in 1997, CAREC is a partnership of eight countries - Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan - and six multilateral institutions: the Asian Development Bank (ADB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme and World Bank. ADB has served as CAREC Secretariat since 2000.

Tajikistan is a major beneficiary of the CAREC program. There are four large ongoing investment projects funded under the CAREC Program in Tajikistan: rehabilitation of the Dushanbe-Kyrgyz border road, customs modernization, construction of power transmission line between Tajikistan and Afghanistan, and reconstruction of 500 kV switchyard in Nurek Hydropower Plant. Total amount of this assistance is over $180 million.

Let me introduce our guest-speaker today, Ms. Shigeko Hattori, who arrived from our Headquarters in Manila, Philippines. Ms. Hattori is the Director of the ADB's Regional Cooperation Division. She is in charge of the CAREC Program. Ms. Hattori has been with ADB for over ten years. Serving in different positions in the Bank, she worked for many countries, including Viet Nam, Lao, Thailand, and others. She also was the task manager for developing ADB's Long-Term Strategic Framework, Strategy 2020, and preparing ADB's 5th General Capital Increase.

Ms. Hattori came to Dushanbe to discuss the CAREC Program for 2010-2011, and the upcoming CAREC Senior Officials Meeting scheduled for April in Manila. This is her first visit to Tajikistan, and she has kindly agreed to meet media during her stay here. We also have with us today Mr. Ushio Tashibu, Regional Cooperation Specialist.

Now, I would like to give the floor to Ms. Hattori, who will share the results of her visit in Tajikistan and CAREC plans for 2010-2011. After her presentation, the floor will be open to questions and answers.

Thank you for your attention.