ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN – The reconstruction of about 200 kilometers of the Aktau–Beineu Road in Mangystau Oblast is a strong example of regional cooperation at work under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, which celebrates 11 years in existence with its ministerial conference set for October 29-31 in the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
“Connecting countries continues to be CAREC’s priority. Cross-border connectivity is an enabling factor in the development of Kazakhstan’s economic competitiveness, increased productivity, and diversification,” said Guanghui Li, Country Director of the Kazakhstan Resident Mission of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
A Kazakhstan delegation will participate in the CAREC 11th Ministerial Conference in Wuhan, Hubei Province, PRC. The theme of this year’s Ministerial Conference is Implementing CAREC 2020: Vision and Action.
Next year Kazakhstan will host the CAREC 12th Ministerial Conference in Astana. The annual Ministerial Conference provides overall guidance to the Program and determines policy and strategic directions. CAREC 2020 is the new roadmap to guide the Program towards its vision of “Good Partners, Good Neighbors, and Good Prospects” and supports Kazakhstan’s national programs to diversify its economy and increase the potential of the country.
CAREC promotes project-based cooperation in transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy, including the CAREC Corridor 2, which will connect Kazakhstan with Azerbaijan, Europe, and Turkey through the Caspian Sea, with the Russian Federation, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
The Western Europe–Western PRC Megaproject is another critical CAREC Corridor, traversing Kazakhstan and linking the markets of Europe and the Russian Federation to Asia. With its ideal strategic location, Kazakhstan is well placed to benefit from a large share of the international trade along a new Silk Road network. The country has received $6.96 billion for CAREC-related projects since the beginning of 2001 and currently has 15 ongoing projects in the transport, trade, and energy sectors.
The CAREC partnership comprises 10 countries — Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the PRC, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — and six multilateral institutions: ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Monetary Fund, the Islamic Development Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. ADB has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001.