BISHKEK, KYRGYZ REPUBLIC – The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program will hold its 11th Ministerial Conference on 29-31 October in Wuhan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC).
CAREC is a partnership of 10 countries, working to spur economic development across a vast area at the heart of Eurasia’s trade and commerce. With more than $19 billion invested since 2001, CAREC helps build transport, trade, and energy links that encourage sustainable growth and connect mostly landlocked members with each other and to markets beyond. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has served as the CAREC Secretariat since 2001.
CAREC has played a key role in infrastructure development in the Kyrgyz Republic. The PRC, Arabic Coordination Group, and ADB have committed $397 million for reconstruction of 500 kilometers of the Bishkek–Naryn-Torugart road, which will be completed by 2017. The project is part of the CAREC road corridor network that spans the vast Central Asian region, connecting people and businesses, and creating better conditions for investment, new jobs, and economic growth.
Rehabilitation of the Irkeshtam-Sary Tash-Karamyk (136 kilometers) and Osh-Sary Tash-Irkeshtam (255 kilometers) roads will be complete by the end of 2012.
“These roads will allow trade to flourish along a key transport corridor that extends from the PRC to Afghanistan and Pakistan,” said Rie Hiraoka, ADB Country Director in the Kyrgyz Republic. “They will help maximize the economic benefits of this regional transport corridor.”
Since 2010, ADB has provided financing to improve and rehabilitate the energy sector in the Kyrgyz Republic with two projects: the Power Sector Improvement Project, worth $44.8 million, and signed in 2010, and the Power Sector Rehabilitation Project, worth $55 million and signed in September 2012.
A year ago at the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference, a new regional strategy for the next 10 years was unveiled. The strategy, known as CAREC 2020, will help countries expand trade and increase their global competitiveness. The theme of this year’s Ministerial Conference is Implementing CAREC 2020: Vision and Action.
The CAREC countries comprise Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, PRC, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Six multilateral institutions support the work of CAREC: the 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.