Implementation of the RETA started in January 2009. The CAREC Institute is proceeding with implementation of its 2009-2011 work plan, endorsed at the 7th Ministerial Conference on Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) in November 2008, to provide training for government officials in areas related to regional economic cooperation and support research related to regional initiatives. Details of these training programs may be found at www.carecprogram.org.
At the 11th Ministerial Conference held in Wuhan, People's Republic of China (PRC) on 30 October 2012, the Ministers agreed to establish the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute physical base in the region by 2014. Further, the member countries have agreed to locate the CAREC Institute (CI) in Urumqi, PRC at the 12th Ministerial Conference held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 24 October 2013.
The TA has supported various trainings and capacity development programs.
The CAREC Institute Leadership Development Initiative (LDI), launched with the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore comprises (i) an Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP) which were held annually for 2009-2011; and (ii) a Public Sector Management Short Course, for upper and mid-level government officials covering public sector management (principles and practice) and public sector finance, which were held in the CAREC countries for 2009-2011.
Awareness Workshops on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) were held in Kyrgyz Republic; Kazakhstan; and Mongolia in June 2009; and in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in 2010. A Workshop on 'Public-Private Partnership Workshop: Lessons from Asian Experience' was held in Chengdu, People's Republic of China, on 3-5 November.
Other capacity building initiatives held to support second-tier areas include (i) a study visit to Tajikistan by officials from PRC's Ministry of Health as part of continual efforts on avian influenza; (ii) awareness workshops on climate change mitigation and adaptation held in Mongolia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan in September 2010; and a training workshop for Strengthening Laboratory Services in Harbin, PRC in November 2010.
The CAREC Institute supported the following capacity building activities in 2012:
" The CAREC Institute supported the International Energy Agency (IEA) Caspian Energy Policy Dialogue and Training held in Astana, Kazakhstan last 3 5 July 2012. The event engaged Caspian countries in discussing perspectives on energy technology, delivering energy-training modules, and sharing best practices in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
" On 24 -26 July 2012, the CAREC Institute co-organized the Third Seminar on World Trade Organization Accession: Managing WTO Accession Process - Strategies, Challenges, and Practices in Shanghai, People's Republic of China. The seminar helped trade officials in non World Trade Organization (WTO) CAREC countries learn about their key functions before, during, and after the accession process in areas such as identifying goals, assessing options based on model simulations, formulating negotiating strategies and fallback options, and managing the negotiating team and national committee.
" The First Training in Implementing Performance-Based Maintenance Contracts was held in Beijing, People's Republic of China on 27 -29 November 2012. The CAREC Institute, the transport division of the Asian Development Bank's Central and West Asia Department, and the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China discussed the concept and best practices of performance-based road maintenance. Decision makers and practitioners, including senior transport officials, engineers, and procurement officers from the 10 CAREC countries, attended the training, which was the first held on implementing performance-based contracts.
With the extension of the RETA's completion date, the following activities were funded in 2013 -2015:
" The CAREC Institute supported the Integrated Trade Facilitation "At the Border" and "Behind the Border": Reforms and Implementation on 10- 13 April 2013 in Georgia. National focal points, customs officials, and representatives of border management agencies from CAREC countries joined a study tour that highlighted Georgia's trade facilitation reforms and showed the benefits of replicating them. Georgian officials discussed customs institutional reforms, border management strategy, and other measures to integrate trade facilitation, while participants presented similar reforms by their own governments. The participants observed reforms in action at the Batumi Seaport and Customs Clearance Zone, and at the Sarpi Customs Border Crossing Point, where they saw how technology enables transparent and efficient customs procedures, minimizing the time required for goods to cross between Georgia and Turkey.
" On 19- 21 August 2013, about 60 people from all CAREC member countries attended the 3-day training on Supply Chain Management, Logistics, and FIATA Standards in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Together with the CAREC Institute, the CAREC Trade Facilitation program is piloting professional education courses on supply chain management, logistics, and FIATA (International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association) standards.
" On 10- 12 September 2013, the CI supported the capacity building activity of CAREC energy sector officials in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The event reviewed the progress in implementing the CAREC Energy Work Plan (2013-2015) and finalized the priority investment project list in preparation for the 12th CAREC Ministerial Conference.
" On 25 November- 6 December 2013, the CAREC Institute co-sponsored the CAREC Train the Trainers Workshop for Kazakhstan Customs, a joint initiative with the PRC's General Administration of Customs. The workshop aimed to develop training and participative classroom skills of customs trainers and officers which will provide support in the design and delivery of national and local customs trainings in Kazakhstan. The training presented a modular approach, and combined classroom learning and interactive discussions on best practices and to be delivered by tutors with extensive practical training experience.
" In the CI-supported Energy Efficiency Training Seminar held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia last 28- 30 May 2014, some 50 participants from the 10 CAREC member countries, and Armenia and Georgia--composed of representatives from ministries of energy, finance and economy/planning, together with state-owned utility companies and financial institutions-- discussed challenges and opportunities for energy efficiency as a driver of economic growth in the region.
On separate occasions, the CAREC Institute co-organized activities with the World Trade Organization, Agence Francaise de Developpement and ADB Institute, to improve the national capacities of civil servants in the implementation of projects involving the CAREC priority areas, including managing public-private partnership programs and projects:
" On 5 December 2013, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), in partnership with the World Trade Organization (WTO), conducted a session on the CAREC Program at the Bali Trade and Development Symposium on the sidelines of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference. The session, Regional Cooperation and Trade in Central Asia: Integrating into the Global Economy, introduced the CAREC Program,
discussed new strategies for trade policy and trade and transport facilitation in Central Asia, and discussed successful and ongoing efforts by CAREC countries to accede to the WTO.
" On 3- 7 February 2014, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Institute, the Agence Francaise de Developpement, and ADB, through the CAREC Institute, jointly organized a training workshop on Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in Infrastructure Development. Topics discussed in other sessions include institutional, economic, legal, and contractual aspects of PPP projects; identification and planning of PPP projects; preparation of a PPP project; and overview of PPP contractual and financial structure.
" CAREC IMT-GT Workshop on Economic Corridor Development, April 2014, Kuala Lumpur
" Energy Efficiency Training, May 2014, Kuala Lumpur
" National Workshop on Tajikistan's Accession Requirements to WTO, June 2014, Dushanbe
" CAREC SPS Learning Opportunities, October 2014, Mongolia
" Regional Energy Trade Workshop, September 2014, Manila
" CAREC National Consultation Workshop, September 2014, Turkmenistan
" High Level Planning Workshop, January 2015, Mongolia
" Central Asia's Economic Opportunities: Economic Corridors and Global Value Chains, Inaugural Knowledge Sharing Workshop of the CAREC Institute, March 2015, Urumqi. The workshop focused on how CAREC countries can develop effective policies and programs to develop and benefit from economic corridor development and plugging into global value chains. The workshop was done in conjunction with the launching of CAREC Institute physical base in Urumqi in March 2015.
" CAREC Trade Logistics Training" on 15-17 June 2015 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.