Regional: Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program

Sovereign Project | 46134-001

Summary

The TA is expected to contribute to an expansion in the total international trade of CAREC member countries, as envisaged in CAREC 2020's strategic objective. To contribute to achieving this impact, coordination of the CAREC program will be enhanced as the TA's intended outcome. The vehicle of coordination has been established as the Overall Institutional Framework (OIF). The TA will continue ADB's support for the OIF national and regional mechanisms, as well as the overall coordination of the CAREC program. ADB will continue to play the role of CAREC secretariat in the second decade of the program--a pre-requisite for the effective implementation of CAREC 2020.

The expected outputs of the TA are: (i) the regional and national bodies under the CAREC OIF increase their effectiveness; and (ii) the CAREC secretariat becomes more responsive and efficient.

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Project Name Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program
Project Number 46134-001
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8148-REG: Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 3.00 million
TA 8148-REG: Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 2.50 million
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Energy - Electricity transmission and distribution - Large hydropower generation
Industry and trade - Trade and services
Transport - Rail transport (non-urban) - Road transport (non-urban)
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The TA is expected to contribute to an expansion in the total international trade of CAREC member countries, as envisaged in CAREC 2020's strategic objective. To contribute to achieving this impact, coordination of the CAREC program will be enhanced as the TA's intended outcome. The vehicle of coordination has been established as the Overall Institutional Framework (OIF). The TA will continue ADB's support for the OIF national and regional mechanisms, as well as the overall coordination of the CAREC program. ADB will continue to play the role of CAREC secretariat in the second decade of the program--a pre-requisite for the effective implementation of CAREC 2020.

The expected outputs of the TA are: (i) the regional and national bodies under the CAREC OIF increase their effectiveness; and (ii) the CAREC secretariat becomes more responsive and efficient.

The TA follows up on earlier ADB "umbrella' technical assistance for coordinating the CAREC program, including: (i) TA 6409-REG: Strengthening Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation, 2007-2012 ($5 million and supplementary TAs of $4.75 million); (ii) TA 6272-REG: Greater Silk Road Initiative 2006 ($985,000); (iii) TA 6199-REG: Greater Silk Road Initiative 2005 ($900,000); and (iv) TA 6053-REG: Greater Silk Road Initiative ($950,000).

Furthermore, the TA complements the outcomes and outputs of two other RETAs in the 2012 pipeline "Assisting the CAREC Institute Knowledge Program - Phase 1" and "Supporting Capacity Development Needs of CAREC 2020 - Phase 1"--which are dedicated to the knowledge and capacity development components of CAREC 2020.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The CAREC Overall Institutional Framework (OIF)--established in 2002 and governed by the Ministerial Conference--has guided the program effectively through a flexible and informal structure. As a multilateral institution partner and as the CAREC program's secretariat since its inception, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has supported the OIF in (i) reaching consensus on the principles of and approach to regional cooperation; (ii) formulating the vision, goal, and strategic priorities of the program and its sectors of cooperation; (iii) coordinating and monitoring the planning, preparation, and implementation of priority projects and initiatives; (iv) providing a platform for regular discussions on CAREC-related concerns among the participating countries, multilateral institution partners, and other key stakeholders; and (v) building confidence among countries to sustain their support for and participation in the program.

The CAREC 10-Year Commemorative Study (stock-take report) warns that ownership of and commitment to the OIF has varied among member countries, with heavy reliance on assistance from the multilateral institutions in programming and coordination. CAREC 2020, reflecting on the Program's first decade and the key lessons of the stock-take report, called for gradual refinements of the OIF to improve its coordination of the CAREC program.

With a strengthened OIF to actively manage the more focused agenda of CAREC 2020 and ADB's highly satisfactory coordination of the program, stakeholders increasingly expect ADB to step up its support to the OIF through its secretariat role. A strong secretariat is needed to ensure effective functioning of national and regional CAREC bodies, facilitating the mainstreaming of CAREC projects and initiatives in national development agendas. In response to this expectation, at the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference, ADB expressed its strong commitment to support the CAREC 2020 strategy by providing financial, technical, and knowledge resources, and by continuing to serve as the secretariat for the program.

Impact The total international trade volume of CAREC member countries expands as envisaged under CAREC 2020.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Overall coordination of the CAREC program is enhanced.
Progress Toward Outcome At the 11th Ministerial Conference, ministers of the 10 CAREC member countries--Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan endorsed the Wuhan Action Plan (Action Plan), which charts the next steps of the CAREC Program. The Action Plan was supported by representatives of the 6 CAREC multilateral institutions and other development partners. Since 2001 over $22 billion worth of CAREC related investments was made. Of this, $8.2 billion was financed by ADB, $9.8 billion by other donor organizations, and $4.4 billion from CAREC governments. Of these investments, transport has the biggest share with over $17.7 billion accounting for about 80%.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. The regional and national bodies under the CAREC OIF increase their effectiveness.

2. CAREC coordination support is strengthened.

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

The 2013 Mid-year CAREC Senior Officials' Meeting discussed (i) key issues and progress made in implementing the CAREC Program in transport, trade facilitation, trade policy, and energy; (ii) updates on the Mid-Term Review of the Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy and Implementation Action Plan; and (iii) highlights of the Annual Report on CAREC Corridor Performance Measurement and Monitoring (CPMM). Drafts of the 2012 CAREC Development Effectiveness Review and the CAREC Institute Work Plan 2013-2017 were also presented.

The 12th CAREC Ministerial Conference held in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2013 endorsed the refined CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020, which calls for a more integrated approach to improving transport and logistics infrastructure, and trade and transport facilitation. Ministers also endorsed the revised Trade Policy Strategic Action Plan 2013-2017, which calls for increased focus on nontariff measures and the removal of quantitative restrictions that are not World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant, to open trade and expand trade in services and thus bring about greater regional integration.

The CAREC RETA provided support to the following activities from April- September 2014:

13th CAREC Transport Sector Coordinating Committee, Bishkek, May 2014

CAREC Senior Officials Meeting, Manila, June 2014

18th CAREC Energy Sector Coordinating Committee, Beijing, September 2014

Consultation Meeting of the National Focal Points, Issyk Kul, September 2014

At the 13th CAREC Ministerial Conference held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic last November 2014, the ministers of the 10 CAREC member countries expressed support for the Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative.The initiative--the first example of city-level cooperation in the CAREC region--will help coordinate urban development planning between Almaty and Bishkek, and will generate detailed studies to identify infrastructure requirements, policies, and market opportunities to better integrate their economies.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two cities to pilot an economic corridor.

The meeting, which carried the theme Linking Connectivity with Economic Transformation in CAREC, also addressed the physical establishment of the CAREC Institute in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, PRC.

The 2013 Mid-year CAREC Senior Officials' Meeting discussed (i) key issues and progress made in implementing the CAREC Program in transport, trade facilitation, trade policy, and energy; (ii) updates on the Mid-Term Review of the Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy and Implementation Action Plan; and (iii) highlights of the Annual Report on CAREC Corridor Performance Measurement and Monitoring (CPMM). Drafts of the 2012 CAREC Development Effectiveness Review and the CAREC Institute Work Plan 2013-2017 were also presented.

The 12th CAREC Ministerial Conference held in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2013 endorsed the refined CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020, which calls for a more integrated approach to improving transport and logistics infrastructure, and trade and transport facilitation. Ministers also endorsed the revised Trade Policy Strategic Action Plan 2013-2017, which calls for increased focus on nontariff measures and the removal of quantitative restrictions that are not World Trade Organization (WTO) compliant, to open trade and expand trade in services and thus bring about greater regional integration.

The CAREC RETA provided support to the following activities from April-September 2014:

13th CAREC Transport Sector Coordinating Committee, Bishkek, May 2014

CAREC Senior Officials Meeting, Manila, June 2014

18th CAREC Energy Sector Coordinating Committee, Beijing, September 2014

Consultation Meeting of the National Focal Points, Issyk Kul, September 2014

At the 13th CAREC Ministerial Conference held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic last November 2014, the ministers of the 10 CAREC member countries expressed support for the Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative.The initiative--the first example of city-level cooperation in the CAREC region--will help coordinate urban development planning between Almaty and Bishkek, and will generate detailed studies to identify infrastructure requirements, policies, and market opportunities to better integrate their economies.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two cities to pilot an economic corridor.

The meeting, which carried the theme Linking Connectivity with Economic Transformation in CAREC, also made an ministerial announcement on the physical establishment of the CAREC Institute in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, PRC and approved the 10-member Governing Council for the CAREC Institute.

Geographical Location Kyrgyz Republic,Mongolia,Pakistan,People's Republic of China,Kazakhstan,Afghanistan,Uzbekistan,Tajikistan,Turkmenistan,Azerbaijan
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The CAREC Overall Institutional Framework (OIF) has guided the program effectively through a flexible and informal structure. National and regional CAREC bodies are in place and operational. Stakeholders increasingly expect ADB to step up its support to the OIF. In response to this expectation, at the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference, ADB expressed its strong commitment to support the CAREC 2020 Strategy by providing financial, technical, and knowledge resources, and to assist in the coordination of the program.
During Project Implementation Over the first 10 years of the program, an annual calendar for regular meetings took shape and is anticipated to be maintained for the coming years. These regular meetings may be supplemented by ad hoc calls for extraordinary meetings as issues arise.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services Consultants will be engaged by ADB in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants.
Procurement Equipment budgeted under the TA consists of computers and small office equipment that will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (201, as amended from time to time).
Responsible ADB Officer Hong Wang
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 09 Apr 2012
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 30 Aug 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 18 Mar 2015

TA 8148-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
30 Aug 2012 - 30 Aug 2012 31 Aug 2015 31 Aug 2016 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
5,500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 5,500,000.00 30 Aug 2012 3,583,427.79
Title Document Type Document Date
Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program TA Change in Scope, Amount, and Implementation Arrangements Jun 2014
Enhancing Coordination of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program Technical Assistance Reports Jul 2012

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