Keynote address by Masatsugu Asakawa, President, Asian Development Bank, at the 21st Ministerial Conference of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, 24 November 2022
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:
I am honored to join you today for this Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program Ministerial Conference. I thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China for hosting this year’s conference.
CAREC has demonstrated great success in promoting cooperation across the region. ADB is proud to support the Program. We are committed to helping our developing member countries tackle the challenges they face, including recovery from the pandemic, food security, and climate change.
Priorities for green, sustainable, and inclusive recovery
Let me highlight a few key areas where we should focus our efforts in line with the theme of this conference, “Revitalizing Regional Cooperation for a Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery.”
First, we need to strengthen economies as they emerge from the pandemic. Technological innovation, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and green growth are crucial.
CAREC’s Post-Pandemic Framework for Green, Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery lays out a path to achieve this.
Second, we need to address food insecurity, which threatens to reverse decades of social and economic progress, especially for poor and vulnerable groups.
CAREC’s Cooperation Framework for Agricultural Development and Food Security is a welcome step toward building a productive and sustainable agriculture sector.
ADB supports these efforts, and we aim to provide $14 billion to strengthen food security in Asia and the Pacific between 2022 to 2025. Our Countercyclical Support Facility or CSF programs are also helping our members cope with external shocks.
Under CSF, we recently approved $500 million in support to Uzbekistan, $1.5 billion to Pakistan, $50 million to Tajikistan, another $50 million to the Kyrgyz Republic, and $100 million to Mongolia.
Third, we need to mobilize investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
I would like to highlight the Green Energy Alliance for its proposals on this important aspect of the climate agenda.
ADB is supporting a just energy transition through innovative platforms such as our Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) and our ambition to provide $100 billion in cumulative climate financing to Asia and the Pacific between 2019 and 2030.
Honorable ministers, let me close by encouraging you to continue strengthening collaboration in these areas, so that we can tackle the challenges to recovery.
Our commitment to work together through platforms like CAREC offers us a promising path to a greener, more resilient, and inclusive future for the region.
I wish you a successful conference.