The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute (CI) constitutes one of the operational priorities in the CAREC 2020. Support to the CAREC Program and the CI is reflected in Pillars 1 (Cross-Border Infrastructure), 2 (Trade and Investment), and Pillar 4 (Other Regional Public Goods) of ADB's Regional Cooperation and Integration Strategy (2006). ADB's support to these pillars in terms of non-lending knowledge products include, among other things, capacity and institution building, research, and policy dialogues and similar forums. The R-RDTA is also in line with ADB's Strategy 2020, which mandates ADB to engage in forward-looking research activities to provide the necessary knowledge support to its developing member countries. The R-RDTA will support the research and knowledge management components of the CI under the Strategic Knowledge Framework (SKF).
|Project Name||Assisting the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute Knowledge Program (Phase 1)|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Governance and capacity development
|Sector / Subsector||
Energy / Energy sector development and institutional reform
Industry and trade / Industry and trade sector development
Public sector management / Economic affairs management - Public administration
Transport / Transport policies and institutional development
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming|
|Description||The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute (CI) constitutes one of the operational priorities in the CAREC 2020. Support to the CAREC Program and the CI is reflected in Pillars 1 (Cross-Border Infrastructure), 2 (Trade and Investment), and Pillar 4 (Other Regional Public Goods) of ADB's Regional Cooperation and Integration Strategy (2006). ADB's support to these pillars in terms of non-lending knowledge products include, among other things, capacity and institution building, research, and policy dialogues and similar forums. The R-RDTA is also in line with ADB's Strategy 2020, which mandates ADB to engage in forward-looking research activities to provide the necessary knowledge support to its developing member countries. The R-RDTA will support the research and knowledge management components of the CI under the Strategic Knowledge Framework (SKF).|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
The CAREC Program is a key platform of the countries for economic cooperation in the region. Since its inception in 2001, significant progress has been achieved especially in the priority areas of transport and trade facilitation, energy, and trade policy, as evidenced by a properly-functioning institutional framework for policy dialogue and decision making, as well as total investments to date of about $20 billion.
However, much remains to be done. A key area which needs strengthened efforts is to mainstream CAREC into the national development agenda, and fostering stronger country ownership. This is fundamental, as further progress in economic cooperation in the region can only be achieved if the concepts, principles and benefits of regional cooperation are internalized into the countries' decision-making process. This in turn will depend on the availability of trusted, high quality knowledge products that could better inform policy choices. Thus, the provision of knowledge products and services on the analytical underpinnings of regional cooperation processes, their costs and benefits, and the best ways to implement them is critical to this process. In particular, it would promote better understanding of the key imminent challenges and evolving trends affecting the countries of the region, thus helping decision-makers anticipate and craft the appropriate responses.
|Impact||Enhanced quality of regional cooperation|
|Description of Outcome||Enhanced capacity of CAREC country governments and institutions to engage in regional cooperation|
|Progress Toward Outcome||
Individual consultants have been engaged during 2013-2018 to undertake work towards achieving the objective of the TA.
Progress made includes: (i) developing concept of economic corridor development; (ii) signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the cities of Almaty and Bishkek to jointly work on the development of the Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative (ABCI); and (iii) the Joint Working Group under the ABCI was established to guide, monitor and implement the ABCI in this phase of knowledge and analytical work.
|Description of Project Outputs||
1. New knowledge and applied solutions to facilitate policy decisions in support of regional cooperation initiatives
2. Repository of knowledge products and information sources on regional cooperation in the CAREC region
3. Platform for the exchange and dissemination of knowledge generated and collected
4. Institutional capacity of the CAREC Institute strengthened
5. CAREC Institute physically established
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)||
The CAREC countries have reached broad agreement on the CI Work Plan for 2013 -2017 after several rounds of consultations, and this was endorsed as part of the Wuhan Action Plan at the 11th MC. The CI Work Plan was structured around the three pillars of the Strategic Knowledge Framework (SKF), namely: (i) knowledge generation; (ii) knowledge services; and (iii) knowledge management and drew from the work plans of the various Sector Coordinating Committee as well as country specific inputs.
The physical base of the CAREC Institute (CI) was launched in March 2015 in Urumqi, PRC. The current CI Director Mr. Kubat Umurzakov, nominated by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic for two years, assumed office beginning July 2015. TA 8301 now supports CI-related activities.
Research on economic corridor development is a central theme of the CIs research program as endorsed by the 11th CAREC Ministerial Conference in Wuhan, Peoples Republic of China (PRC) in 2012.
The ADB completed a study on Economic Corridor Development (ECD) for the CAREC program. The study develops a framework for corridor development relevant to the context of Central Asian economies and their unique economic and physical geography. The study assessed the applicability of economic corridor development for Corridor 1 --- a regional and international link, traversing Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic, and recommended a more detailed and substantial exploration for possible development of Almaty Bishkek Corridor as an economic corridor.
1. In 2013:
(i) International Workshop on CAREC Corridor Performance Measurement and Monitoring;
(ii) CI Economic Corridor Development Consultation
(iii) Focus Group Meetings
(iv) Workshop on Economic Corridor Development
2. In 2014:
(i) CAREC-IMT Workshop on Economic Corridor Development
(ii) High Government Officials and Mayors Meeting in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic
(iii) A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly work on the development of the Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative (ABCI) was signed in November 2014 by the cities of Almaty and Bishkek. The ABCI is undertaking analysis to identify the possible content and scope of economic corridor development encompassing both cities and areas around and between them. 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.
(iv) The Joint Working Group (JWG) was established by the governments of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic to guide, monitor and implement the ABCI in this phase of knowledge and analytical work, supported by technical assistance by ADB under the Central Asia Region Economic Cooperation Program. The first JWG meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, in December 2014, agreed on an initial set of priority areas for analysis: long-term urban planning, agriculture and food security, health services, education services, tourism, and infrastructure related to trade and logistics. It also agreed on indicative issues to be covered for the prioritized areas for analysis.
3. In 2015:
(i) The second JWG meeting was held in in Bengaluru, India in August 2015. The JWG members reviewed and provided guidance on the analytical work that has been undertaken in the priority areas, and explored information and communications technology (ICT) applications in the sectors being considered for economic corridor development, and initiated joint discussion of long-term city planning and its coordination. It also identified future work to be taken in other areas relevant to ABCI such as IT sector, disaster risk management, and public-private partnerships, and reviewed and discussed forward work planning.
(ii) The third JWG meeting was held in Madrid, Spain, in October 2015. The JWG members recognized the strategic importance of tourism sector to the ABCI. The meeting was co-hosted by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and was followed by a workshop on urban development and transformation in partnership with Fundacion Metropoli, including a visit to the city of Bilbao.
4. In 2016:
(i) The Almaty-Bishkek Agro Food Value Chain Clusters and e-Agriculture Development in ABCI was held in Almaty on 26 April 2016 and in Bishkek on 29 April 2016.
(ii) A joint activity with ADBI on Capacity-Building Workshop on Enabling Agrofood Value Chains, held in May 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.
(iii) Consultation workshops were also undertaken for the CAREC 2020 midterm review (MTR). A draft MTR report will be submitted to the special meeting of CAREC National Focal Points in September 2016 with a view to finalize for the 15th CAREC Ministerial Conference.
(iv) The Almaty-Bishkek Corridor Initiative 4th Joint Working Group Meeting and the 1st Steering Committee was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan on 26-28 September 2016. The joint working group finalized the ABCI investment framework which provided the conceptual development plan for the Almaty Bishkek Economic Corridor (ABEC), outlining the scope of policy, institutional, infrastructure and capacity development initiatives that would be needed in the prioritized sectors. The high-level Steering Committee endorsed the Investment Framework.
5. In 2017:
(i) A Strategic Planning Meeting (SPM) was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 1-2 March 2017. The SPM discussed the formulation of the ABEC Implementation Plan (IP), its contents including institutional structure for ABEC management, and inputs from the governments to partner ADBs technical assistance. The SPM also discussed sector-level approaches for projects to implement under early action.
(ii) A preliminary ABEC Subcommittee meeting was held in June 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, to agree on the 2017 ABEC deliverables, discuss the ABEC project pipeline, and prepare the constituting First ABEC Subcommittee meeting. The meeting agreed on a list of projects for the implementation of the economic corridor.
(iii) The First ABEC Subcommittee Meeting was held in September 2017 in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic. The subcommittee members reviewed the ABEC suggested three-year rolling investment and reform plan, agreed on next steps for their implementation and further discussed the formulation of the ABEC Implementation Plan.
6. In 2018:
(i) A workshop on Border Crossing Point Modernization was held on 21 May 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan with participation of Kazakh and Kyrgyz border services and representatives of relevant ministries from both countries. The workshop concluded with a set of actions to facilitate improvement of BCP management, infrastructure, and transit experience for citizens and tourists between Almaty and Bishkek.
(ii) The Second ABEC Subcommittee Meeting was held on 11 June 2018 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The second joint ABEC Subcommittee meeting had the following three objectives:
- Assessing implementation status of the first ABEC Subcommittee protocol;
- Review of current ABEC projects; development of forward pipeline, and prioritization of projects;
- Reaching agreement on short- and medium-term steps towards further development of ABEC and formulating the second ABEC Subcommittee protocol.
At the end of the second subcommittee meeting, the first vice-minister of national economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the deputy minister of economy of the Kyrgyz Republic have signed a protocol, which outlined the outputs and milestones for the year 2018 and 2019.
A regional knowledge support technical assistance "Almaty-Bishkek Economic Corridor Support" has been approved by ADB in December 2018.
Minor Changes in TA Implementation:
1. A memo requesting for a minor change in implementation arrangements to modify or include a number of consultant positions under the RDTA to carry out activities related to implementation of the Almaty-Bishkek Economic Corridor was signed on 25 February 2015.
2. A minor change in implementation arrangements was approved on 10 December 2015 to (i) include the engagement of a consulting firm through single-source selection (SSS) method, and (ii) extend the RDTAs completion date to 31 December 2016. The Cities Lab S.L., the consulting firm, was engaged and fielded in June July 2016. A draft interim report was submitted in August 2016 for TASU review.
3. Minor change in implementation arrangements was approved in May 2016 to allow 12-person months of international consulting for TVET, Transport and Research specialists.
4. The partial cancellation of TA fund in the amount of $250,000 was approved in August 2017. The amount was deemed as surplus since a new technical assistance was approved in December 2017, which is focusing on the implementation of the economic corridor and supporting the ABEC Subcommittee. The new TA will provide long-term support to ABEC which has created savings to TA 8259.
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||
The CAREC 2020 lays out the vision and the strategic directions for cooperation for the period 2011-2020, and articulates two principal goals of cooperation, namely (i) trade expansion; and (ii) improved countries' competitiveness. To fulfill the high expectations placed on it by CAREC 2020, the Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) held in June 2012 endorsed the CI Strategic Knowledge Framework 2013-2017 (the SKF). The SKF aims to build CI as a leading knowledge institution on economic cooperation in the region. In particular, the CI will (i) sharpen its focus on regional, multi-sectoral and common sector issues; (ii) integrating knowledge generation, services and management in its planning and execution to be more effective; and (iii) form strategic alliances with regional institutions and networks. A range of institutional building measures were also proposed to strengthen the CI and improve the quality of its programs and products.
Indicative five-year CI work plans were discussed in the subregional workshops, the mid-year CAREC senior officials' meeting (SOM), and the 10th CAREC Ministerial Conference (MC), which were all held in 2011. Consensus was reached among the participating countries and CAREC MI partners on focus of CI research on regional, multi-sectoral and common sector issues in CAREC to assist achievement of the operational objectives of CAREC 2020 of, namely, expanding trade and improving countries' competitiveness. Following these guiding principles, consultation is ongoing on annual activities of the CI, with continued assistance from ADB and other MI partners. The new CI work plans are expected to be further reviewed at a CAREC National Focal Point meeting in late September 2012 in Bangkok, and to be endorsed at the 11th CAREC MC to be held in November 2012.
|During Project Implementation||The ADB will ensure that the Knowledge Program activities are carried out effectively and efficiently. Guidance on the CI work program will be received from the existing CAREC institutional mechanism which consists of sector coordination committees, senior officials' meeting and ministerial conference.|
Under the supervision of the CWRD senior staff who will oversee the RDTA implementation, a total of about 100 person-months of an international consultant and approximately 80 person-months of national consultants inputs will be engaged to help with the implementation of the RDTA.
An international consulting firm was engaged based on single-source selection method as provided by the memo on minor change of implementation arrangements in December 2015. Tourism and transport specialists were also engaged in May and August 2016, respectively.
Resource persons were also engaged for workshops and conferences.
|Procurement||Equipment to be purchased will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines.|
|Responsible ADB Officer||Rosbach, Kristian|
|Responsible ADB Department||Central and West Asia Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, CWRD|
|Concept Clearance||12 Sep 2012|
|Approval||11 Dec 2012|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|Last PDS Update||27 Sep 2018|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|11 Dec 2012||-||11 Dec 2012||31 Dec 2014||30 Jun 2018||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|3,000,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||3,000,000.00||11 Dec 2012||2,279,875.61|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
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|Title||Document Type||Document Date|
|Assisting the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute Knowledge Program (Phase 1): Technical Assistance Completion Report||TA Completion Reports||Jun 2019|
|Assisting the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Institute Knowledge Program (Phase 1)||Technical Assistance Reports||Dec 2012|
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
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Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
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|Tender Title||Type||Status||Posting Date||Deadline|
|Development Economist (Resource person)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||07 Jun 2018||09 Jun 2018|
|National Technical and Vocational Training Expert (Kazakhstan)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||08 Nov 2017||10 Nov 2017|
|National Technical and Vocational Training Expert (Kyrgyz)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||02 Nov 2017||05 Nov 2017|
|Institutional Development and Regional Cooperation Expert (Kazakhstan)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||29 Sep 2017||05 Oct 2017|
|Institutional Development and Regional Cooperation Expert (Kyrgyz)||Individual - Consulting||Closed||17 Sep 2017||26 Sep 2017|
|International Technical and Vocational Training Expert, Team Leader||Individual - Consulting||Closed||16 Sep 2017||25 Sep 2017|
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