On Oct. 30, ministers from the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program member countries endorsed an action plan that sets out priority projects for the region’s transport infrastructure, energy and trade sectors.
Under the Wuhan Action Plan, CAREC member countries will benefit from $23 billion worth of projects supported by the Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, U.N. Development Program, World Bank, and bilateral donor agencies from France, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The bulk of the budget will go to 68 medium-term transport initiatives that will help create six major corridors to link ports in eastern China with Caucasus and beyond. The rest goes to trade facilitation, and includes provisions for technical assistance and investments in border services, customs information technology systems and logistics centers.
The plan also outlined action items for the energy sector, such as resolving regional energy dispatch issues, managing energy and water linkages, mobilizing funds for building energy assets, and knowledge management. Trade policy actions were also endorsed to enable CAREC countries to “adopt more open trade regimes and facilitate intra-and interregional trade.”
Unveiled at the 11th gathering of CAREC ministers in Wuhan, China, the plan also highlights the “critical role” of a 2013-17 work plan and sets out sector operational priorities. The plan is instrumental in tracking the region’s progress toward CAREC 2020 — a development road map that aims to expand trade and improve competitiveness in Central Asia.
Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan are the 10 countries comprising CAREC.
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