Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) supported initiative which was established in 1997 to encourage economic cooperation among countries in the Central Asian region. In particular, cooperation among the ADB member states of,
* Afghanistan
* Azerbaijan
* People's Republic of China (focusing on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region)
* Kazakhstan
* Kyrgyz Republic
* Mongolia
* Tajikistan
* Uzbekistan

The CAREC program has focused to date on financing infrastructure projects and improving the region's policy environment in the priority areas of transport (especially road transport), energy (including the water-energy nexus), trade policy, and trade facilitation (especially customs cooperation). As of 31 December 2004, the ADB had approved seven regional investment projects totaling $275.1 million, mobilized cofinancing of $135.2 million for three of these projects, and approved 22 technical assistance grants totaling $12.9 million [http://64.41.127.108/issue_septoct_2004/centralasia.pdf ] . In 2005-2006, investment projects totaling $247 million and technical assistance grants are planned totaling $12.3 million.

External links

* [http://www.adb.org/CAREC/default.asp CAREC program at the Asian Development Bank]

Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation - CAREC

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program was initiated in 1997. CAREC’s goal is to improve living standards and to reduce poverty in CAREC countries through more efficient and effective regional economic cooperation. To date, the Program has focused on financing infrastructure projects and improving the region's policy environment in the priority areas of: (i)transport, (ii) energy, (iii) trade policy, and (iv) trade facilitation. These areas are critical to improving the region’s economic performance and livelihoods of the people, especially of the poor.

Spanning nearly 4,000 kilometres across Central Asia, the CAREC Program includes 8 countries in the Central Asia region, namely: Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People's Republic of China (focusing on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region), Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. In addition, invitations to participate are under consideration by Turkmenistan and Russian Federation.

CAREC is also an alliance of multilateral institutions active in promoting economic cooperation in Central Asia. CAREC is also an alliance of multilateral institutions comprising Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and World Bank. ADB’s CAREC Unit (CARECU) has served as the Program Secretariat since March 2000.

CAREC operates in partnership with other key regional cooperation programs and institutions, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization* and the Eurasian Economic Community.

CAREC indeed represents a true, robust development partnership; a concrete example of countries and institutions cooperating; one which also achieves the ideals set out in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness – namely: ownership, harmonization, alignment, results and mutual accountability.

CAREC is a powerful platform to marshal financial resources. The combined assistance of the multilateral institutions in the priority areas of transport, energy and trade during 2006-2008 totals $2.3 billion for 42 projects.


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