ADB President expresses confidence in future of CAREC institute

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 7 (APP): Asian Development Bank (ADB) President
Takehiko Nakao Thursday expressed confidence in the important role
the new intergovernmental organization would play in the development
of the CAREC programme, as regional cooperation efforts among member
countries enter a new phase.
He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the Central Asia
Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Institute in Urumqi, China,
says a statement received here.
Pakistan Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar is also
participating in the event alongwith over 100 other participants
from CAREC member countries.
“I would like to extend my congratulations to the CAREC
Institute for its successful transition to an intergovernmental
organization,” said Nakao. “ADB is pleased to continue
supporting the Institute in becoming a center of research,
knowledge, and capacity building in the CAREC region.”
The CAREC Institute was originally developed as a “virtual
entity” in 2006 to support regional cooperation in infrastructure
development, trade and economic corridors, and agricultural and
natural resource management.
Following the decision of the 13th CAREC Ministerial
Conference in 2014, the Institute’s physical base was established in
Urumqi in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Since, the CAREC
member countries have been working on an agreement to give the
Institute a legal framework.
Today’s ceremony marks the Institute’s official transition to
an intergovernmental research organization following the signing and
ratification of the agreement by more than three countries,
including the host country. So far the PRC, Mongolia, Pakistan, and
Uzbekistan have completed the signing and ratification.
Initiated by a technical assistance project in 1996, CAREC
today is a partnership of 11 countries and six multilateral
development partners.[1] As of the end of 2016, almost $30 billion
in CAREC-related investments have been made in the four priority
areas of transport, energy, trade facilitation, and trade policy.
ADB has provided $10.4 billion, with the remaining coming from
governments and development partners.
During his 3-day visit to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous
Region, Mr. Nakao met with the PRC Finance Minister Xiao Jie and
discussed the PRC’s macroeconomic conditions, economic policies, and
ways to deepen collaboration between the PRC and ADB.
Nakao also met with Xinjiang’s Communist Party Secretary,
Chen Quanguo, and discussed the progress of projects in urban
development, water supply and transport, as well as opportunities
for future assistance. In addition, he will witness the signing of
a cooperation agreement between the CAREC Institute and ADB.
Nakao also had bilateral meetings with Kyrgyz Republic’s
Chairman of State Customs Service Azamat Sulaimanov, Tajikistan’s
Minister of Economic Development and Trade Nematullo Hikmatullozoda,
and Uzbekistan’s Finance Minister Batir Khodjaev, and will meet with
Afghanistan’s Finance Minister Eklil Ahmad Hakimi, and Pakistan’s
Minister for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Mohammad Ishaq
Dar.
As part of his programme, Nakao visited Turpan to see one
part of the recently completed Xinjiang Urban Transport and
Environmental Improvement Project in the city and met with the
beneficiaries of the grant-financed Turpan Women’s Ethnic Minority
Cultural Tourism Development Project, which was implemented in
conjunction with the Xinjiang Urban Transport and Environment
Improvement Project.
In 2009, ADB provided assistance of about $100 million for the
project. It constructed and upgraded roads, built bridges, improved
sanitation by building toilets, and improved solid waste management
stations and equipment. ADB’s Gender and Development Cooperation
Fund provided a $150,000 grant to improve and strengthen ethnic
minority women’s economic empowerment.
The 11 members of CAREC are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the PRC,
Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The six multilateral
institutions are ADB, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations
Development Programme, and International Monetary Fund.