Regional cooperation initiatives to help address challenges such as food insecurity were discussed at this year’s CAREC Ministerial Conference.

News Release | 24 November 2022
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MANILA, PHILIPPINES (24 November 2022) — Countries in central and west Asia have endorsed three new cross-border cooperation initiatives to help accelerate the region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, improve food security, and boost the development of clean energy.

“The pandemic showed that health shocks can have large macroeconomic impacts with significant social costs,” ministers from the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program said in a joint statement at the 21st CAREC Ministerial Conference held today. “We will push productivity through digitalization, innovation, and investment; achieve green growth through climate action, sustainable agriculture, and energy transition; and promote inclusiveness through social protection, gender, education, and health.”

The CAREC Program is a partnership of countries and development partners working together to promote sustainable development. It facilitates practical, results-based regional projects and policy initiatives to accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty in the region. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) hosts the CAREC secretariat.

Ideas for Resilience

The initiatives endorsed by ministers from Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are:

  1. The CAREC Post Pandemic Framework for a Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery. One which outlines areas where CAREC countries can collaborate. All to boost the region’s recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, among other shocks.
  2. The Cooperation Framework for Agricultural Development and Food Security in the CAREC Region. One which focuses on international cooperation to modernize agriculture. All the while strengthening policies, and develop food value chains. The framework also emphasizes international trade in food products. Also enhancing information sharing on food security.
  3. The CAREC Green Energy Alliance will also be the first financing vehicle. I mean specifically for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region. Now endorsed by the ministers. For it will work to begin on establishing the vehicle. One which will provide access to investment-ready green energy projects. Most importantly and match financiers with project developers. All to fast-track the low-carbon transition.

Ministers also lauded a CAREC scoping study that analyzes climate change issues in the region. For it recommends actions to help tackle them. That’s including the preparation of a regional climate change strategy.

This year’s Ministerial Conference was chaired and hosted virtually by the PRC. All under the theme Revitalizing Regional Cooperation for a Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery.

ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific. All the while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.