AKIPRESS.COM - Finance ministers and senior government officials from 11 countries in Central and West Asia gathered in Ashgabat today for the 17th Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Ministerial Conference. The high-level strategy and policy body serves as a platform to discuss and debate important issues of regional relevance, ADB reports.
The Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Mr. Gochmyrat Myradov chaired the conference and committed Turkmenistan’s support to strengthening economic cooperation in the region. Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Mr. Takehiko Nakao delivered the special address. The meeting was co-chaired by ADB Vice-President Mr. Wencai Zhang.
In his remarks, Mr. Nakao reaffirmed ADB’s support for CAREC and announced $2 billion in new assistance for regional projects in CAREC countries in 2018. The funding is the start of $5 billion in financial support over 2018–2022 that ADB committed last year to support the CAREC 2030 strategy. The new assistance “will be dedicated to regional cooperation projects to improve connectivity, promote electricity exports, and strengthen trade facilitation," said Mr. Nakao.
Ministers welcomed the first CAREC High-level Forum on Macroeconomic Policies for Economic and Financial Stability, and urged the continuation of such dialogue to strengthen economic cooperation in the region. Ministers supported the ongoing scoping study on exploring tourism promotion and cooperation opportunities and called for intensified efforts to capitalize on the tourism potential of the region.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in co-financing.