The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation, or CAREC, Program is a partnership of 10 countries (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), supported by six multilateral institutions, working together to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated growth and poverty reduction.
The Program’s long-term vision is Good Neighbours, Good Partners, and Good Prospects.
With the rapid economic expansion of the People’s Republic of China and Japan to the east, the Russian Federation to the north, and India and Pakistan to the south, there is unprecedented opportunity for CAREC countries to emerge as a centre of trade and commerce, achieve higher levels of economic growth, and reduce poverty.
CAREC helps Central Asia and its neighbours realise their significant potential by promoting regional cooperation in four priority areas: Transport; Trade Facilitation; Energy, and Trade Policy.
In the transport sector, work continues to implement the refined CAREC Transport and Trade Facilitation Strategy 2020 (TTFS 2020), which established priorities in transport and trade facilitation until 2020, defined new transport corridors, and identified new regional transport investments needs.
Key objectives of CAREC Program TTFS 2020 are:
- CAREC corridors transformation into economic corridors
- Moving from landlocked countries to landlinked countries
- Interoperability within CAREC region
- Interoperability with other corridors
- Hard and soft infrastructure development
CAREC priorities in the railway sector are:
- Develop Multimodal Corridor Network
- Improve Trade and Border Crossing Services
- Improve Operational and Institutional factors
UIC’s presence and achievements in the CAREC region were highly valued. UIC was invited to participate in the CAREC Railways Working Group. The group’s next meeting is planned to be held in September-October 2015.