ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC) to improve connectivity in the region.
“Pakistan supports CAREC’s areas of focus in the sectors of energy, trade and transportation network,” he said while addressing 16th CAREC Ministerial Conference in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Ishaq Dar emphasized the importance of collective efforts to enhance regional cooperation and achieve the common goals envisaged under the CAREC Program. He also acknowledged the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in augmenting these initiatives.
On behalf of the Government of Pakistan, the finance minister endorsed the new CAREC Strategy 2030.
He appreciated ADB’s leadership and efforts for including the areas of cooperation offered by the prime minister of Pakistan during the previous CAREC Ministerial Conference held in Islamabad in October 2016.
The Finance Minister also suggested further steps in this regard. He emphasized the importance of collective efforts to enhance regional cooperation and achieve the common goals envisaged under the CAREC Program.
Earlier, the President of Tajikistan, Mr Emomali Rahmon, inaugurated the Ministerial Conference. In his address, he voiced his support for regional cooperation and integration and assured of all-out support to implement the CAREC 2030 Strategy.
It may be noted that the CAREC Program is a partnership of 11 countries and six multilateral development partners working to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction.
The program is aimed at helping central Asian and neighbouring countries realize their potential, by promoting and facilitating regional cooperation in the priority areas of transport, trade facilitation, trade policy, and energy.
The 11 countries partnering in the CAREC Program are Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The six multilateral development partners of CAREC include the ADB, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank. ADB serves as the CAREC Secretariat.