Massive transport infrastructure plan for Central Asia agreed

By bne IntelliNews October 31, 2012

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The ten members of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program have agreed plans to invest $23bn on regional transport infrastructure projects.

Ministers from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan agreed the Wuhan Action Plan, which set 68 regional transport projects as priorities for the group, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced on October 30.

Each of the projects will help to improve one of CAREC's six trade corridors across the wider Central Asian region. The routes link China's Pacific ports to the Caucasus, and run from Kazakhstan down to the Pakistani cities of Karachi and Gwadar.

"Regional cooperation is essential to promote inclusive and environmentally sustainable growth," ADB president Haruhiko Kuroda said. "Poor connectivity arising from inadequate transport and communications infrastructure can impede trade expansion and investment attraction."

Ministers from the ten participating countries also agreed to work together on new energy and trade initiatives.

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