CAREC Think Tank Network

The CAREC Think Tanks Network (CTTN)

Leading think tanks from the CAREC member countries agreed to establish the CAREC Think Tanks Network (CTTN) during the second CAREC Think Tanks Development Forum (CTTDF) in Urumqi, People’s Republic of China (PRC), in 2017 to provide innovative solutions for promoting economic cooperation by recognizing importance of regional perspectives.

The “Urumqi Declaration” became the founding document of the CTTN. As of now, numerous prominent think tanks and university representatives from 11 countries of the CAREC region are members. The CTTN promotes the regional economic cooperation by enhancing systemic regional knowledge sharing and integration; fostering policy research and knowledge solutions to support governments; enabling better policy advice; reducing gaps between research and policy; and enhancing collective intelligence to consolidate development resources for effective cooperation, better services, and improved performance.


The CTTDF is organized annually under the auspices of the CTTN. From a modest beginning, the CTTDF has grown in size and appeal. The forum has become an attractive destination for think tanks, academia, and governments from the CAREC region and beyond to exchange views and knowledge on evolving regional and global policy challenges.

The CAREC Institute hosted the first CTTDF in June 2016 in Astana, Kazakhstan, with the theme of “Promoting Economic Cooperation for an Integrated Central Asia.” The second CTTDF was held in Urumqi, PRC, in September 2017 with the theme of “Exploring Knowledge Solutions for Regional Cooperation and Integration.” The third forum was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in July 2018 under the theme of “Building Knowledge Corridors along the Silk Road.”

The CAREC Institute organized the fourth forum with the topic of “Trading for Shared Prosperity” to convene around 130 participants from think tanks, academia, private sector, and governments on 27-28 August 2019 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province of the PRC to deliberate on trade expansion from increased market access, greater diversification, and stronger institutions for trade under the CAREC Integrated Trade Agenda (CITA) 2030 in the context of heightened US-PRC trade tensions and expansion of disruptive technologies.
The fifth forum will be organized under a theme of “Economic Corridors: Connecting Together for Prospective Growth” in 2021.

Research Grants Program

In 2019, the CAREC Institute launched its Research Grants Program to support scholars and researchers from members of the CAREC Think Tanks Network (CTTN) to produce targeted knowledge products which will add to the body of knowledge on regional cooperation in CAREC.
Scholars from member Think Tanks are encouraged to research CAREC integration topics and undertake comparative analysis between (sub) regions to draw lessons for promoting and deepening regional integration among CAREC member countries.

The 2019 grants have been awarded to four researchers who presented their preliminary findings during the August 2019 Think Tanks Forum. The topics included:

      • Assessing participation of CAREC countries in global and regional value chains
      • Study of cross-border tourism value chains between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan
      • The impact of sanitary, phytosanitary, and quality-related standards on the trade flow between CAREC countries and Georgia
      • Opportunities and challenges for agri-food trade between Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan

The 2020 grants have been awarded to the following joint research projects:

      • Exploring Exports Driven Growth: Learning from Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement
      • Prospects of Tourism Sector Development in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic Including Almaty-Bishkek Economic Corridor

Call for CTTN Research Grants Program is announced in February-March every year through the CAREC Institute website.

Contact of the CTTN Secretariat

Mr. Khalid Umar
Chief of Strategic Planning Division
Coordinator of the Think Tanks Development Forum
+86 991 8891018

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