4th CAREC Think Tanks Forum: Trading for Shared Prosperity

27 Aug - 28 Aug 2019; Xi'an, Shaanxi Province , PRC

With the topic of “Trading for Shared Prosperity,” the CAREC Think Tanks Development Forum (CTTDF) will convene over 100 participants from think tanks, academia, private sector, and governments on 27-28 August 2019 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province of the People’s Republic of China (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.

This forum will provide an opportunity to the host city of Xi’an and the Government of Shaanxi province to present trade opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with special reference to the ancient Silk Road. The forum will also take stock of standardization issues in transport and logistics in BRI countries.

The forum will debate how US-PRC trade tensions impact regional and global trade, and how the region can respond to safeguard the functioning trading systems and move forward under the changing circumstances. The possibility of the CAREC-wide free trade agreement; General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS); how artificial intelligence, robotics, block chain and other technologies can transform trade; harmonization of standards on taxation, licensing, and data flow; readiness for e-commerce and relevant recalibration of business models will also be discussed.

The CAREC Think Tanks Network

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, 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, 33 prominent think tanks 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 and 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, and academia 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 previous three forums offered a platform for diverse stakeholders to debate critical issues focused around regional economic cooperation and integration.

Read more about previous forums here.

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