With the regional integration objective at its heart, the CAREC Institute engages with the member countries on numerous activities annually. The institute uses the Rolling Operational Plan (ROP) tool to plan its activities with consideration of the following criteria: i) regional dimension; ii) alignment with the CAREC program; iii) alignment with national development programs; iv) impact on the activities in the relevant field; and v) availability of financial sources. Among these activities are:
Workshops on topics ranging across WTO trade facilitation agreement implementation; improving border crossing services; promoting economic diversification in the CAREC region; enhancing quality of key economic indicators; road asset management; road safety engineering; reforming state-owned enterprises; regional tourism promotion; energy security; and food safety. Annually, workshops target around 300 government officials. The CAREC Institute is looking into approaches to expand the coverage through various modalities.
Research on key policy issues, some of the prominent ones include:
a. macroeconomic monitoring and forecasting which provides a learning tool for conducting analysis of current state of the economy, forecasting near-term challenges and prospects, enabling policy makers and researchers to build new models considering peculiar domestic economic conditions using methodology and econometric codes provided in the study.
b. The CAREC Regional Integration Index (CRII) which measures the state of the regional integration across six socioeconomic indicators, namely: trade and investment integration; monetary and financial integration; regional infrastructure and connectivity; institutional and social integration; regional value chain integration; and free movement of labor. This index provides a user-friendly tool for both public and private stakeholders to assess the level of integration in each of the dimensions and identify gaps to apply relevant policy measures.
c. Joint research on the PRC’s best practices in relation to e-commerce policies, SME development, fiscal policies for development, PPP financing to promote infrastructure construction and development, poverty alleviation policies, public sector reform, sustainable urbanization and municipal services, trade policy and trade facilitation reform, and technical vocational education in order to promulgate best practices throughout the region.
Think Tanks Development Forum where thoughts and ideas of knowledge enablers (government), knowledge articulators (think tanks), knowledge generators (universities), and transformers (business sector) interact to develop directional frameworks and translate knowledge into tangible gains.
Research Grants Program to support scholars and researchers from members of the CAREC Think Tanks Network to research topics on integration and undertake comparative analysis to draw lessons for promoting and deepening regional integration.
Networking and forging partnerships with academia, development institutions, Belt and Road Initiative, and other entities to exchange information, initiate and improve research and academic programs, exchange experts and resource persons, cooperate in the government policy consultations, build platforms to facilitate collaboration of the regional enterprises and business groups, and contribute to the sustainable development in the region.