CAREC Institute Presented at the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Workshop

20 Jun 2024

The Asian Development Bank organized a two-day regional workshop on CAREC Trade and Investment Facilitation (CARTIF) in Istanbul (Türkiye) on 19-20 June 2024 with the purpose to review existing regional trade and investment arrangements, to discuss the CARTIF concept and the trade dynamics in the CAREC region. Participants included CAREC officials representing trade and national economy ministries, representatives of research centers/think tanks, development partners, international experts, and ADB staff.

The Chief Economist of the CAREC Institute, Dr. Hans Holzhacker, delivered a presentation focusing on the foreign trade characteristics of the CAREC region, and shedding light on key trends and challenges facing regional trade and investment. During his presentation, Dr. Holzhacker emphasized the progress CAREC countries made in the implementation of trade facilitation measures. He also highlighted the gradual increase in intra-CAREC trade since 2011, and a notable rise in the People’s Republic of China’s share. He mentioned the CAREC Institute’s fruitful cooperation with UN ESCAP in preparing the UN Global Surveys on Digital and Sustainable Trade Facilitation.

Additionally, Dr. Holzhacker discussed the export structure of the CAREC region with a high weight of mineral fuels, metals, textile-apparel, and agri-food. He underscored the significance of reducing intra-CAREC trade barriers and improving regional coordination to allow for economies of scale that could enhance the competitiveness of the CAREC region’s export products. Moreover, Dr. Holzhacker addressed challenges arising from accelerated technological change, greening of industries, and the transition towards trade in services, emphasizing the need for specific attention and coordination in these areas. The presentation by the CAREC Institute once again emphasized the necessity for collaboration and coordination among member countries to adapt to the changing global trade environment.

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