CAREC Institute Showcases Progress Report on 2024 Work Plan at the CAREC Senior Officials' Meeting

31 May 2024

On May 30, the CAREC Institute presented a comprehensive progress report on its 2024 work plan at the CAREC Senior Officials’ Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan. The presentation, provided by Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, Director of the Institute, highlighted key accomplishments from the latter part of 2023 and outlined upcoming activities for the remainder of the year.

During the presentation, Mr. Jurazoda shared insights into the Institute’s achievements, including the successful completion of joint research projects with various partners. These projects focused on critical areas such as trade and transit infrastructure, fintech cooperation, and digital technology in trade facilitation. Collaborative efforts with institutions like ADB, ADBI, and Islamic Development Bank are also progressing, covering areas like climate finance, renewable energy, and corporate innovation impact assessments. The Visiting Fellows Program and preparations for the Eighth CAREC Think Tank Development Forum and the Fourth Annual Research Conference are ongoing, showcasing a robust agenda for research and knowledge dissemination.

Furthermore, the Institute’s commitment to capacity building was emphasized. In 2023, around 50 percent of capacity building activities were conducted virtually, enhancing accessibility and cost-efficiency. Capacity building activities focused on key sub-areas such as water resources management, climate change, digital economy, e-commerce, fintech, trade facilitation, regional connectivity, transport corridors, road safety, road asset management, tourism, and human development.

The Chief Economist Team at the CAREC Institute consistently publishes the Quarterly Economic Monitor in various languages, offering important analyses of economic trends in the region. Furthermore, they have released reports on subjects like Household Access to Energy in the Fergana Valley Project and numerous economic briefs. These publications enhance comprehension of economic dynamics in the CAREC region and facilitate informed decision-making based on evidence.

The Knowledge Management Division at the CAREC Institute is dedicated to effectively disseminating information and enhancing communication within the organization and with external stakeholders. They release monthly newsletters, produce informational materials like booklets and factsheets, and create infographics to highlight key activities. The CAREC Institute is currently working on developing a knowledge management and communication strategy, a brand guide, and enhancing the website’s functionality. They are also conducting surveys and consultations to improve data collection and user engagement.

Additionally, the CAREC Institute organizes events like regional forums to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration on important topics such as WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) in Central Asia. Their efforts contribute to the Institute’s goal of promoting knowledge exchange and fostering a culture of learning and innovation in the region.

During the meeting, representatives from various countries shared their viewpoints and suggestions regarding the operations of the CAREC Institute. The Turkmenistan delegate voiced their endorsement for the Institute’s activities and mentioned that Turkmenistan is in the process of internal deliberations to propose candidates for the position of the next Director of the CAREC Institute.

Expressing gratitude, Ms. Lyaziza Sabyrova, Regional Head of Regional Cooperation and Integration at ADB Central and West Asia Department, thanked the People’s Republic of China for its financial backing. She also acknowledged recent improvements in event organization and the development of new products. Emphasizing the Institute’s potential, she expressed a desire for CAREC to become akin to the Brookings Institute of Central Asia, highlighting the value of its personnel. Additionally, she reiterated ADB’s commitment to supporting the CAREC Institute.

During the meeting, Mr. Kabir Jurazoda engaged in separate discussions with CAREC government officials to delve into the Institute’s significant initiatives. He outlined plans to publish working papers covering a spectrum of topics, from climate finance, fostering renewable energy investment ecosystems, to the role of economic integration in promoting decent work in the CAREC region. The Institute’s steadfast commitment to fostering sustainable economic growth in the CAREC area persists, evident through its continuous endeavors to tackle key regional issues.

The CAREC Senior Officials’ Meeting is a significant event where senior officials from CAREC member countries gather to discuss and review the progress of various initiatives within the CAREC framework. These meetings serve as a platform for strategic discussions, decision-making, and coordination of efforts to promote regional cooperation and economic development. The meetings typically involve presentations, discussions, and the sharing of updates on key projects and activities. They play a crucial role in advancing the goals of the CAREC program and strengthening partnerships among member countries.

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