Development Knowledge Cooperation Between China and the Five Central Asian Countries

27 Jul 2023

The CAREC Institute contributed to the discussions at the China and Central Asia Development Knowledge Symposium hosted by the Center for International Development Knowledge (CIKD) in Beijing on July 27, 2023. The symposium aimed to share lessons and examples of existing knowledge cooperation, as well as to discuss opportunities for strengthening knowledge and development cooperation between China and the five countries of Central Asia — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Representatives of think tanks, universities and the private sector from all six countries participated in the symposium in person and online.

The Director of the CAREC Institute, Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, delivered the online opening speech at the symposium emphasizing the importance of human-centered economic policies that integrate livelihood, social and health aspects into post-pandemic recovery. Green and inclusive economic growth is the focus of the CAREC Program and the CAREC Institute and is a key component of the CAREC 2030 Strategy. All CAREC member countries work together to address economic growth and development challenges through enhanced and effective regional cooperation. Over the past two years, the CAREC Institute has devoted considerable attention and efforts to economic research on post-pandemic recovery. In 2022, the CAREC Program and the CAREC Institute worked together on the Post-Pandemic Framework for a Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery, which was endorsed at the 21st CAREC Ministerial Conference. The Framework establishes the need for CAREC countries to consider efforts to promote regional cooperation initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and green and inclusive economic growth that should include digital transformation, appropriate infrastructure development, and innovative financing models and deepening regional economic integration. “Economic growth must be humanized, and the result of growth must be, among other things, the reduction of poverty,” said Mr. Kabir Jurazoda.

During the discussion session of the symposium, Dr. Huang Jingjing, Deputy Director One of the CAREC Institute, talked about the replication of China’s experience in using digital technologies to eradicate poverty in the CAREC region. Like many other countries of the world, CAREC countries have made tremendous progress in reducing poverty and improving people’s well-being over the past few decades, but poverty remains a major challenge due to the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CAREC region currently faces severe food security and environmental challenges that are limiting further poverty reduction. Recent studies by the CAREC Institute show that countries in the CAREC region still have a huge digital divide between individuals, households, firms, provinces, and countries. CAREC countries can learn from China’s digital poverty reduction agenda, and they must focus not only on continuously strengthening digital infrastructure construction, but also on continuously strengthening demand-side policies, learning user needs and experience, and ensuring that everyone can effectively participate in digital transformation. Dr. Huang Jingjing suggested that CAREC countries promote digitalization, develop digital industries, establish a digital mechanism for long-term monitoring of poverty reduction, and establish a data management framework. “More importantly, CAREC countries must strengthen multi-stakeholder knowledge sharing cooperation to help reduce digital poverty in the region. And the CAREC Institute will help share poverty reduction experience, best practices, and development knowledge for the CAREC region through policy dialogues, empirical research, academic exchanges, partnerships, trainings, and more,” said Dr. Huang Jingjing.

After the symposium, from July 28 to 29, representatives of the Central Asian countries with staff of the CIKD and the CAREC Institute visited Huzhou in China’s zhejiang province to learn about China’s experience in eliminating digital poverty, preserving the environment in rural areas, and achieving harmonious development between man and nature.

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