On May 15, a Xinjiang high-level delegation led by the Secretary of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Committee of the Communist Party of China, Mr. Ma Xingrui, and the Chairman of the Government of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Mr. Erkin Tuniyaz, visited the office of the CAREC Institute. Other accompanying members of the delegation were heads of various departments of the Xinjiang Government.
Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, Director of the CAREC Institute, welcomed the members of the high-level delegation on behalf of the institute and provided information about the CAREC Institute and its key achievements since its inception in 2006. He noted that the CAREC Institute has a unique opportunity to promote regional cooperation as an intergovernmental organization dedicated to generating and sharing knowledge among the CAREC countries. The institute is the knowledge support arm of the CAREC Program, which has mobilized $41 billion in investments to establish multimodal transportation networks, increased energy trade and security, facilitated the free movement of people and freight, and laid the groundwork for economic corridor development. He noted the importance of the Xinjiang region to CAREC, being the hub of four important CAREC corridors that connect Xinjiang with Europe, the Mediterranean, the Russian Federation, South Asia, and the Middle East. At the same time, four of the six economic corridors of the Belt and Road Initiative run through the CAREC region. And more than 80% of CAREC rail and road transport passes through Xinjiang. “We believe that Xinjiang can reap significant economic benefits by further contributing to economic cooperation in the CAREC region,” said Mr. Kabir Jurazoda.
Mr. Ma Xingrui welcomed Mr. Kabir Jurazoda as the new Director of the CAREC Institute and all foreign staff of the institute, who returned to Urumqi after the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting the importance of the institute’s activities for the CAREC region and the Xinjiang region, he suggested the institute work more closely with the relevant departments of the Xinjiang Government, research institutes, universities, private sector, and business associations to prioritize areas of mutual interest among the key strategies of the PRC, Xinjiang and CAREC. “For their part, the Xinjiang Regional Government and the Municipal Government of Urumqi will provide the necessary support to the CAREC Institute to support the fulfillment of its mandate to promote regional integration in the CAREC region,” said Mr. Ma Xingrui.
Mr. Erkin Tuniyaz welcomed the return of foreign employees of the CAREC Institute to the city of Urumqi, noting the importance of their work in promoting economic cooperation in the Central Asian region. He emphasized that the Belt and Road Initiative and CAREC have common strategic directions, as the operational clusters of the CAREC Strategy are well aligned with the five-pronged approach of the Belt and Road Initiative. The upcoming first China-Central Asia Summit, to be held this week in Xi’an, will aim to expand opportunities for cooperation in the CAREC region. In this regard, he suggested that the CAREC Institute continue to work with its member countries to create effective links between CAREC and the Belt and Road initiatives in the future.
Further, the parties discussed new directions and other issues of cooperation for the benefit of the people of the CAREC region.