Assistant Secretary Susan Elliott today said Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation or CAREC plays invaluable role in the Central Asia region.
In his remarks at the 10th Anniversary CAREC Ministerial, Ms. Elliot said CAREC is an exceptional organization which has accomplished a lot during its first ten years of operation.
“Today is the beginning of one of the United States most important holidays, “Thanksgiving. It is a holiday that originated when the first settlers came to North America and were able to celebrate a bountiful harvest. The success of the harvest was possible because of the cooperation between the settlers and the native Americans. This ministerial conference is a opportunity for me to share this American tradition of giving thanks.” -Ms. Elliot
She thanked the Asian Development Bank and all of the members of CAREC for the wonderful work they have done and continue to do in Central Asia in the region since CAREC’s first ministerial in 2002. She said the Central Asia and its neighboring countries lie at the crossroads of some of the most dynamic economies in the world.
“Every day, new avenues for trade and access to world markets are opening up, reinvigorating the region’s rich history in trade and commerce.” -Ms. Elliot
She highlighted that like CAREC, the United States believes increased cooperation in the region will produce life improving gains for the people of Central Asia and neighboring countries. She added that through the elimination of trade barriers, more efficient development and use of water and energy resources, improved transit and transportation corridors, and other forms of regional cooperation, per capita incomes in Central Asia could more than double over the next decade.
“Like CAREC, we also believe the price of noncooperation in this region is too steep to ignore. Lost economic opportunities and difficult access to markets almost certainly translate into poor employment prospects and slow progress in reducing poverty.”-Ms. Elliot
She stressed that without regional economic cooperation, public health standards suffer, natural disasters are exacerbated through a lack of joint preparedness and mitigation, and the threat of insecurity and conflict hinder progress region-wide.
“But by wisely promoting regional cooperation in the key areas of transport, trade facilitation, trade policy, and energy, CAREC is playing an invaluable role in helping Central Asia and its neighbors realize the region’s enormous potential.” -Ms. Elliot
She noted that through 17 billion dollars invested in over 120 CAREC programs, the partnership has truly become one of the region’s leaders in promoting regional cooperation. She cited that the program’s new ten-year strategy, CAREC 2020 is poised to become a valuable road map for the region’s future.