CAREC Workshop discusses the development of a new economic corridor
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- The initiative to create a new economic corridor between the cities of Shymkent-Tashkent-Khujand and adjacent areas can expand regional dynamism and promote economic integration in the region, as noted at the workshop of the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC) in which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) serves as the secretariat.
The cities of Shymkent-Tashkent-Khujand and the adjacent Turkestan, Tashkent and Sogd oblasts will be considered as a potential economic corridor under the CAREC program. Three cities and adjacent areas are within easy access to each other and they have a relatively large population - about 15% of the total population of Central Asia live in the Turkestan, Tashkent and Sogd regions.
They are also strategically linked to international markets. Shymkent is located at the international crossroads of Europe-East Asia and the Russian Federation-Middle East, and South Asia, and Tashkent and Khujand are tourist centers. Three cities and adjacent areas have a level of economic complementarity, especially in the field of agriculture and food. There is also easy cross-border labor mobility between them, which is facilitated by close historical, cultural, ethnic and linguistic connections between the three countries.
Recent events also add additional impetus to the development of the economic corridor. Firstly, in 2018, Shymkent became a city of republican significance along with Nur-Sultan and Almaty. It is expected that the new status, as well as existing industries and government strategies will open up new prospects for the further development of the South Kazakh region. Secondly, the Government of Uzbekistan is making great efforts to improve the business climate through further reform. Tourism is one of the priorities of the development strategy of the republic. Third, the three governments demonstrated strong political will at various levels for joint efforts to expand regional economic cooperation.
The development of a regional economic corridor is becoming increasingly important in the CAREC region. At the same time, the economic recovery, openness of Uzbekistan and the strengthening of ties between neighboring countries, in particular with Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, add a new impetus to the development of regional economic corridors.
CAREC 2030 is a new long-term strategy for CAREC adopted in October 2017 in Dushanbe, which attaches great importance to the development of the economic corridor. The development strategies of the Government of Uzbekistan for the next few years emphasize the role of regional cooperation and trade relations, including promoting tourism, modernizing transport infrastructure to improve transit trade, and facilitating the export of horticultural products, which is closely related to the CAREC 2030 strategy. can further improve connectivity of the infrastructure, connect with other countries of Central Asia, Russia and China Republic, improve the economic integration with the rest of the region, as well as to further integrate into the regional and global value chains.
The new ADB technical assistance project is aimed at assessing the development potential of the economic corridor between Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, with emphasis on the major cities of Shymkent, Tashkent and Khujand and adjacent Turkestan, Tashkent and Sogd oblasts. The project is designed for three years and was developed in response to a request from CAREC member countries to explore the possibility of developing a new potential economic corridor to create opportunities for business development and employment.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, comprehensive, and sustainable Asia-Pacific region, while continuing its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, the bank approved loans and grants in the amount of US$21.6 billion. ADB was founded in 1966 and its shareholders are 68 member states, 49 of which are countries of the region.