Role of Knowledge in Regional Cooperation
CAREC 2020 - the strategic framework of the CAREC Program endorsed by the 10th Ministerial Conference - highlights the role of knowledge in advancing economic cooperation in the CAREC region. The strategic framework identifies the CAREC Institute (CI) to be one of its seven operational priorities to achieve the goals and objectives of trade expansion and improved competitiveness.
Established in 2007, CI has been providing web-based information and knowledge products, and supporting trainings and events. It aims to generate world-class knowledge resources in CAREC's priority areas of transport, trade, and energy.
To further realize the role of CI in strengthening regional cooperation, the Strategic Knowledge Framework 2012-2017 was endorsed by the 11th Ministerial Conference in October 2012. CI is also identified as one of the three priority areas of action in the Wuhan Action Plan, which will guide the CAREC Program in the next few years.
ADB pledges support for CAREC Institute
Asian Development Bank (ADB) Vice President Wencai Zhang called for a closer partnership in the future with the CAREC Institute in delivering knowledge solutions to clients during the formal launch held in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, People's Republic of China.
What CI Does
CI has adopted the 5-year Strategic Knowledge Framework to guide its operations and help the institute become a knowledge solutions hub for economic cooperation in the CAREC region. In doing so, CI will form strategic alliances with partner institutions or individuals. CI will
- generate and create knowledge by conducting research activities that focus on regional, multisector, and common sector issues of economic cooperation.
- provide knowledge services by sharing knowledge through regional learning programs, seminars, and workshops that are relevant to national training programs.
- manage knowledge by organizing and processing existing information, and transforming it to knowledge products for wide dissemination. CI will also set up e-knowledge platforms and databases.
Since 2006, CI has consolidated various categories of studies, research, and papers related to the CAREC priority sectors and other subjects including economics, finance, and private sector development.
Currently, CI activities
- provide the analytical underpinning for strategic, sector, and project-based work under the CAREC Program and associated training for all CAREC bodies;
- coordinate information and training for the CAREC partners in the areas of transport, trade, and energy;
- coordinate information sharing in secondary areas of mutual interest to CAREC partners-the regional public goods that impact all countries, including communicable disease control, disaster risk management, and climate change. Activity in these areas remains subject to available funding;
- build on existing capacities and resources of institutions in the CAREC countries to develop a sustainable intellectual base and promote regional cooperation and integration; and
- forge new partnerships, and mobilize fresh funds from CAREC multilateral institutions and other development partners.
Next Phase of CI
In October 2012, the 11th Ministerial Conference made a strategic decision to establish a physical base in the region by 2014. CI will have a physical infrastructure and its own staff to carry out operations and administration.
Endorsed by CAREC Ministers, the work plan of the CI will be implemented across the three components of the strategic framework - knowledge generation, knowledge services, and knowledge management - in 2013-2015.The physical base of the CI was launched in December 2014 in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the People's Republic of China.
In March 2015, the Inaugural Knowledge-Sharing Workshop of the CAREC Institute was held in conjunction with the formal announcement of the opening of the CI's physical base. Jointly organized by CI and the ADB Institute, the workshop focused on how CAREC countries can develop effective policies and programs to develop and benefit from economic corridor development and plugging into global value chains.
In October 2016, at the 15th Ministerial Conference, representatives of the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Intergovernmental Agreement providing the legal basis for the CAREC Institute. Signing by other CAREC members and ratification of the agreement by signatory members are expected to follow.