Pakistan to Move Forward on Central Asian Regional Economic Program

Pakistan has started a consultative process to join the pilot project of the Central Asian Regional Economic (CAREC) Advanced Transit System (CATS) and Information Common Exchange.

The initiative aims at streamlining and harmonizing existing transit documentation, creating a single electronic messaging system, and providing a modern, risk-based affordable guarantee mechanism that rewards compliant traders.

This upcoming system will also be aligned with the EU’s New Computerized Transit System as it will be capable of facilitating multi-modal transit trade connecting Asia and Europe. In this regard, the kick-off meeting was held which indicated a consensus among stakeholders for Pakistan joining CATS including relevant departments and ministries.

The overall objectives of the CATS are to enhance the security of the supply chain across the CAREC region. This regional platform will help trade flow more smoothly and efficiently across the borders, and reduce the overall cost of trade.

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program is a partnership of 11 countries and development partners working together to promote development through cooperation, leading to accelerated economic growth and poverty reduction.

It is guided by the overarching vision of “Good Neighbors, Good Partners, and Good Prospects. The program is a proactive facilitator of practical, results-based regional projects, and policy initiatives critical to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity in the region.

Since its inception in 2001 and as of December 2021, CAREC has mobilized $41 billion in investments that have helped establish multimodal transportation networks, increased energy trade and security, facilitated free movement of people and freight, and laid the groundwork for economic corridor development.

The broadened scope of CAREC 2030 provides new space for development partners to engage with the region in the five operational clusters for—Economic and Financial Stability; Trade, Tourism, and Economic Corridors; Infrastructure and Economic Connectivity; Agriculture and Water; and Human Development—for policy and capacity building support as well as investment projects.

Development partners, both existing and new, could assume lead roles in the various areas, sectors, and subsectors based on their comparative advantages, and incubate new ideas and projects.

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