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CAREC Countries Vow Closer Energy Cooperation

by September 21, 2019 Market

Nine countries from the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Programme, signed a declaration here to accelerate cross-border cooperation on energy issues and move the region a step closer to the creation of a regional energy market, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Energy ministers and leaders from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, discussed common regional energy challenges and signed a 10-point historic declaration, during the CAREC Energy Ministers’ Dialogue held here, the ADB said.

The declaration sets the region on a faster reform path towards more liberal energy markets with greater private sector participation and investment, increased power connections and exchanges between countries, and a strong commitment to tapping renewable energy sources and clean technologies, it said.

ADB said, CAREC countries are rich in natural resources, but have an uneven distribution of these resources. This, compounded by inadequate infrastructure and inefficient state-owned energy utilities, means some countries continue to face power shortages.

To keep pace with the region’s economic growth and an increasing demand for power, the region will need to double its current power system capacity by 2030. The capacity expansion will require sizeable investments, estimated to be about 400 billion U.S. dollars, in cumulative investments up to 2030, it said.

Following Friday’s dialogue, officials also attended the opening of the 4th CAREC Energy Investment Forum, a two-day forum which aims to unlock and guide private investment in the region’s energy sector, it added.

The CAREC Programme, established in 1997, by the ADB, is to encourage economic cooperation among countries in the Central Asian region