Central Asian cooperation forum seeks lessons from South and South-East Asia integrationListen /
"Regional economic integration has become ever more important in the quest to find new drivers of regional growth, in support of shared and sustained prosperity. That's what the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Dr. Noleen Heyzer, told Tuesday's opening of a regional economic cooperation forum of Central Asia and Afghanistan taking place in Bangkok, Thailand.
According toDr. Heyzer, "National, and even bilateral approaches alone are no longer sufficient to address these challenges". Rather, she explains, "Regional solutions, through regional cooperation, can be the way …to forge more sustainable economic growth, close development gaps, and help lift tens of millions of people still in poverty.
She says ESCAP's work in support of SPECA focuses on trade, transport, water and energy – key areas which are central to any sub-regional and regional integration in Central Asia."
Government and business leaders from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, together with intergovernmental organizations and financial institutions working in Central Asia, are attending the two-day forum to discuss how integration experiences of other Asia-Pacific sub-regions can help promote sustainable and inclusive growth among its members amidst the current global economic uncertainty.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.