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Pakistan Initiates Consultative Process to Join Central Asian Regional Economic Program


In a significant move towards regional economic integration, Pakistan has commenced a consultative process to participate in the pilot project of the Central Asian Regional Economic (CAREC) Advanced Transit System (CATS) and Information Common Exchange. 

This initiative aims to streamline and harmonize existing transit documentation while creating a unified electronic messaging system. It also intends to establish a modern and affordable guarantee mechanism, based on risk assessment, that rewards compliant traders.

The CATS project is designed to enhance the security of the supply chain across the CAREC region, facilitating smoother and more efficient trade flow across borders. Additionally, it will align with the European Union's New Computerized Transit System, enabling multi-modal transit trade connectivity between Asia and Europe. A kick-off meeting was held, indicating a consensus among stakeholders, including relevant departments and ministries, for Pakistan's participation in CATS.

The Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, established in 2001, is a collaborative effort among 11 countries and development partners. The program's overarching vision is "Good Neighbors, Good Partners, and Good Prospects," aiming to promote development through cooperation, accelerated economic growth, and poverty reduction in the region.

CAREC has mobilized $41 billion in investments since its inception, contributing to the development of multimodal transportation networks, increased energy trade and security, facilitated movement of people and freight, and laid the foundation for economic corridor development.

Under the CAREC 2030 framework, which encompasses five operational clusters Economic and Financial Stability, Trade, Tourism, and Economic Corridors, Infrastructure and Economic Connectivity, Agriculture and Water, and Human Development—development partners have the opportunity to engage with the region in policy and capacity building support, as well as investment projects. This expanded scope encourages both existing and new development partners to assume lead roles based on their comparative advantages, fostering innovation and project incubation.

Pakistan's decision to join CATS marks a significant step towards advancing regional connectivity and trade facilitation. The implementation of a modern transit system aligned with international standards is expected to reduce trade costs, strengthen security, and promote economic growth and shared prosperity in the region.

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Pakistan Initiates Consultative Process to Join Central Asian Regional Economic Program

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