CAREC Regional Integration Index: Policy Perspective

 The CAREC Institute’s working paper on the CAREC Regional Integration Index (CRII) explains the CRII, which was designed in 2017 based on the Huh and Park Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Integration Index to measure the depth and breadth of regional economic cooperation.

The paper defines regional integration as a strategy that promotes the benefits of collective and collaborative activities among member countries through economies of scale, more vigorous intra-regional trade, expansion of markets, shared information platforms for exchange, and harmonized frameworks for social and economic interaction, and proposes three growth areas and five knowledge corridors in CAREC.

The growth areas include 1) Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan growth area to connect the seaports of Azerbaijan and Georgia with the proposed Turkmenistan rail network, and with the Gwadar and Karachi ports of Pakistan; 2) regional value chain growth area for the middle and far-west portions of CAREC to stimulate regional production systems primarily in agriculture whose outputs can move through the railway network in Turkmenistan and into the port outlets of Georgia and Azerbaijan, connecting the sub-region to Europe, as well as through the port outlets of Pakistan and into South Asia and the Middle East; and 3) cross-border tourism growth area involving all CAREC countries and the Silk Road branding.

The knowledge corridors include: the energy corridor, tourism, regional value chains, transport and logistics, and finance. Read more here.