On October 22 and 23, 2007, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution, in partnership with the Asian Development Bank and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC) held an international conference on "Integrating Central Asia into the World Economy: The Role of Energy and Transport Infrastructure."
With its strategic location as a land-bridge between the largest Eurasian economies – China, the European Union, India, Japan and Russia – and with its large natural and human resources, Central Asia represents a key link in supporting the process of Eurasian economic integration. At the same time, land-locked Central Asia is critically dependent on the development of effective energy and infrastructure links that can connect it with the rest of the world, so that it can get its natural resources to world markets, attract investment and improve its capacity to compete.
At the conference senior officials and private sector representatives from Central Asia and neighboring countries discussed the ambitious plans for developing infrastructure within the region and beyond, as well as the challenges in realizing these goals. The event featured both on-the-record plenary sessions and off-the record break-out discussions.
Public plenary session on "Central Asian Integration: The Perspectives from the Region and the U.S." featured presentations by H.E. Anwar ul Haq Ahady, Minister of Finance of Afghanistan, H.E. Erlan A. Idrissov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the U.S., Mr. Matlubkhon Davlatov, State Adviser to the President on Economic Policy of Tajikistan, H.E. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the U.S., and Mr. Robert S. Deutsch, Senior Advisor (Regional Integration), Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State, and Ms. Pamela Spratlen, Country Director, Central Asia, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Mr. C. Lawrence Greenwood, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank, chaired the discussion.
Full-text transcripts, a conference report, as well as supporting materials, including presentations given at break-out discussions, are available.