A Dialogue on “Central Asian Connectivity Project Pipeline” between IsDB-AIIB-MCDF and Regional Countries

Istanbul, Turkey – 11-12 March 2024 - The Regional Dialogue on Central Asian Connectivity (CAC) Project Pipeline has convened in Istanbul, Turkiye, to facilitate a stakeholder dialogue aimed at identifying and assessing cross-border connectivity projects in Central Asia.

Organized jointly by the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF), the event (11-12 March 2024) marked a significant step towards advancing regional economic cooperation and integration in Central Asia.

The key objectives of the event included informing stakeholders on the progression of assessment work, collecting feedback on the validity of the identified project long list, and positioning work for further downstream collaboration and active participation from government entities and potential investors.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry, Head of the IsDB Regional Hub in Almaty, highlighted: “Central Asia needs to reinforce its position as a critical hub for transcontinental trade to ensure smooth trade flows amongst major global economies. From this perspective, our efforts in promoting the Central Asian Connectivity initiative are the right step taken at the right time.” 

The event outlined the purpose, background, and objectives of the dialogue, emphasizing the importance of fostering collaboration among key stakeholders to support the identification and assessment of priority cross-border connectivity projects in Central Asia.

Over the past year, a Joint Working Team comprising AIIB, IsDB, and MCDF conducted a strategic mapping exercise to identify key infrastructure sectors in Central Asia that can enhance intra-regional connectivity.

The exercise identified Transport & Logistics, Energy, and Digital Connectivity as priority sectors for investment consideration.

The Regional Dialogue on Central Asian Connectivity Project Pipeline concluded with a renewed sense of collaboration and commitment among stakeholders, laying the groundwork for future investment and implementation of priority cross-border connectivity projects in Central Asia.

The two-day event was attended by 23 officials from five Central Asian countries’ officials namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in addition to the representatives from IsDB, AIIB, and MCDF.