Central Asian countries identify $94 Billion energy investment needs to 2023

News Hour:

Central Asian countries have identified power investment needs of about $94 billion to 2023, according to an Asian Development Bank (ADB)-commissioned study presented at an energy forum today in Islamabad. Further, the financing gap that the private sector has to fill in the same period amounts to about $38 billion.

The findings were presented at the 1st Energy Investment Forum (EIF) of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC). In preparation for the EIF, ADB commissioned a study to identify specific opportunities for private investment in Central Asian countries.

“Energy is a key component for achieving broad-based and sustainable economic development for not only the CAREC countries but the entire Asia and Pacific region,” ADB Vice-President Wencai Zhang said in opening remarks. “In order to ensure a secure supply of energy, a substantial amount of investments will be needed over the next 20 to 30 years.”

The EIF was held to highlight investment opportunities in the CAREC region by bringing together key government officials, project developers/sponsors, project financiers, equipment manufacturers, and engineering, procurement, and construction contractors. More than 150 high-level government officials and business leaders from 10 countries attended.

The main topics discussed included how to introduce policies and incentives in CAREC member countries that support investments in the energy sector. Participants shared experiences on successful investments in the CAREC countries, with selected case studies in CAREC member countries, including Pakistan. They also discussed how development funding can be used to systematically address investment risks and encourage private sector participation in energy projects.

The event was organized by ADB and the Private Power Infrastructure Board of Pakistan.

The CAREC Program is a partnership of 10 countries (Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan), supported by 6 multilateral institutions, working together to promote development through cooperation. Georgia is set to be admitted as the 11 member. CAREC helps Central Asia and its neighbors realize their significant potential by promoting regional cooperation in four priority areas: transport, trade facilitation, energy, and trade policy.

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.

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