Asian Development Bank Holds Discussion with Azerbaijan on Further Cooperation
Azerbaijan, Baku, 24 April / Trend corr. I.Khalilova / Shon O'Salevan, the Deputy Director of Asian Development Bank (ADB) Department on Central and East Asia, held consultations with Azerbaijan on closer cooperation on 24 April, the ADB Baku representative reported.
The key goal of the visit to Azerbaijan is to participate in the events within the framework of the Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The workshop on trade logistic and monitoring over efficiency of corridors began on 24 April.
O'Salevan has also held meetings in the Cabinet of Ministers, Azerenergy and Ministry of Transport.
The further use of Multitranche Financing Facility (MFF) for road projects in Azerbaijan, approved to the amount of $500 mln in September 2007, was discussed in the Ministry of Transport.
ADB is prepared to finance the increased prices of the project on the reconstruction of the west-east highway Yevlakh-Ganja and Gazakh-Georgian border at the expense of the MFF funds.
A total of $25mln to $44mln may be proposed for the construction of the Ganja highway, although the bank proposed the sum of $50mln or $60mln. The Ministry stated that the share of the bank with the participation of Azerbaijan could reach $25mln. However, if ADB finance the project alone, the credit sum may total $44mln.
Tender procedure to define a conductor for the construction of the Ganja highway was previously suspended due to a shortage of funds. ADB has now said it is ready to finance the tender procedure.
The increase of project costs is connected with the increase of prices within two years for construction material.
The total cost of the first plot of Yevlakh-Ganja project 88.8km long comprises $58.7mln. Some $10.4mln was allocated by the Islamic Bank of Development, $11mln by the Saudi Development Fund, $24mln by ADB and $13.3mln was financed at the expense of Azerbaijani Government.
Construction of the second plot of highway Gazakh-Georgian border 38.8km long is $30mln, which will be financed at the expense of ADB ($28mln) and Azerbaijan ($2mln).
Within the framework of MFF, ADB approved the allocation of $200mln for the construction of the Masalli-Astara highway.
ADB approved the state line on financing of $304mln, some $56mln for private sector and over $10mln - for technical assistance.
The official rate at 23 April is 0,8276 AZN/USD.
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