ADB to prioritize financing infrastructure projects as part of its new Azerbaijan strategy

Business Materials 14 December 2012 19:17 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 14 / Trend A.Akhundov /

Financing infrastructure projects in the country will be a top priority in the Asian Development Bank's (ADB's) strategy for Azerbaijan, which is currently under preparation and will cover 2013-2017, ADB Resident Representative Olly Norojono said at a news conference.

"Currently, bank employees are conducting thematic and sectorial assessment. During the next stage of our project, we will present the results of our research on relevant sectors of the Azerbaijani economy. Afterwards, in the first quarter of 2013, we will hold consultations with the country's government. The strategy will be agreed upon with the notion of 'Azerbaijan 2020: a look into the future', which is currently being developed, Norojono said.

He said the ADB has seven active projects in Azerbaijan; the current portfolio is $990 million.

"Some 46 percent of the portfolio accounts for the transport sector, 16% accounts for the energy sector, 36 per cent is for city services, which includes improvements of water supply, the sewerage system, and so on. In this regard, technical assistance is provided. Another direction of the ADB in the country is increasing the skills and knowledge of government employees. We provided training for 46 employees from 23 state agencies and companies abroad," Norojono said.

According to him, in 2012 the bank approved projects in the public sector at the amount of $ 250 million.
The total amount of funding for approved ADB projects in Azerbaijan in this period amounted to $575 million in accordance with updated business plans for the bank's operation in Azerbaijan for 2012-2014.

"The projects approved under the business plan will require $250 million in 2012, $155 million - in 2013, and $170 million in 2014," the document says.

The bank plans to allocate $155 million annually during 2012-2014 from the ordinary capital resources.

"If necessary, it will consider providing additional resources for funding and co-financing. The bank plans to allocate $3.25 million for technical assistance between 2012 and 2014," the document stated.

Business plans for 2012-2014 includes approved and pending projects. The bank may allocate $490 million for five projects that are still under consideration.

The ADB was established in 1966 and has 67 members. The headquarters of the bank is located in the capital of the Philippines, Manila. Azerbaijan became a member of the Asian Development Bank on December 22, 1999. The country's participation share in the bank's capital is 0.5 percent.

Japan and the US (31.2 per cent of the total share capital), India and China (12.8 percent), Australia, South Korea and Canada (16 percent) are the ADB leading shareholders.