Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 4
By Azad Hasanli – Trend:
The Board of Directors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the near future may consider granting a loan for the implementation of the International North-South Transport Corridor project, Nariman Mannapbekov, director of ADB’s permanent representative office in Azerbaijan, told Trend.
Mannapbekov said that if the project is approved, preparatory work will begin to sign the agreement. He expressed hope that the bank will be able to start tender procedures at the beginning of next year.
Last week, Manila (Philippines) hosted negotiations between ADB railway experts and the leadership of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC.
A source in the Azerbaijani government told Trend that the negotiations were successful and the parties are optimistic about signing an agreement on financing the project.
The International North-South Transport Corridor is meant to connect Northern Europe with Southeast Asia. It will serve as a link connecting the railways of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia. At the initial stage, it is planned to transport 5 million tons of cargo per year through the corridor and over 10 million tons of cargo in the future.
ADB will allocate $400 million, while the French Development Agency will allocate $175 million.
The loans will be mainly used as investments in the development of Baku-Yalama railway section (border with Russia) as part of the North-South transport project and as support for expanding the management autonomy of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC, effective financial re-structurization of company’s liabilities, expansion of financial and administrative control, efficiency and accountability of the company, as well as the development of business and corporate restructurization of the railway authority.