World Bank: Azerbaijan needs more technical assistance, less financial support (Exclusive)

World Bank: Azerbaijan needs more technical assistance, less financial support (Exclusive)

Baku, Azerbaijan, March 23

By Sara Israfilbayova – Trend:

Today Azerbaijan needs more technical assistance and less financial support, Mercy Tembon, the World Bank’s (WB) Regional Director for the South Caucasus, said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

"In 1992, when Azerbaijan joined the WB group, it was not that developed and needed a lot of investments. But as time goes by, we can see that need for financial support is not as big as it used to be back then," she said.

Tembon stressed that although the WB’s program with the Azerbaijani government equally consists of all three components (financial assistance, technical assistance, knowledge sharing).

Further, answering the question on financing of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), she said that if any help is needed, the World Bank is always ready to provide the necessary support.

The regional director said that SGC is a fantastic project, adding that the WB is happy of being one of the first international financial institutions, financing the project.

The Southern Gas Corridor envisages the transportation of 10 billion cubic meters of Azerbaijani gas from the Caspian region through Georgia and Turkey to Europe. The gas from the Azerbaijani Shah Deniz field has already gone through the first segment of the Southern Gas Corridor - from the Sangachal terminal to the expanded South Caucasus Pipeline.

Azerbaijan joined the World Bank Group in 1992. During this period, the bank allocated loans for the implementation of over 50 projects in the country worth over $3 billion. Seven more projects worth about $1.5 billion are being implemented.

Besides the loans, WB allocated 45 grants to Azerbaijan totalling $41.586 million in 1995-2014.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Israfilbekova

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