Baku, Azerbaijan, May 2
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) assists Turkmenistan to help develop sections of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors, ADB Country Director in Turkmenistan, Ahmet Cevdet Denizer told Trend.
“Turkmenistan is a member of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program, ADB’s flagship endeavor striving to connect economies of the landlocked countries and boost intraregional trade in goods and services,” he said.
Denizer pointed out that considering the geography of Central Asian countries, physical and institutional connectivity is important to reduce their trade and transport costs by creating economies of scale.
“Turkmenistan has the strategic location with three out of six CAREC transport corridors traversing it. In that regard, the country’s role in regional transport infrastructure cannot be overestimated. ADB assists Turkmenistan to help develop links or sections of multimodal CAREC corridors and does so with due regard for [economic] growth dividends to be ensured from debt-financed public investment in transport systems and services,” the country director added.
When it comes to energy, Denizer said Turkmenistan’s considerable resources open up yet more opportunities for region-wide trade especially given energy deficiency being endured by some neighboring countries.
“Projects like Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan Power Interconnection are seen as having a valid rationale if properly planned [and implemented] and can well become a great energy corridor with effects [going] beyond just selling and buying electricity.”
Energy, transport and finance sectors are considered priority areas, according to Denizer. “Besides project loans in the sectors concerned, ADB’s assistance is being towards deploying the critical mass of knowledge sharing activities to both inform and advance reforms in a range of domains – public financial management, state-owned enterprises, trade policy and facilitation to name but a few.”
ADB began working with Turkmenistan in 2000, and has since been helping to diversify the country’s export markets and increase its regional connectivity. Given Turkmenistan’s vast energy resources and strategic location, ADB operations focus on enhancing the country’s transport and energy sectors, with infrastructure projects fostering regional cooperation. ADB has also provided expert advice to facilitate the long-term export of power to Afghanistan.
In November 2018, ADB approved the country operations business plan, 2019–2021 for Turkmenistan. The committed lending program amounts to $150 million, with another $690 million for prospective projects to develop Turkmenistan’s transport and transit potential, promote the exporting of energy, and advance private sector operations.
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