A delegation of the Saudi Development Fund led by Yusif Albassom, Executive Director, will visit Azerbaijan from 11 to 13 February, Trend reports. The Cabinet of Ministers informed Trend that the key objective of the visit is to sign a credit agreement with Azerbaijan on the project of construction of Yevlakh-Ganja automobile route. In 2006 the Board of Directors of Saudi Fund made a resolution on approval of $13mln to finance the project. In accordance to the credit agreement, the Saudi Fund will loan by standard terms: 20 years with 5-year grace period and rate of 2% per annum. The funds will be spent on construction of 38.8km long section of Yevlakh-Ganja road. The Islamic Development Bank made a resolution on approval of $10.4mln and a relevant credit agreement was signed in March 2005. The rest of the route will be financed by the Asian Development Bank, which allocated $93.2 for two sections вЂ" Yevlakh-Ganja and a road Gazakh-Georgian border. The project stipulates upgrade of 127km long roads and adjoini
ng 77km of road (39km long highway around Yevlakh and Ganja, as well a 38km long highway from Gazakh to Red Bridge). It covers 6 areas with 700,000 population, 37% of which lived in poverty in 2003. This area also hosts 87,000 refugees and IDP who depend on government aid. Minister said that the construction will start this year and will be completed within 18 months.
Upgrade of transport corridor includes 4 stages. First stage constitutes reconstruction of dual highways along the sections with total length 127km and second вЂ" reconstruction of 77km of internal roads. Third stage suggests support and regulatory upgrade in management and reforms in motor transport sphere. And the last component envisages simplification of transit through Azeri-Georgian border.