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EBRD talks support for dev't of transport corridors in Central Asia

Central Asia Materials 21 February 2023 16:37 (UTC +04:00)
EBRD talks support for dev't of transport corridors in Central Asia
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 21. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is conducting a study of Sustainable Transport Connections between Asia and Europe funded by the European Commission, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Managing Director for Central Asia, told Trend.

According to the managing director, the study, which should be finalized by summer 2023, is aiming to identify the most sustainable transport connections between the Central Asian states and the extended Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).

"It has two objectives: to identify the most sustainable transport corridors connecting the five Central Asian states with the EU’s TEN-T, including the Caucasus, and to propose actions for their development, including the actual infrastructure investments and necessary enabling environment," she explained.

As Hargitai pointed out, until recently, the main route linking North-East Asia with Europe was the Eurasian Northern Corridor.

"It was using Trans-Siberian railway from Russia’s Far East with its branches going through Kazakhstan and Mongolia. The Middle or Transcaspian Corridor running through the territory of Kazakhstan is generally considered to be the second-best land-based option, despite not being a complete alternative to the Northern one. Should this corridor become a more preferred new route for freight companies, a diversion of transit cargo exceeding 10 percent of the Northern Corridor’s tonnage will require large investment across the entire corridor and its economic efficiency is yet to be assessed," she said.

According to Hargitai, the EBRD is already working with transport and logistical companies along the Middle Corridor such as Kazakhstan's Temirservice Astana.

"This is an operator of the first private railway station in Kazakhstan. Last year the Bank also signed a memorandum of understanding with a sea port of Aktau. The EBRD is considering a loan, which will support the modernization of cargo handling equipment and related port infrastructure," the managing director added.

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