Caspian Brief: July 14, 2017
Cargo traffic between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan up by 164%
Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov met with head of KaThe volume of cargo transportation between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan amounted to almost 1.05 million tons in 1H2017, which is 164 percent more than in the same period of 2016, the Kazakhstan Railways National Company said in a message.zakhstan Railways Kanat Alpysbayev in Baku, where the sides discussed further development of cooperation in the railway industry, according to the message.
“The growth was achieved due to the increase in exports of Kazakh producers’ oil products through the territory of Azerbaijan,” the message said.
It was noted that imports also increased by 100,500 tons, while transit traffic increased twofold — by 9,800 tons. This is due to the increase in transportation of sugar from Brazil to Uzbekistan and food products from Ukraine to Uzbekistan.
EU mission launches new project in Tajik-Afghan border
A High-Level EU mission paid an official visit to Tajikistan on July 12, the EU Delegation to Tajikistan said.
The mission visited the Shamsiddin-Shohin district at the Tajik-Afghan border to launch a new project in agreement with the Tajik and Afghan governments for building of a bridge in Farkhor district, the rehabilitation of road and river bank stabilization, in which will foster local private sector and markets development contributing to peace, resilience and trade facilitation in the region. The project has a budget of EUR 16 million and is funded by the European Union.
Mr. Stefano Manservisi, Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Cooperation, and Mr. Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia, arrived today in DUSHANBE to look into the current EU – Tajikistan relations, in particular in the process of implementation of the country’s New Development Strategy 2016 – 2030.
EU officials had an opportunity to further discuss the EU-Tajikistan cooperation with Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Davlatali Said, First Deputy Prime Minister, as well as representatives of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, the Ministry of Finance, and the First Vice-Chairman of the National Bank.
The EU reiterated its support to Tajikistan to accompany the implementation of reforms and to Tajikistan’s National Development Strategy through its financial and technical assistance focused on health, education and rural development.
Uzbekistan to build electrified high-speed railway worth $58.87M
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has adopted a resolution on the construction of the Karshi-Kitab high-speed railway worth $58.87 million in the south of the country, according to the document published on the website of the presidential press service.
The 122 km-long railway will be electrified after its construction in 2017-2018, the document said.
The project will be financed through equity of Uzbekistan Railways JSC in the equivalent of $18.58 million, Uzbekenergo JSC in the equivalent of $7.31 million, state budget funds in the amount of 50 billion soums (equivalent to $14.06 million), as well as a loan from the Fund for Reconstruction and Development of Uzbekistan in the amount of $18.92 million.
Toshtemiryolloyiha OJSC and Sredazenergosetproekt JSC have been selected as general design organizations, while the structural subdivisions of Uzbekistan Railways JSC and Uzbekenergo JSC are the general contractors.
All participants of the project will be exempt from payment of customs duties, value added tax, mandatory deductions and fees to state trust funds until 2019.
OSCE supports platform for promoting best practices, innovations for green economy in Kazakhstan
An OSCE-supported international forum on the Green Bridge Partnership Programme (GBPP), a platform for promoting best practices and innovations for a green economy, started on July 12 in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana, the OSCE Programme Office in Astana said.
The two-day event is organized by the Kazakh Energy Ministry with support of the OSCE Programme Office and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kazakhstan for some 100 international and national experts from the state and non-governmental organizations. The forum addresses the opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the mobilization of “green” finance. The first day of the forum concluded with the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Austrian Institute of Technologies (AIT) and the Kazakh Energy Ministry aimed to foster co-operation in the area of developing “green” standards and providing training to the national and regional authorities on energy efficiency, energy saving and green construction.
Kanat Bozumbayev, Energy Minister of Kazakhstan, said: “I am confident that the Green Bridge Partnership Programme and the Centre for Green Technologies will contribute to the sustainable development of the Central Asian region through the support of green technologies.”
“We perceive the GBPP not only as an efficient tool to promote green economic growth but also as a means of contributing to energy security in the Central Asian region,” said Diana Digol, Deputy Head of the OSCE Programme Office in Astana. “We are confident that Kazakhstan’s co-operation with the Austrian Institute of Technologies will further strengthen its national strategy of moving to a green economy.
EIB to support road construction in Georgia
The European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide Georgia with 250 million euro loan to upgrade priority road infrastructure, the bank said in a message July 13.
The loan agreement was signed by EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák in the presence of Georgian Prime Minister Girogi Kvirikashvili and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefcovic in Tbilisi.
In addition, the EU bank increased its support by 3.5 million euro to finance the completion of rehabilitation works at Georgia’s biggest hydropower complex, the Vardnili-Enguri HPP cascade.
The 250 million euro loan is the second and last tranche of a 500 million euro framework loan for the construction and rehabilitation of approximately 253 kilometers priority primary and secondary roads identified by Georgia’s Government for the 2017-2020 period.
The project, which will include road safety elements, will enhance both international connectivity — notably on the East West Highway, part of the extended Trans-European Transport Network — and domestic mobility. This will strengthen vital links between Georgia, Ukraine and Europe through the Black Sea ports, and also to Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia.
Astana hosts Kazakhstan-China Agrarian Investment Forum
On July 10-12, the Minister of Agriculture of China Han Changfu is paying a visit to Kazakhstan. The visit included a Kazakhstan-China Agrarian Investment Forum in Astana, the official website of the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan reported.
In the course of the Forum, seven documents amounting to 160 million USD were signed on cooperation in trade and attraction of investments into Kazakhstan’s agro-industrial sector. The agriculture ministries of Kazakhstan and China signed a Memorandum of Understanding on creating a model zone of agricultural cooperation on the basis of the Kazakh National Agricultural Research and Education Center, which will aid in creating joint processing productions and introducing innovations in agriculture.
Agreements were also signed between Kazakhstan’s Food Contract Corporation and Chinese companies on the supply of 200 thousand tons of cereals and 100 thousand tons of oilseeds from Kazakhstan to China, as well as on the creation of a terminal for storing the above crops in the border area.
Zhannur-Astana Group LLP and the Chinese company Tianyang Yinhai Seed Company Henan Province signed a Memorandum of cooperation for creation on the territory of Kazakhstan of a full cycle of processing of grain crops, including a transfer of technologies in the field of seed production.