Caspian Weekly Roundup
Current State of SGC Projects Disclosed
The current execution state of the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) projects was disclosed, according to the report of the Energy Ministry. At the end of 2018, 100 percent of the total gas production work on the Shah Deniz-2 project, 92.3 percent of the work on full-scale development, 99.8 percent of the work on the South Caucasus Pipeline Expansion project, 98.8 percent of the construction works of TANAP and 82.4 percent of TAP pipeline construction works were implemented.
Azerbaijan Plans to Increase Gas Transportation via TANAP in 2019
Azerbaijan plans to increase the volume of gas transportation via the Trans Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) to 2 billion cubic meters in 2019, according to Public Relations Head at Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR Ibrahim Ahmadov. Moreover, he noted that the overall progress in TANAP project is nearing 99 percent.
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan Held Talks on Duty-Free Delivery on Oil & Oil Products
Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have begun negotiations on duty-free deliveries of oil and petroleum products, Kyrgyz State Committee for Industry, Energy and Subsoil Use (SCIES) stated. The first stage of negotiations as held on January 21 to discuss a draft agreement between the governments of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on trade and economic cooperation in oil and oil products supply. According to the project which is under discussion, the Kazakh side is obliged to export products to Kyrgyzstan without a duty.
Azerbaijan Plans Several Major Projects in Alternative Energy
There are plans to implement a number of projects totaling $2.3 billion in alternative energy, according to the Azerbaijani government. Investors will be attracted for this purpose, the government noted. However, it is still unknown what proportion of financing is planned to be covered by the investors. The projects include a plant for production of biofuels (pellet fuels) in the Sabirabad district, construction of wind power plants in the Pirallahi district, an agro-energy residential complex in the Samukh district and others. Construction of two wind power farms worth $800 million and $408.9 million in the Pirallahi district, as well as a wind power farm worth $377.7 million in the Khizi district are the biggest projects planned for implementation.
ADB to Finance Project on Modernizing Turkmenistan’s Energy Network
The State Bank for Foreign Economic Affairs of Turkmenistan signed an agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for a sum of $500 million for financing the project of modernization of the energy network of Turkmenistan. Actively connecting Turkmenistan to a single Central Asian energy system plays an important role in opening up additional possibilities for the increase of the scope of supply of Turkmen electricity within the framework of the international “Turkmenistan – Uzbekistan – Tajikistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan” (TUTAP) project, Turkmen Dovlet Habarlary said.
Oil Edges Up as Investors Latch on to OPEC Cuts, Supply Outlook
Oil prices edged up on Monday, reversing earlier losses, as investors shrugged off data that confirmed China’s economic growth is cooling and instead latched on to positive supply-side drivers for the market. Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were up 12 cents at $62.83 a barrel by 3:23 p.m. EST (1727 GMT) versus Friday’s settlement price, while U.S. crude futures CLc1 were up 19 cents to $53.99 a barrel. “It remains quite likely that the trade spat with the US has played a part in this latest slowdown,” CMC Markets chief market analyst Michael Hewson said. “But investors should also factor in that it simply isn’t possible for the Chinese economy to grow at the pace that it has over the last 10 years, in the next 10 years.”
Uzbekistan to Supply India with Uranium
Uzbekistan and India signed an agreement on long-term uranium supplies. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi held a meeting in the framework of the Dynamic Gujarat International Summit on January 18. “Uzbekistan jointly with Indian partners will create a technopark of advanced information technologies in Tashkent and a pharmaceutical zone in the Andijan region. With the Indian Eximbank, an agreement was made to allocate a preferential credit line in the amount of $200 million to finance socially important projects in Uzbekistan,” the press service of the head of state said.
MFA: Turkey not to Normalize Relations with Armenia Before Karabakh Conflict Resolved
There can be no talk of normalizing relations between Turkey and Armenia without a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. Cavusoglu noted that stability in the South Caucasus is impossible without solving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In response to the occupation of Azerbaijani territories, Turkey keeps its borders with Armenia closed
Georgian President Says Diaspora Should Have Representative in Parliament
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili, currently on her first official trip in Brussels, has stated that the Georgian diaspora should have a representative in the Georgian parliament, which will increase the involvement of Georgians living abroad in the country’s internal issues. Zurabishvili made the statement on January 21 during her meeting with members of the Georgian diaspora in Belgium.
Putin and Abe to Discuss Peace Treaty, Bilateral Cooperation on Tuesday
Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Moscow on January 22. The Japanese prime minister is currently in Russia on a working visit. “The sides plan to discuss the current state of and prospects for developing bilateral cooperation in political, trade and economic, humanitarian spheres,” the Kremlin press service told reporters. In the framework of agreements reached at previous meetings between Putin and Abe, it is expected that the two leaders will “discuss issues connected with signing a peace treaty between the two countries,” the Kremlin said adding that this topic will most likely dominate the talks.
The United States – Azerbaijan Trade up 40 percent
By the end of October 2018 bilateral trade between Azerbaijan and the United States increased almost 40 percent compared to 2017. The trade volume reached over 783 million dollars in 10 months of 2018.
European Commission Ready to Support Major Transport Projects in Azerbaijan
The European Commission is ready to support three transport projects in Azerbaijan, worth $1.2 billion, according to the Indicative trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) Investment Action Plan, co-authored by the EC and the World Bank. The plans in Azerbaijan include creating five logistics centers ($418 million) and a free trade zone in Alat ($465 million) and modernization of the East-West Railway ($372 million). The first two projects are proposed to be financed via public-private partnership and the third project by the international financial organizations. Together, the projects in the Eastern Partnership countries will require an estimated investment of almost $14 billion and foresee a total of 4,800 kilometers of road and rail, 6 ports and 11 logistics centers, the European Commission said.
Uzbekistan Shows off Goods at International Green Week 2019 in Berlin
Berlin is currently hosting the largest event in the field of agro-industry – International Green week 2019 in Berlin, from January 17 to 27. An official opening of the Uzbek stand took place as part of the international exhibition on January 18. Presentations of agricultural, fruit and vegetable and alcoholic products of Uzbekistan, as well as the national cuisine and tourism potential of the country, were organized there. Representatives of Uzbek business circles who arrived in Berlin, are negotiating on the formation of a trade package and economic contracts, as well as the conclusion of agreements on the establishment and expansion of mutually beneficial economic cooperation with German entrepreneurs.
Kyrgyzstan, Germany Discuss Wide Range of Cooperation Issues
The press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic reported that the sides discussed a wide range of issues of the Kyrgyz-German cooperation, as well as key aspects of the international and regional agenda. Adviser to the Federal Chancellor Hecker, emphasizing the successful development of the bilateral relations and parliamentary democracy in the Kyrgyz Republic, noted the desire of the German side to further close cooperation with Kyrgyzstan. In turn, Aidarbekov expressed satisfaction with the successful implementation of bilateral projects and the dynamic nature of the dialogue at various levels between Kyrgyzstan and Germany.
FAO: Azerbaijan’s Steps on Agriculture Development Can be Exemplary
The steps taken by the Azerbaijani government in the agricultural sector can be exemplary for other countries, FAO Assistant Director General Vladimir Rakhmanin said on January 22. Rakhmanin made the remarks at the event in Baku dedicated to the beginning of the FAO-Azerbaijan Partnership Program. “The Azerbaijani government has determined the development of agriculture as a priority for ensuring the multi-vector aspect of the country’s economy,” he added. “In terms of development of the agricultural sector, the Azerbaijani government makes a lot of efforts to increase not only local production, but also the export potential of this sector,” he said.
Turkish Parliament Okays Construction of Great Istanbul Tunnel
The Turkish Parliament has approved the project on the construction of the Great Istanbul Tunnel. A few days ago the construction plan of the Great Istanbul Tunnel was also handed to Istanbul Mayor’s Office, where the building permit was granted. “The project envisages the construction of the world’s first three-level tunnel under the Bosphorus in Istanbul,” the ministry said. “The tunnel is planned to be laid at a depth of 110 meters and its length will be 6.5 kilometers. One railway and two highways, connecting the Asian and European parts of Istanbul, will be laid through the tunnel,” the ministry said.
Trade Turnover Between Azerbaijan, Georgia Hit $1 Billion in 2018
Azerbaijan and Georgia maintain high-level relations in all spheres, especially in economic field. The trade turnover between Georgia and Azerbaijan amounted to $1.1 billion in 2018. The share of Azerbaijan in the total trade turnover of the neighboring country made 8.7 percent last year. Azerbaijan became the third largest trading partner of Georgia after Turkey and Russia in 2018. Georgian exports to Azerbaijan increased by 84.7 percent to $502.7 million in 2018. At the same time, Azerbaijan with 15 percent share in Georgia’s total export became the country’s first major export partner.
Azerbaijan Starts Laying Fiber-Optic Lines Along Railways
Fiber-optic lines are being laid along railways within the renewal of Azerbaijan Railways infrastructure. Laying new fiber-optic lines will contribute to formation of a modern sustainable infrastructure, provision and development of digital services and provision of advanced telecommunications services. The first phase of constructing and commissioning the new fiber-optic lines is envisaged for the current year.
Tajikistan, Kazakhstan Eye to Increase Trade to $2 Billion
Kazakh Foreign Minister Beibut Atamkulov met with the Ambassador of Tajikistan Nazirmad Alizoda on the occasion of the completion of his diplomatic mission in Kazakhstan. The foreign minister thanked the Tajik diplomat for his contribution to the development of Kazakh-Tajik relations and his merits in strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries. The press service of the Kazakh Foreign Ministry noted that during Alizoda’s term, a number of important documents were signed between Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, including the Strategic Partnership Agreement.
Turkmenistan Names New Director General of Insurance Organization
Dovletmyrat Gulmyradov, deputy director general of the State Insurance Organization of Turkmenistan, has been appointed as director general of the Organization. Annabibi Amanmedova, who previously held the position, was dismissed due to serious shortcomings in her work, according to a Turkmen presidential decree.
(Sources: AzerNews and Trend News Agency.)