Sergey Vasiliev says the EDB steps up its efforts to develop transport corridors at a meeting of the Islamic Development Bank

08 September 2021

Moscow, 8 September 2021. The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is stepping up its efforts to develop cross-border transport corridors. Sergey Vasiliev, Vice Chairman of the EDB Management Board, said this in Tashkent (Uzbekistan) at the session on linking landlocked countries to global markets held as part of the Islamic Development Bank’s Annual Meetings.

Five out of the six EDB member countries are landlocked. Russia, despite its long coastline, has only six major seaports.

“Transport infrastructure – highways and railways with terminals in seaports – is key to access foreign markets. Good transport infrastructure is an important factor for regional integration. East−West and North−South, the New Silk Road – these are the areas where our Bank plans to step up its activities,” said Sergey Vasiliev.

The EDB is consistently implementing the Europe–Western China transport corridor project, which runs through the territories of its two largest shareholders, Russia and Kazakhstan. In Russia, the Bank is involved in the Central Ring Road project and the construction of the Western High-Speed Diameter in St. Petersburg. An understanding has been reached to start work on the Togliatti Bypass and M-12 Moscow−Nizhny Novgorod−Kazan road construction projects. In Kazakhstan, the EDB is arranging financing for the Big Almaty Ring Road (BAKAD) and has ensured the launch of the Nur Zholy automobile checkpoint on the border with China.

Sergey Vasiliev noted that having many borders that cross transport corridors was the factor that considerably slowed the movement of goods in Central Asia. In addition, only two countries in the region are members of the Eurasian Economic Union, while the rest have poorly harmonised transit legislation.

He believes that Central Asian countries need to resolve technical issues with their neighbours, including in rail transport such as different gauge standards, predominantly single-track roads, and a low degree of electrification. The equipment currently available at border crossings limits their capacity. Transportation among countries is usually regulated by bilateral rather than multilateral agreements, and some countries have no such agreements.

In Tashkent, Sergey Vasiliev also met with representatives of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, and the Islamic Development Bank's Directorate for Partnerships. He briefed representatives of the Islamic Development Bank Group on the approval of the EDB’s new Strategy and work on integrated investment projects in Central Asia. The sides also discussed joint implementation of projects, the use of Islamic financial instruments by the EDB, as well as the use of the Bank’s settlement mechanisms for transactions in the region’s national currencies.

Additional Information: 

The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution promoting integration and development in its member countries. For 15 years, the Bank has worked to strengthen and broaden economic ties and foster comprehensive development in its member countries – Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, and Tajikistan. The EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. The EDB’s portfolio mainly consists of projects with an integration effect in the areas of transport infrastructure, digitalisation, green energy, agriculture, industry, and mechanical engineering. The Bank adheres to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and ESG principles in its operations. 

The EDB Media Centre: 

Azima Sapargaliyeva +7 (777) 750 00 08 (Almaty) 

Sergey Gorbachev +7 (916) 727 22 00 (Moscow)

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