Asian Development Bank Steps In To Alleviate Azerbaijan-Georgia Rail Bottlenecks

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Institutional funding being provided to support the INSTC Asia-EU southern routes

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated US$50 million to Georgian Railway JSC in US$500 million of green bonds owned by the bank for the modernization of the rail network in 2021.Once the project is completed, the network’s annual freight capacity is expected to increase from 27 million tons in 2020 to 48 million tons by 2024.

The average time of freight traffic between the border of Azerbaijan and Georgia’s Batumi Port will also be reduced by 4 hours under Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) support program, meaning the initiative will add to efficiencies and cost-savings along the routes.

Azerbaijan-Georgia rail connectivity is a vital part of the BTK rail line as well as being a component part of the INSTC. This is fast becoming, due to sanctions placed on Russian routes to Europe, as the fastest and most economical route between Asia, including China, to European markets – and vice-versa.

“Through a new technical assistance project, ADB is helping develop an economic corridor framework for the South Caucasus to leverage investment, promote trade facilitation, and assess new tourism opportunities through transport gateways between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and beyond.” ADB said.

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Chris Devonshire-Ellis is the Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assists British and Foreign Investment into Asia and has 28 offices throughout China, India, the ASEAN nations and Russia. For strategic and business intelligence concerning China’s Belt & Road Initiative please email silkroad@dezshira.com or visit us at www.dezshira.com

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