Brussels, 30 January 2024 (TDI): At the Investors Forum, EU and international financial institutions have announced a massive €10bn to support the growth and expansion of the Trans-Caspian corridor, which will integrate Europe and Central Asia.
The European Union – Central Asia Transport Connectivity Global Gateway Investors Forum is taking place from January 29th to January 30th in Brussels. The forum commenced its proceedings with a plenary session yesterday.
In the following two days, participants will explore the investments needed to develop the Trans-Caspian Transport Corridor into a cutting-edge, multimodal, and efficient route that connects Europe and Central Asia in a shortest time period.
Most welcome: international partners are committing to provide €10 bln in investments to develop sustainable transport connectivity in region👏https://t.co/jyqJUXB996
🇪🇺 🇰🇿 🇰🇬 🇹🇯 🇹🇲 🇺🇿 pic.twitter.com/0y9e9tbQdS
— Valdis Dombrovskis (@VDombrovskis) January 29, 2024
The Investors Forum gathered influential figures from the European Commission, EU Member States, Central Asia, the Caucasus, and Türkiye. The other participants included representatives from G7 nations, like-minded countries, prominent financial institutions, and leaders from the private sector.
Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President of the European Commission, announced that European and international financial institutions attending the Forum will pledge €10 billion in assistance and investments. This support is dedicated to promoting sustainable transport connections in Central Asia.
In particular, numerous substantial financial commitments announced on the first day of the Forum as part of the overall €10 billion. This includes:
The European Investment Bank (EIB), represented by Vice President Teresa Czerwińska, signed Memoranda of Understanding worth €1.47 billion with the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the Kazakhstan Development Bank. These loans will be made feasible by guarantees from the European Commission.
🇪🇺🌏We signed Memorandums of Understanding totalling €1.47bn for #sustainabletransport projects co-financing with 🇰🇿, 🇰🇬, 🇺🇿 & 🇰🇿 Development Bank at today’s #IFTC24.
These agreements will help support EU-Central Asia Roadmap & #GlobalGateway objectives https://t.co/3ff7YY9UQO pic.twitter.com/Xjw7armTJh
— EIB Global (@EIBGlobal) January 29, 2024
Moreover, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), represented by Vice President Mark Bowman, inked a Memorandum of Understanding with Kazakhstan. This outlined a €1.5 billion investment pipeline with projects already in the works for the overall development of transport connectivity in Central Asia.
The Investors Forum is a testament to the increasing EU-Central Asia collaboration. European Commission Executive Vice President underlined that the Trans Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) aims to connect EU and Central Asia within 15 days.
Additionally, he said, “Together, we strive to achieve a faster, more reliable connection between Europe and Central Asia. It will foster stronger ties and open new avenues for cooperation”.
Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice President, emphasized that this extensive transportation system holds the key to boosting economic expansion.
Furthermore, it is expected to generate employment opportunities at a local level. It will also facilitate easy access to essential services and drive forward regional integration.
The EU-Central Asia Investors Forum taking place today and tomorrow in Brussels is a key step in the creation of a sustainable transport corridor between Europe and Central Asia.
It will be a landmark deliverable of our EU Global Gateway initiative. pic.twitter.com/PPGLCrgZyY
— Margaritis Schinas (@MargSchinas) January 29, 2024
The Investors’ Forum builds on the conclusions of the European Commission’s June 2023 research. This study focused on Sustainable Transport Connections between Europe and Central Asia. It was carried out by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The research listed 33 hard infrastructure needs. The implementation would significantly improve the operational efficacy and economic appeal of trans-Caspian transportation networks.
Besides, the research highlighted 7 soft connectivity important activities contributing to the same objectives. The 2nd EU-Central Asia Economic Forum unveiled these in May 2023, in Almaty, Kazakhstan.