EFSD: Armenia will benefit from participation in transport integration along North-South axis

07.08.2019 18:54
EFSD: Armenia will benefit from participation in transport integration along North-South axis

YEREVAN, August 7. /ARKA/. Transport integration along the North-South axis is an extremely important direction, and Armenia is interested in it, Andrei Shirokov, the executive director of the Project Unit at the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD), said in an exclusive interview with ARKA news agency.

According to him, Armenia's interest is justified, because as a result the country "will improve transport capabilities, access to markets and will start earning transit generated revenue." Shirokov also said that Russia is also interested in the appearance of such a corridor.

He said currently Russian goods are shipped to the Middle East through the Novorossiysk sea port on the Black sea, where they are loaded onto ships, and transported several thousand kilometers by sea and then reloaded into large trucks.

“Just imagine a gain in time and money when the possibility of direct transportation appears. The topic, however, is difficult and long-term. The North-South automobile corridor, co-financed by the EFSD is the beginning of a long and useful project for the region’s economy, ” he said.

The goal of Armenia's 556 km-long North-South Transport Corridor project is to upgrade Armenia’s main corridor road as part of a broader thrust to improve connectivity, and boost trade, growth and livelihood opportunities in the Caucasus and Central Asia sub-regions.

The transport corridor is to stretch from the southern Armenian town of Meghri, on the border with Iran, to Bavra in the north on the border with Georgia. The North-South transport corridor will enable Armenia to mitigate the effects of the blockade imposed by Azerbaijan and Turkey.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided Armenia with a $500 million loan to finance this strategic project. It is said that $200 million of that amount has been already utilized.-0-

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