ArmInfo. Dmitry Pankin, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Development Bank (EDB), thinks one should not strongly believe in the capacities of the corridors China is building overland to Europe. "Their economic efficiency needs to be confirmed," Dmitry Pankin has told Kommersant.
He says that China seeks to build latitudinal communications from East to West, while the EDB is set to build not only latitudinal but also longitudinal North-South corridors. Pankin notes that China has made a road via its western regions and through the east of Kazakhstan. "The EDB has two interesting projects of logistic terminals - in Astana and on the Kazakh-Chinese border," he says. "At the same time, according to the EDB estimations, the maritime traffic is much cheaper: carrying a container from Shanghai to Rotterdam by sea costs $700 versus $2000 by rail. One should not deeply trust the capacities of the corridors China is building overland to Europe - their economic efficiency needs to be confirmed. Intraregional economic cooperation is of more importance now and it needs local logistic centers," Pankin says. One more important project, he says, is the road running from China to Orenburg region via Kazakhstan.
As regards the EDB plans, Pankin notes that the Bank seeks to continue the road construction to create the Silk Road Economic Belt to the border with Belarus, enabling the transportation of Chinese goods to Europe via Russia.
Concerning the agreement with the Asian Development Bank on construction of the North-South corridor, Pankin says that an agreement has been signed to allocate 3 bln USD by 2021 for the road construction in Kazakhstan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The EDB will provide 1 bln USD, with the ADB allocating 2 bln USD. A protocol has also been signed for additional funding of the North-South highway in Armenia. "The EDB is ready to allocate 320 mln USD, and the ADB will fund the economic feasibility. The technical details are being discussed now," he says.
"The North-South highway is being built from Iran to the border of Georgia via Armenia," the EDB representative says, noting that despite the complicated relations between Russia and Georgia, Armenia has no other alternatives. "Trucks are still running to Russia along the Georgian Military Road. Now there are more problems in Armenia - the road runs through villages," he says, adding that the EDB wants to rehabilitate the highway to increase the commodity flow.
The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) is an international financial institution founded by Russia and Kazakhstan in January 2006 with the mission to facilitate the development of market economies, sustainable economic growth, and the expansion of mutual trade and other economic ties in its member states. EDB's charter capital totals US $7 billion. The member states of the Bank are the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Tajikistan. As of 30 December 2015, the aggregate investment portfolio is US$4.5 billion, and the current investment portfolio is US$ 2.216 billion. The headquarters of the EDB is in Almaty. The EDB has a branch in St. Petersburg and 6 representations in Astana, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Yerevan, Minsk and Moscow.