ArmInfo. On October 24, Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of Armenia Tian Erlun and Deputy Chairman of the Chinese company Sinohydro Corporation, involved in the program of building the North-South transport corridor, Xion Lixin.
As the press service of the government told ArmInfo, Karen Karapetyan noted the importance of the consistent development and strengthening of the Armenian-Chinese economic ties. The prime minister noted the interest of the Armenian Cabinet of Ministers in attracting Chinese capital to the Armenian market. Karen Karapetyan noted the potential of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, including taking into account the opportunities for entering the markets of the EAEC, the EU and Iran through Armenia.
Ambassador Tian Erlun, in turn, attached importance to strengthening mutually beneficial cooperation with Armenia. He stressed the existing opportunities for financing programs of bilateral interest.
Concerning the construction of the investment program "North-South", namely the construction works on the Talin-Landik section, carried out by the Chinese company, the Armenian Prime Minister noted the need to implement high-quality works. The prime minister demanded to take all necessary steps to eliminate the problems identified during the construction.
The sides also discussed ways to involve Armenia in the Silk Road project, as well as issues of the Armenian-Chinese cooperation. Recall that the project of transport corridor "North-South" with a total length of 556 km, will ensure access to the Black Sea and to European countries through the territory of Armenia (Meghri-Kapan-Goris- Yerevan-Ashtarak-Gyumri-Bavra) and Georgia. The investment program is aimed at securing the connection between the north (the border with Georgia) and southern Armenia (the border with Iran) through transport communications that meet high international standards and access to world markets. As the authorities of Armenia expect, the program will allow the country in the future to mitigate the consequences of the blockade by Azerbaijan and Turkey, to play the role of a transit state in the freight transportation of the countries of the region, and also to join the Black Sea ring highway. The Spanish "Corsan Corviam" won the tenders for the construction of the first few lines of the route, the Chinese "Sinohydro Corporation" won the last tender (for the Landik-Gyumri section in the north of Armenia). With the latter, the Ministry of Transport and Communication of Armenia signed a contract agreement in May 2016 for about $ 60 million in the framework of the third tranche of the investment program.
Recently, on the meeting with the journalists the head of the Ministry of Transport of Armenia Vahan Martirosyan said that the current account, the construction of the entire 556-kilometer highway "North- South", which will stretch from Bavra to Meghri, will cost more than $ 2 billion., Because it is only the southern section , between the cities Artashat and Meghri, according to preliminary estimates, will cost $ 1.5 billion. Five years ago, in September 2012, when the construction of the highway began, the amount called by representatives of the Armenian government was more than half that of $ 962 million. Today trash $ 150.3 million and 23.14 million euros were invested: only a 31 km section was built and modernized, for which $ 70 million was spent. The rest was directed for excavation work on the Ashtarak- Talin and Talin-Gyumri sections. Also, work was carried out on concreting the road 11 km.
Meanwhile, on October 5, the Armenian government approved changes in loan agreements with the Asian Development Bank on extension of the terms of completion of the construction of the second and third sections of the investment program of the transport corridor "North-South", as a result of which the construction period is postponed for more than 2 years.