The European Investment Bank (EIB) and a group of European countries have agreed on $1.59 billion in financing to help make sustainable upgrades for the transport sector in Central Asia.
EIB is co-financing projects with the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Development Bank of Kazakhstan, and the financing is expected to attract additional capital of about $3.25 billion.
Financing is meant to support goals outlined in the EU-Central Asia Roadmap, which aims to drive cooperation for sustainable development and the green transition between regions. The plan outlines support for a sustainable Trans-Caspian transport network, investment in intra-regional connectivity projects in Central Asia, and development of a regional strategy for the transport and logistics cooperation in Central Asia to support stronger connections with the European Union.
The financing also intends to help implement targets from the Global Gateway, a European strategy to boost smart, clean, secure links across the world within the digital, energy, and transport sectors. The initiative is presented as the EU’s contribution to narrowing the global investment gap, especially in terms of infrastructure needs.
Global Gateway Partnership Projects Underway to Cut Transportation Emissions
New investments will contribute to sustainable mobility projects, a cited priority of the EIB’s investment policy. In its 2022 Transport Lending Policy, the EIB describes the transport sector as having reached a critical juncture as it must modernize while also shedding its dependence on fossil fuels.
Further, the EIB said that direct emissions from transport will reportedly need to peak in the 2020s, a goal that requires significant investment in infrastructure.
Through its Global Gateway initiative, the EU has already supported a number of infrastructure projects in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Africa. For example, support has gone towards strengthening urban transport in the Dominican Republic, specifically to sustainably rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by natural disasters. Meanwhile, the new funding for Central Asia aims to support large-scale projects meant to build sustainable trade routes and interregional transit.
“The Memorandum signed today is an important element of our cooperation aimed at strengthening interregional transport connectivity,” said Bakyt Torobaev, deputy chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic. “I express confidence that through joint efforts, we will soon launch significant and large-scale projects that will make an additional contribution to the development of our country’s transport infrastructure.”