News of a Dubai-based entity winning a USD3-billion deal to build Armenia’s rail and road project, has piqued investor interest in the country, Zawya writes.
Dubai-based Rasia FZE along with partner Caucasus Railway signed a deal with Armenia’s Ministry of Transport and Communication to build a rail-and-road corridor that will link the ports of the Black Sea to the ports of the Gulf.
It certainly seems to be an ambitious undertaking: The Southern Armenia Railway is expected to be a 316 kilometre long electrified single track railway, connecting Gavar, near Lake Sevan, to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri and will be integrated with the existing central railway system of Armenia, operated by South Caucasus Railway CJSC and the operating railway system of Iran.
Meanwhile, the Southern Armenia High Speed Road, being built in the southern province of Syunik, is set to be a 110-kilometre long expressway connecting the town of Sisian to the southern border of Armenia by Meghri.
Rasia has already recruited China Construction Company Ltd. to build the project.
“Rasia and its consortium members will aim to boost potential local and international transit freight volumes by investing in the development of mineral and agricultural projects along the Corridor,” said Chairman and CEO of Rasia, Mr. Joseph Borkowski.
“There will be additional effort to seek the involvement of nations, and companies, benefiting from the Corridor including Russia, Iran, India and the countries of Europe, Central Asia, and the GCC in order to enhance regional trade relations.”
The USD3-billion transportation project for a USD10-billion, landlocked economy is major initiative, highlighting the prospects of opportunities in an economy which is often overshadowed by the larger and richer economies of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan.
”But despite its small size, Armenia is no slouch. Considered the most market-oriented economy in Central Asia, the country has emerged as democratic haven surrounded by dictatorial and isolated regimes,” Zawya writes.