EBRD and USAID to develop connectivity in the South Caucasus

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, also known as the Middle Corridor, to further enhance connectivity between Asia and Europe, via the South Caucasus.

The partnership will focus on expanding trade, green energy, investment in new industries, as well as transport and digital infrastructure in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Strengthening the Middle Corridor will create new, transformative economic opportunities across the region and provide an alternative transport route to existing commercial corridors.

The MoU seeks to enhance the planning, design and construction of critical energy, transport, digital and agricultural infrastructure in the region. It also aims to: improve the efficiency of customs, tariff and border operations; attract private capital investment into the South Caucasus economies for the development of the Middle Corridor; and adopt the highest international standards to promote economic connectivity with Europe and among South Caucasus countries.

Other cooperation priorities focus on expanding investments in carbon-free energy opportunities and advancing policy and governance reforms to combat corruption and expand engagement with civil society.

The MoU was signed by EBRD Vice President, Banking, Matteo Patrone, and Erin Elizabeth McKee, Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at USAID, on the margins of the EBRD’s Annual Meeting and Business Forum taking place in Armenia.

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