TRACECA Investment Forum 2012: EU helps mobilise investments for priority transport projects along Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor

The European Commission today hosted the TRACECA Investment Forum 2012 aimed at attracting investments into transport infrastructure between the EU and Central Asia. Highlighting the benefits of a more robust transport system, Štefan Füle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy said: "An efficient transport system is the backbone of effective regional integration. Our Eastern neighbours, who link the Black and the Caspian Seas to China and beyond, could benefit from stronger transport infrastructure and services, in order to help them reach their full potential in their economic and trade relations with the EU."
The high-level conference brought together representatives from the international donor community and TRACECA countries to discuss potential funding opportunities for priority projects in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine among others.Twelve projects were presented at the Forum to potential donors and investors interested in logistic centres as well as road, rail, maritime and aviation transport.
Improving the transport infrastructure in partner countries leads to better interconnection but also to safer and more reliable transport services, a press release said, with a clear impact on living conditions and economic growth both in the partner countries and the EU.
Underscoring the importance of improving the Trans-European Transport network,Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner responsible for Mobility and Transport, said: "Our experience in developing transport corridors and making sure that high transport safety, security and social standards are applied, can be shared with our partner countries. Better connections benefit passengers and operators both in the EU and our partner countries."
Up to now, the EU has supported this programme with technical assistance of almost €170 million for 80 projects, which, since 2004, have mostly been focused on areas such as improving transport safety and security, as well as implementing the changes in legislation needed to improve trade in the region.
To further support infrastructure development and help attract investment from public and private sector sources, the first TRACECA Investment Forum was held in Brussels in October 2010. At the Forum, five road rehabilitation projects, four railway construction projects and three port projects were presented to potential investors.
As a result of the Forum, four projects are currently in the process of being reviewed to see if they are suitable for loans or are being closely followed by international financial institutions, two have been financed by national Governments and several countries are in investment negotiations. 
The EU’s support to safety and security in transport has resulted in the adoption of a TRACECA Regional Action Strategy on Maritime Safety and Security and an Environmental Protection and a Regional Road Safety Action Plan in November 2011.
TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia) is an international transport cooperation programme between the EU and its Partner countries in Eastern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia. It has a permanent Secretariat in Baku, Azerbaijan. The cooperation framework covers the areas of maritime transport, aviation, road and rail, transport security, and transport infrastructure.
To coincide with the Investment Forum, the ENPI Info Centre released an information pack including two interviews on TRACECA, a new video and a press pack on transport cooperation with the Eastern Partners.  (ENPI Info Centre)  
Read more
Press release
EC background MEMO – EU support to the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Transport Corridor
ENPI Info Centre – EU transport cooperation with Eastern Partners: exclusive interviews, press pack and video
TRACECA Investment Forum 2012 – webpage
TRACECA website
TRACECA – fiche and news

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