24 Mar 2023 13:31

EDB ready to invest at least $400 mln in Central Asia's water and energy complex

MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) - The Eurasian Development Bank (EDB) plans to invest at least $400 million in Central Asia's water and energy complex over the next three years, the EDB quoted its CEO Nikolai Podguzov as saying in a press release.

"Central Asia's water and energy complex is one of the Bank's top priorities per its medium-term strategy. The EDB estimates that solving the sector's current challenges would help to boost regional GDP by an additional 1.5% a year. Advanced irrigation technology and the modernization of irrigation systems could improve the efficiency of water use by 40%. This will also make agricultural production more secure, which is a crucial driver of the region's food security," Podguzov was quoted as saying at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.

He said that the efficient use and allocation of water and energy resources in Central Asia required concerted effort, and that regional water and energy organizations as well as multilateral financial institutions could become a link in this process.

Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan planned following the UN conference to make a joint statement setting out the basic principles of cooperation in this area. The EDB will promote its implementation.

The EDB is implementing the Central Asian Water and Energy Complex mega-project based on research and projections of the most effective ways to comprehensively develop the sector. The bank has formed a list of projects to provide the region with the electricity and water it needs. These include the 100 MW Kulanak hydropower plant in Kyrgyzstan, which the EDB has started to finance.

The EDB has observer status in the UN General Assembly.

The EDB is an international financial organization, established for the purposes of assisting the development of the market economies of its state members, as well as ensuring their stable economic growth and expanding trading operations. The states participating in the bank are: Russia and Kazakhstan as founders, as well as Armenia, Tajikistan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan as members.