China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project gets $500mn investment boost

By Ben Aris in Berlin March 24, 2024

The ambitious China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project, aimed at establishing a major transportation link between European and Persian Gulf nations, is progressing, with plans to set up a $500mn joint project company by the three collaborating railway enterprises, Daryo reported.

The project seeks to enhance regional trade and economic relationships, as stated by the press service of the Kyrgyzstan President.

The project recently received a significant endorsement during a meeting between the President of Kyrgyzstan, Sadyr Japarov, and Wang Tongjun, Deputy Head of the China State Railway Group Co., a key player in the venture. Both leaders emphasized their dedication to pushing forward with the railway construction, which is expected to play a crucial role in boosting regional connectivity.

President Japarov highlighted that the railway would be developed under a construction-operate-transfer (COT) model, ensuring both the project's efficient execution and its long-term sustainability. This approach reflects the collective aim of the participating countries to establish a reliable and seamless transport corridor for both goods and passengers.

Wang Tongjun conveyed the readiness of all involved parties to accelerate the project by finalizing the feasibility study and proceeding to the agreement signing phase, marking significant strides toward the commencement of construction activities.

Initiated in 2022, the railway project saw the three nations agreeing on the route and kickstarting the feasibility study. Despite initial financing hurdles, the project's outlook remains positive, with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan reiterating their commitment.

Amidst speculation about potential project delays due to funding issues, official statements have clarified ongoing efforts to secure the necessary investment. Financing strategies, including public-private partnerships and consortium setups, are under consideration to guarantee the project's successful realization.

Kyrgyz officials, in November 2023, announced plans to begin fieldwork in 2024, with the republic earmarking $500mn as initial capital for this transformative infrastructure endeavour. This financial commitment marks a significant milestone

 in the project's journey toward enhancing Eurasian transport and economic integration.

 

 

 

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