Minister of Transport and Communication of the Republic of Armenia Mr Gagik Beglaryan announced the launch of “Southern Railway of Armenia” and “South speed road of Armenia” estimated at US $3 billion at the presentation ceremony of the signing and public announcement, which was attended by senior government officials, ambassadors, investment and sovereign wealth funds, as well as corporate leaders from Armenia, China, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Iran.
Also at the meeting a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding was signed on regional cooperation aimed at the development of the Southern Railway in Armenia, between CJSC “South Caucasus Railway”, the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Armenia and the company “Rasia” FZE (investment company based in Dubai).
In his statement Minister Beglaryan said that the international North-South transport corridor would be playing a key role in improving the communicability of transport in the region and would support the economic growth along the corridor and form the shortest trade route from the Black Sea ports to the Persian Gulf. In a statement the CEO of SCR Victor Rebets noted that in the period from 2008 to 2012 the total financing of the SCR investment programme was about 90 billion drams allocated by JSC “Russian Railways”. Through these funds a massive railway infrastructure reconstruction programme was conducted, with track and station facilities, electrification and power supply, communication, centralisation and blocking systems in the first place.
“Rasia” signed a concession agreement with the Republic of Armenia concerning these two vital transport projects. “Rasia” and members of its consortium will seek to enhance the volume of potential local and international freight transportation and additional efforts will be made to bring the countries and companies that are interested in the functioning of the Corridor, including Russia, Iran, India and the countries of Europe, Central Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council ("GCC") in order to improve regional trade relations.
As the chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Joseph Borkowski mentioned that “Rasia” was already at an early stage of negotiations with China’s state-owned enterprises on potential joint investment in mining and agricultural projects along the corridor in the Republic of Armenia which will contribute to the growth of economic attractiveness of the rail and road projects. The company has also entered into a cooperation agreement with a global investment group in the field of natural resources “Haya Resources” which is chaired by the well-known businessman from the UAE Rashid al Malik. This investment group will focus on investments in the development of mineral resources along the Corridor and the development of projects of the railway and the highway.