ADB, Azerbaijan sign $1 billion worth MoU (UPDATE)
By Sara Rajabova
The Asian Development Bank and Azerbaijan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding worth $1 billion.
The document was signed as part of the 48th meeting of the ADB Board of Governors, held in Baku on May 5.
The memorandum of understanding stipulates the reconstruction and modernization of the energy system of the country.
Baba Rzayev, the head of the Azerbaijani electricity distribution network operator Azerishig and Wencai Zhang, the ADB vice president signed the memorandum with participation of Samir Sharifov, Azerbaijan’s finance minister.
The ADB will allocate three tranches of $750 million ($250 million each trance), and the remaining $250 million will be allocated by the Azerbaijani government.
These funds will be drawn within five years.
The funds planned to direct for upgrading the power grid, substations, improvement of services rendered to customers, replacement of existing counters with digital ones, as well as strengthening of personnel potential of Azerishig.
"The energy sector plays a leading role in the Azerbaijani economy and the proposed program will improve electricity supply to subscribers," Zhang said at the signing ceremony.
Sharifov, for his part, thanked the ADB for supporting the development of infrastructure in the country and expressed interest in continuing this cooperation.
Azerbaijan joined the ADB in 1999, the country’s share in the bank’s capital is 0.5 percent.
Since the start of its cooperation, the ADB has allocated Azerbaijan $1.6 billion for 12 projects in the area of road construction, energy, irrigation, water supply and sanitation improvement.
Baku hosted the 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the ADB on May 2-5.
About 3,000 participants, including senior officials, business leaders, investors, financiers, journalists, and civil society representatives from around the world gathered in Baku for the event.
The overall theme for this year’s meeting was “Fostering Partnership for Development.” Through the business sessions within the annual meeting, governors and ADB management discussed ongoing and emerging challenges facing the region, and also highlighted how ongoing reforms would make ADB a stronger development partner.