Three projects with Asian Development Bank (ADB)-financed loans are being implemented in Azerbaijan, ADB told Trend.

“ADB’s active portfolio consists also of six technical assistance projects (TAs),” the message said. “In addition, several government agencies are receiving advisory assistance from ADB-funded regional grants.”

“For example, piloting a floating solar project, policy advice in streamlining targeted social assistance, introducing savings-based pension scheme, launching gender-responsive budgeting, steering public-private partnership project in education sector, developing capacity of personnel working on food safety standards – are funded from regional trust funds under ADB’s administration,” the message said.

“All the projects in ADB’s portfolio are on track and equally important for development of the economy,” the message said. “ADB’s projects are predominantly directed to the development the regions in Azerbaijan. ADB supports the financing of two road projects: rehabilitation of Ucar-Zardab road (R32) and Yevlakh-Sheki road (M5).”

“One of the important objectives of these projects is to connect feeder roads to project highway and enlarge the socioeconomic benefits of the local communities and people residing in villages,” the message said. “We hope that both roads will be constructed as planned and opened to traffic by end of this year.”

“ADB-funded Railway Development Project will also improve connectivity,” the message said. “Along the line of Sumgait-Yalama section at least 14 train stations will be built. Recently, in some parts of the project sites the civil work activities have commenced. The project’s executing agency – Azerbaijan Demir Yullari [Azerbaijan Railways] – in its website regularly informs the public on the progress.”

“Currently, we are processing a new technical assistance project on improving ecosystem for startups development,” the message said. “In consultation with ASAN’s Innoland, we are targeting the use of TA funds for supporting various startups-related activities in Ganja and Sheki.”

“The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (KSTA) will support INNOLAND, an incubation, acceleration, and research center of the Innovation Center at the State Agency for Public Services and Social Innovations under the President of Azerbaijan to set up effective and efficient institutional arrangements at the local level for tech startups support,” the message said. “Incubation and acceleration services will be delivered in Ganja and Sheki towns through: (i) the Ganja State University’s (GSU) and the Azerbaijan State Agrarian University (ASAU) and (ii) INNOLAND’s branch office – Innoland Sheki, respectively.”

“This year we will start preparation of a new project in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic (NAR),” the message said. “The project will be aimed at improving NAR’s irrigation system and will explore application of high-level technologies. This may include: (i) innovation in the canal lining and/or use of geogrids to replace steel reinforcement for concrete lining; (ii) development of geographical information system (GIS) or supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and asset management software to improve management over irrigation assets; (iii) pilot testing of water productivity and system performance using remoting sensing and satellite.”

“From July 2019 we work jointly under Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) which was endorsed by the Government and ADB,” the message said. “This new CPS for Azerbaijan guides our operations till 2023. Our focus will be on 3 strategic directions to support economic diversification. These are: (i) boosting private sector development; (ii) raising public sector efficiency; and (iii) improving infrastructure and strengthening human capital.”