As part of our country’s successful collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), a Loan Agreement has been signed between EBRD and “Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping” CJSC (ASCO), Azerbaijani Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov said on X, Report informs.
“The implementation of this agreement will contribute to strengthening regional communications and #trade relations, increasing transit cargo transportation and enhancing competitiveness through diversified route directions,” the minister said.
“The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contributing to the diversification of transport connections between Asia and Europe by providing a $42 million loan to Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company (ASCO), a state-owned shipping company in Azerbaijan,” EBRD said in a statement.
ASCO will use the funds to expand its merchant fleet operations by purchasing two Handysize vessels to transport dry cargo in international waters, enhancing regional maritime connectivity and trade. The new vessels will support Azerbaijan’s drive to bolster the country’s position as a crucial link along the extended Middle Corridor route connecting Central Asia and South Caucasus with global markets.
EBRD will also support ASCO in improving its climate corporate governance and disclosure practices to better address decarbonization challenges in the shipping sector and pave the way for ASCO’s first sustainability-linked financial instruments.
According to the EBRD, ASCO is one of the largest shipping companies in the region and plays an important role in maritime connectivity across this vital trade route.
The EBRD is an important institutional investor in the Caucasus and Central Asia. In Azerbaijan, the Bank has invested more than 3.6 billion euros in 189 projects to support the country’s economic diversification.