TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe – Caucasus – Asia)
General information, structure
TRACECA is a multilateral cooperation program, which was proposed by the European Union in 1993.
The legal status of the program was fixed in 1998, when 12 regional countries signed
the Basic Multilateral Agreement (BMLA) “On the development of Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor”
The Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) was created in 2000, and a year later, it was created the executive body of the Commission – the Permanent Secretariat (the headquarter - Baku). The Secretary General of the TRACECA IGC Permanent Secretariat is a representative of Kyrgyzstan, the former transport and communications minister and former parliament member Zhantoroo Satibaldiev (since June 2009)
Armenia’s participation in the Program
Since 1993 the Republic of Armenia is a member of the TRACECA technical assistance program, which was proposed by the EU for the development of the economic cooperation, trade and transport communications between the countries of Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor.
TRACECA presence in Armenia
The program is not represented in Armenia
Treaties, agreements and conventions, signed within the Program’s frameworks
2007, Astana, as a result of ministerial meeting it was signed memorandum on mutual understanding between TRACECA and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation organization, as well as it was given approval to create within the frameworks of TRACECA the Business Advisory Board.
The European Union is taking steps towards the facilitation of the trade and economic ties between member-countries In January 2008 the EU Council of Ministers adopted the draft of the law for excluding the bureaucratic delays of trade exchanges process within the EU frameworks. After the law’s coming into force the trade exchangers will exceed the EU member states borders without evidencing documents – commercial agreements, the information on tariffs, a truck’s prices and status and so on.
2008 December, Baku, at the jubilee conference of the ministers of transport of TRACECA Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport program member it was signed Memorandum on Understanding between TRACECA IGC and the UN Economic Commission for Europe.
2009 February, Bucharest, it was signed the Protocol of amendments in BMLA “On the development of the TRACECA Europe-Caucasus-Asia international transport corridor”, related to the TRACECA members Bulgaria and Romania's EU accession.
2009 June, Bishkek, it was signed the agreement “On the TRACECA multimodal transport development”, which is important for regional shipping and transport facilitation and the improvement of transport infrastructure. In response to the Azerbaijani delegation initiative to make a bearing traditional character reservation on the non-application of the agreement’s points regarding Armenia, the Armenian delegation made a relevant objection.
The TRACECA IGC had approved the draft of the law model on the activities of freight model, suggesting the member states to implement domestic legal procedures to accept it or conform to national legislature.
The Secretary General of TRACECA IGC has signed the Memorandums of Understanding between the TRACECA IGC and the UN Asian and Pacific Economic and Social Commission (UN ESCAP), as well as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
2000-2002, program on the study of the reconstruction of the road connecting Yerevan, Tbilisi and Baku was carried out within the framework within the TRACECA frameworks.
2002-2004, the relevant projects were carried out within the frameworks of the program on the restoration of TRACECA Caucasian highways in Armenia. In 2004 the studies on the rural roads restoration were carried out. Within the TRACECA frameworks the training courses related to transport area are also regularly organized
2005, the studies of the renovation of the Yerevan-Tbilisi railroad and its appropriate infrastructure were carried out within TRACECA frameworks.
November 2006, the Governments of Armenia and Kazakhstan signed the agreement on the development of international road transport.
February 2008, the Russian Railway, the South Caucasus railways and the Government of Armenia signed a 30 years term agreement regarding the restoration and improvement of the Armenian railways. The Russian Railways will invest the total amount of 400 mln US dollars to restore and develop the Armenian railway infrastructure. 170 mln dollars will be invested in the railway equipment’s renovation.
February 2008, Kazakhstan, the TRACECA member-country, has announced the implementation of its largest transport project regarding "Western Europe - Western China" transport corridor, which Kazakhstan part is 2, 309 km, and the total cost of the project - 2.37 billion US dollars.
According to the prognoses, the implementation of this program will promote to the additional transport flows from the Central Asian countries, also adding the overland transportation freights from 900.000 up to 3.5 million tons.
December 2008, Tbilisi, the meeting of the Coordinating committee of "Tbilisi-Yerevan railroad reconstruction” project was held, where there were discussed the issues related to the project implementation. The meeting’s participants had presented their comments and suggestions, regarding the schedule of project.
As a result of the meeting it was approved the initial report on project and an agreement was reached to extend the project’s term until September 2009. The next Committee meeting was held in March 2009 in Yerevan.
February 2009, Bucharest, the TRACECA IGC working group on infrastructure issues meeting was organized by the European Commission.
Armenia had presented the details of the North-South Road Corridor development, noting that the renovation of the Yerevan-Sevan-Dilijan road (118 km) is evaluated at 131 million US. dollars, the roads’ Yerevan-Gyumri part (125 km) – at 150 million dollars, and Yerevan-Yeraskhavan (70 km) part – at 56 million dollar.
The project is very important to create an alternative road to the Black Sea harbors, meanwhile in the future as a strategic regional program it can be made as an alternative route connecting the Persian Gulf to the Black Sea and then to Europe.
It is also noted that Armenia considers a possibility to include in the TRACECA agenda the project of building Armenia-Iran railroad as a priority. Except for that the mentioned railroad creates a direct railway communication between Iran and Armenia, it will also have a great significance for the mining industry of Armenia. The projected railroad with 469.6 km in length, which construction will cost around 1.5-2 billion US dollars, will also promote to the sustainable opportunities for transit.
The representative of Armenia has also presented the expediency of the reconstruction of Kars-Gyumri-Nakhichevan-Meghri-Baku railway and its regional role, as well as that as a result of 47 km Dilijan - Vanadzor railroad building and 48.3 km Dilijan-Ijevan - Kazakh existed railway renovation it can be possible to exploit Kars-Gyumri-Vanadzor-Dilijan-Ijevan-Kazakh-Baku railway, which can take the role of the most important key in regional railway infrastructure. It was mentioned that within the frameworks of TRACECA it is currently implemented the works for Dilijan - Vanadzor 47 km railroad technical-economic justification.
One of four priority project, represented by Azerbaijan, is about the construction of modern communication and information system for creating the new data base of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.
On February 12, 2009, in Istanbul it was taken place the 2nd regional meeting on the issues of the primary evaluation of the TRACECA programs in the South Caucasus and Turkey, during which the four member countries - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey have represented generally 10 primary projects (the programs, submitted by Armenia, were identical to what was presented in Bucharest).
The five from the presented programs were offered by Turkey: These are among the renovation of the west-east highway Gerede-Mersifon and Refayie-Erzerum-Gurbalak respectively 300 and 551 km parts, the construction of new Filios and Mersin harbors and the electrification and signalization of the 415 km part of Irmak - Karabulak-Zonguldak road. The preliminary total amount of the projects is of 4, 570 billion euros, which 3 billion will be used only for the construction of Mersin harbor.
As for Azerbaijan’s presented programs, then this country’s national secretary in the TRACECA informed about the modernization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, Azerbaijan railway and the work construction of new international trade harbor issues noting that those projects, however, do not claim to be financed within the TRACECA frameworks. It was referred only to the creation of international regional logistic center in the mentioned harbor. It is planned to build on 45 hectares territory, while the fund of project is 450 million US dollars. The construction will be carried out in 2010-2015.
It is also worthy of mentioning that the project of the construction of modern communication and information system for creating the new data base of Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, previously proposed by Azerbaijan, has been removed from the priority programs list.
The expert of the Iran's delegation has presented Saraks new bridge road construction project. It is to be constructed between Iran and Turkmenistan over Tajan border river.
Currently within the TRACECA frameworks there were carried out more than 60 technical assistance projects and 20 investment programs at total amount of 200 million US dollars. The funding was fully implemented form the
EU budget. Some of the international financial institutions, including the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank had expressed their willingness to finance within the TRACECA frameworks a number of large projects, including in Armenia.
In 2008 via the TRACECA transport corridor there was carried out total of 53 million tons freighting and shipping.
In April 2010 in Kiyev it was taken place a working meeting on “International logistic centers of the Caucasus and CIS Western countries” project, where there were discusses the project’s implementation issues. During the meeting the representative of Armenia presented the follow up of the project in Armenia and the implemented steps in solving the issue of the final choice of the space for the future international logistic centre. The Armenian side proposed as an option the space of the cargo terminal of “Zvartnots” international airport.
On October 12 2010 in Brussels it was taken place “TRACEA Invest Forum” investments forum, which was followed by the yearly conference of TRACECA IGC. The Armenian delegation presented “North-South” and Armenian railways restoration programs. The European Investment Bank confirmed its participation financing the building of “North-South” transport corridor. In its turn the Asian Development Bank will provide for this program a credit of 500 mln dollars.
In December 2010 the newly-elected Secretary General of TRACECA IGC Eduard Biriucov visited the Republic of Armenia and had the meeting in the Ministries of Transport and Communications and Foreign Affairs. There were discussed the issues of the participation of Armenia in the works of the implementation of the project “International logistic centers of the Caucasus and CIS Western countries”
 Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
 The project’s implementation had begun in October 2008. late by 2 months, related to the hostilities in Georgia.