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Azerbaijan takes out another foreign loan

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, June 3
The World Bank recently confirmed that it is allotting USD 241.6 million to Azerbaijan for the construction of motorways. The total cost of this project will be USD 356.15 million. The construction and reconstruction of Azerbaijan's motorways has already cost USD 250 million, so altogether more than USD 600 million will be spent on this.

The newly-approved funding will be spent on modernising the Baku-Shemakha motorway. Some independent Azeri analysts highlight that the Azeri state is swiftly increasing it foreign debt liabilities, which already represent 7.8% of the country’s GDP. This is not a dangerous figure but the speed of its increase is scaring, as in 2009 foreign debt was only 4% of GDP.

Azeri analysts are also concerned by the fact that certain aspects of the reconstruction are not justified, for instance, increasing the motorways from two to four lanes. The World Bank does not control how effectively this loan will be spent. The reconstruction already undertaken has been of poor quality and has had to be repaired several times.