The EBRD is supporting better regional integration – one of its core strategic priorities – by strengthening trade and transportation along the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The Bank has acquired a 33 per cent stake in GT Globaltruck Kazakhstan Limited, a Cyprus holding company which owns a start-up trucking company Longrun Asia, incorporated in Kazakhstan. Globaltruck is one of the leading private truck operating groups specialised in domestic and international long-haul transportation in CIS and the Baltics.
Longrun Asia will use the EBRD’s equity funds, alongside Globaltruck’s own equity funds of €6.7 million, to purchase up to 300 trucks and trailers. The first trucks are already planned to be acquired in 2016.
The transportation industry in Kazakhstan is fragmented at present and has few experienced players with fleets of sufficient size to service major global companies trading along this route. The EBRD’s investment will help Globaltruck Kazakhstan to create a trucking operation in the country which could potentially service cross-border cargo flows. The expansion will allow Globaltruck (which already counts companies like Samsung, Danon LG and other multinational corporations among its clients in its other countries) to tap into strategically important markets on the Silk Road and become a leading integrated automotive logistics company in Kazakhstan and Central Asia.
Ekaterina Miroshnik, EBRD Director for Infrastructure in Russia and Central Asia, said: “Kazakhstan is an important link between Europe, the CIS region and China and offers substantial transit-traffic potential, especially in light of the Silk Road initiative. Globaltruck’s aim to develop a large-scale professional trucking player focused on the wider region including Central Asia is timely.”
Janet Heckman, EBRD Director for Kazakhstan, said: “One of the EBRD’s strategic priorities is supporting increased cross-border cooperation and trade. This investment is a good example of the Bank’s activity alignment with the strategic objectives of Kazakhstan’s government in promoting foreign direct investment and developing the country’s transit potential. We are pleased to support Globaltruck which is taking advantage of the increasingly investor-friendly climate in Kazakhstan.”
The EBRD is the largest international investor in Kazakhstan outside of the oil and gas sector. To date, the Bank has invested €6.3 billion in various sectors of the country’s economy.
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