IsDB Addresses Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 16 August 2022 - The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, represented by Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry,  Head of the Regional Hub for Central Asia, participated in the Ministerial Transport Conference of Landlocked Developing Countries "Ashgabat Process: Financing for Better Connectivity."

The Conference was hosted by the Government of Turkmenistan on August 15-16, 2022 and organized jointly with the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). The Conference was inaugurated by the President of Turkmenistan and attended by ministers of transport of LLDCs, high-level representatives of the UN system entities, other international, regional and sub-regional organizations and financial institutions, private sector representatives, non-governmental organizations, the academia and other stakeholders.

In his video message to the participants of the conference, the Hon. President of Turkmenistan, His Excellency President Serdar Berdimuhamedow, emphasized the vast importance of increasing the role of landlocked developing countries in developing and strengthening global transport cooperation.

IsDB participated virtually in the thematic session titled “Financing Transport connectivity for sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic – Key issues and solutions”. In his statement on behalf of the IsDB Group, Mr. Ibrahim Shoukry, expressed appreciation to the Government of Turkmenistan for its continued support to the IsDB Group. Mr. Shoukry pointed out the importance of resuming transport connectivity in the post-pandemic era, to promote the regional cooperation of the landlocked countries, and to unlock the regional cooperation opportunities in the Central Asian region, especially when the IsDB member countries are trying to overcome the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic, open their economies up, restore traditional ties and resume regional cooperation efforts.

He further elaborated on IsDB Group’s interventions to financially support development of major regional transport corridors which in total exceeded 996 Km in Central Asia.

Mr. Shoukry outlined IsDB’s focus on enhancing cross-border connectivity, improving investment climate and trade competitiveness and mainstreaming trade and Islamic finance in the Region, which are the main pillars of IsDB’s Regional Cooperation and Integration Strategy .

The Conference lauded IsDB Group’s development intervention in the Central Asia region. In his opening remarks, the IsDB Governor for Turkmenistan, H.E. Rahimberdi J. Jepbarov, regarded IsDB as one of the most active MDBs in the Central Asia region, and particularly in Turkmenistan.

The forum noticed that cooperation between the IsDB Group and Turkmenistan has been growing substantially since its inception in 1994. The Government of Turkmenistan appreciated IsDB support for the transport, telecommunication, and energy infrastructure development especially the support for the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway corridor which allowed Turkmenistan to become a major transit route for the freight traffic connecting central and northern Asian regions of Russia and Kazakhstan with the Gulf countries.