Regional: Almaty–Bishkek Economic Corridor Support

Sovereign (Public) Project | 51254-001

The regional knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will pilot the implementation of the pilot cross-border economic corridor around Almaty and Bishkek within the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Almaty Bishkek Economic Corridor (ABEC) follows a multi-sector approach to create one economic space without barriers. ABEC will allow businesses to specialize more, operate at a larger scale, and achieve greater diversification and competitiveness with the purpose of exporting goods and services outside the region.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Rosbach, Kristian
    Central and West Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country
    Regional
  • Sector
    • Agriculture, natural resources and rural development
Project Name Almaty–Bishkek Economic Corridor Support
Project Number 51254-001
Country Regional
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyz Republic
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 9487-REG: Almaty-Bishkek Economic Corridor Support
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.00 million
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 750,000.00
TA 9487-REG: Almaty Bishkek Economic Corridor Support
United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility US$ 750,000.00
TA 9487-REG: Almaty Bishkek Economic Corridor Support
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 225,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development - Agro-industry, marketing, and trade

Education / Technical and vocational education and training

Health / Health system development

Industry and trade / Trade and services

Information and communication technology / ICT industries and ICT-enabled services

Public sector management / Economic affairs management

Transport / Multimodal logistics - Transport policies and institutional development

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Other urban services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The regional knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) will pilot the implementation of the pilot cross-border economic corridor around Almaty and Bishkek within the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program. The Almaty Bishkek Economic Corridor (ABEC) follows a multi-sector approach to create one economic space without barriers. ABEC will allow businesses to specialize more, operate at a larger scale, and achieve greater diversification and competitiveness with the purpose of exporting goods and services outside the region.

The implementation of the corridor enjoys strong political support. The two governments created the ABEC subcommittee under the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyz Republic Intergovernmental Council, which is headed by the two Prime Ministers. This TA builds on analytical and conceptual work completed under TA 8259-REG which facilitated analytical reports for ABEC covering agricultural value chains and branding, tourism, education, health, disaster-risk management, information and communications technology (ICT) applications, and connectivity. This work was carried out by a joint working group of the two governments with support from consultants and informed by study tours.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

ABEC is a pilot cross-border economic corridor and a flagship of regional integration under the CAREC program. The governments of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic, primarily represented by the respective ministries of economy and city administrations of Almaty and Bishkek, together with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have developed the concept for creating an economic corridor through investment projects, regulatory reforms, and knowledge exchange.

The two governments envision ABEC as an integrated economic space between the cities of Almaty and Bishkek and their surroundings to integrate trade, further enhance free movement of labor and capital, and modernize infrastructure with the ultimate objective of exporting goods and services outside the region. The cross-border regional agglomeration will promote greater diversification and competitiveness, allowing businesses to specialize more, operate at a larger scale, and benefit from agglomeration benefits and other external economies. The two city regions can achieve far more together than what can be achieved by either alone.

Transformative public investments and public-private partnerships with regional impact will help integrate the market, further develop infrastructure and services for the region, and attract private investments. To achieve this, reforms are necessary to harmonize the regulatory frameworks and project preparatory analytical work will be conducted to showcase the augmented feasibility of the regional infrastructure projects. This TA will support the close cooperation between the two countries in developing a common regulatory environment, agreeing on a set of investment projects to be implemented together, and in providing regional public goods that facilitate private investments.

Impact Regional economic cooperation in the CAREC region strengthened
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome ABEC as a pilot economic corridor under CAREC successfully implemented
Progress Toward Outcome

3c. ABEC website developed (2017 Baseline: 0)

3d. At least 1 knowledge video produced

(2017 Baseline:0)

Both completed

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Integration of ABEC economic space

Implementation plan finalized

ABEC institutionalized

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Teams of consultants have been fielded to work on the following areas, (i) agriculture wholesale markets, (ii) tourism, (ii) border crossing points, and (iv) pharmaceutical and medical laboratory testing. Findings and recommendations have been reported to the ABEC Subcommittee for further discussion. An Inception Mission was fielded on 13 to 22 February 2018 in Bishkek and Karakol in the Kyrgyz Republic; and in Almaty and Astana in Kazakhstan. Several consultation missions have been fielded since then, including for the second ABEC subcommittee meeting on 11 June in Almaty. Good progress has been made in ABEC since the first ABEC subcommittee meeting in September 2017. In both countries, sector working groups in agriculture and tourism have been set up with private sector participation, and ABEC national consultants have been mobilized. In agriculture. ABEC is supporting the creation of regional horticulture value chains through modernizing agricultural wholesale markets, supported by a system of traceability and food safety certification. Both Ministries of Agriculture are committed to improve food safety, food security, and food exports through modernized wholesale markets with ADB support. The ABEC KSTA had engaged a team of food systems and value chain experts who are assisting the governments in preparing national master plans for modern wholesale markets and collections centers, including policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks. CWER, in cooperation with CWRC and PSOD, has an ongoing TRTA for ABEC wholesale markets in both countries. In tourism, both countries prioritize attracting international leisure tourism as a key area of diversifying the economy and exporting services. Kazakhstan created a tourism public company and plans considerable investments to create tourist sites, such as a ski resorts, following a newly-adopted national tourism strategy. The Kyrgyz Republic also has a fast-growing tourism sector, but infrastructure and services are not yet sufficiently developed to expand the market and move into high quality tourism niches. With regional branding, coordination, skilling, and tourist products, international tourism could grow even faster, especially in adventure, culture, and health tourism. ABEC is supporting a spatial planning master plan concept for the central Tian Shan mountain range that both countries share. The master plan will guide the governments in how best to support regional branding, product development and attraction of private investments. On connectivity, border services agents of both countries increasingly cooperate. They revived the introduction of a tourist pass (simultaneous visa for both countries), and they are considering both the introduction of direct international bus services between the two countries and establishing modern border crossing points. The construction of a shorter alternative road between Almaty and Issyk-Kul has been agreed by the presidents of both countries. To help develop a business case for the road construction, ABEC is suggesting an economic impact assessment study to quantify the distribution of benefits and assess the resulting behavioral change and traffic generation from domestic and international tourists by the new road. In social sectors, a team of consultants has been assessing the skill gap in tourism for both countries and suggested several private and public initiatives to enhance skills in tourism. Consulting firms have been engaged (i) to prepare spatial planning services for the ABEC mountain tourism cluster master plan; and (ii) to conduct the economic impact assessment of a direct alternative road between Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz Republic and Almaty, Kazakhstan. In cooperation with CWSS, the ABEC technical assistance is assessing the feasibility of providing regional medical laboratory services for Central Asia in ABEC. 5. An additional cofinancing in the amount of $750,000 for the TA on a grant basis by the United Kingdom Fund for Asia Regional Trade and Connectivity under the Regional Cooperation and Integration Financing Partnership Facility (ARTCF), which is administered by ADB, was approved. Additional TA activities are being considered to be supported to conduct conceptual work towards investment projects for: (i) the implementation of the ABEC tourism master plan through public-private partnerships; (ii) a regional public tourism skilling center in Almaty; (iii) the modernization of clinical and pharmaceutical laboratories in the region to contain communicable diseases and facilitate pharmaceutical exports; (iv) the reduction of pollution in Bishkek and Almaty cities; and (v) the development of modern border crossing points between Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic.

To enhance the outreach and raising awareness activities of ABEC, an exclusive website to promote more visibility for ABEC was created; and a knowledge video that explains the economic corridor approach to an external audience was produced. A blog was also written that was published online and in a local Kazakh magazine.

Geographical Location Kazakhstan - Nation-wide, Almaty, Almaty; Kyrgyz Republic - Nation-wide, Bishkek
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design ABEC enjoys strong political support from the governments of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2017, the two governments created the ABEC subcommittee, chaired by the vice-ministers of economy, under the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyz Republic Intergovernmental Council, which is headed by both countries' prime ministers.
During Project Implementation ABEC enjoys strong political support from the governments of Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic. In 2017, the two governments created the ABEC subcommittee, chaired by the vice-ministers of economy, under the Kazakhstan-Kyrgyz Republic Intergovernmental Council, which is headed by both countries' prime ministers. In 2018, both the Intergovernmental Council and the ABEC Subcommittee have met and reaffirmed their support to ABEC and its project initiatives. On 22 February 2019, the third meeting of the ABEC Subcommittee was held in Bishkek to review current ABEC projects and reforms based on the meeting protocol of sector working groups and reach bilateral agreements on further development of ABEC through the third ABEC Subcommittee protocol, which was signed by both co-chairs. On 27 November 2019, the fourth meeting of the ABEC Subcommittee was held in Bishkek to reach bilateral agreements on further development of ABEC.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

Package title: Pool of Sector Experts, Formulation of Implementation Plan, Coordination and Administration

Selection method: QCBS. All consultants will be recruited in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants by Asian Development Bank and its Borrowers (2013, as amended from time to time)

Engaged by: ADB

Procurement

Package title: Workshops, Conferences, and preparation of outreach media (video)

Selection method: Procurement will be in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2015, as amended from time to time)

Engaged by: ADB

Responsible ADB Officer Rosbach, Kristian
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 08 Sep 2017
Fact Finding 25 Sep 2017 to 26 Sep 2017
MRM -
Approval 15 Dec 2017
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 30 Jul 2020

TA 9487-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
15 Dec 2017 - 15 Dec 2017 30 Apr 2020 31 Dec 2021 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,975,000.00 750,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 2,725,000.00 07 Sep 2021 1,770,560.94

Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.

The Access to Information Policy (AIP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.

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Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.


Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation

None currently available.


Related Publications


The Access to Information Policy (AIP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.

Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.

Tenders

Tender Title Type Status Posting Date Deadline
Tourism Investment Specilaist (national) Individual - Consulting Closed 10 Mar 2020 24 Mar 2020
Tourism Investment Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 10 Mar 2020 19 Mar 2020
Technical and Vocational Training Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 31 Oct 2019 09 Nov 2019
Business Development Specialist/Team Leader Individual - Consulting Closed 31 Oct 2019 09 Nov 2019
ABEC Website Developer Individual - Consulting Closed 05 Apr 2019 11 Apr 2019
Legal and Institutional Expert Individual - Consulting Closed 20 Mar 2019 26 Mar 2019
Institutional Development and Regional Cooperation Expert (Kyrgyz) Individual - Consulting Closed 19 Mar 2019 25 Mar 2019
Almaty-Issyk-Kul Alternative Road Economic Impact Assessment Firm - Consulting Closed 26 Feb 2019 17 Mar 2019
Public Private Partnership Specialist (KGZ) Individual - Consulting Closed 13 Feb 2019 17 Feb 2019
Public Private Partnership Specialist (KAZ) Individual - Consulting Closed 05 Feb 2019 11 Feb 2019
Mountain Tourism Spatial and Master Planning Firm - Consulting Closed 13 Dec 2018 11 Jan 2019
Institutional Development and Regional Cooperation Expert Individual - Consulting Closed 31 Jul 2018 06 Aug 2018
Architect/Design Engineer Individual - Consulting Closed 14 Jul 2018 20 Jul 2018
Trade Facilitation Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 14 Jul 2018 23 Jul 2018
Wholesale Market Development Specialist - Kazakhstan Individual - Consulting Closed 02 May 2018 06 May 2018
Downstream Agriculture Value Chain Specialist Individual - Consulting Closed 26 Apr 2018 30 Apr 2018
Wholesale Market Development Specialist and Team Leader Individual - Consulting Closed 11 Apr 2018 30 Apr 2018
Wholesale Market Development Specialist - Kyrgyz Republic Individual - Consulting Closed 10 Apr 2018 30 Apr 2018
Agriculture Policy Economist Individual - Consulting Closed 10 Apr 2018 30 Apr 2018
Development Economist Individual - Consulting Closed 17 Mar 2018 31 Mar 2018
Institutional Development and Regional Cooperation Expert (Kyrgyz) Individual - Consulting Closed 01 Mar 2018 07 Mar 2018

Contracts Awarded

Contract Title Approval Number Contract Date Contractor Contractor Address Executing Agency Contract Description Total Contract Amount (US$) Contract Amount Financed by ADB (US$)
Policy and Advisory Technical Assistance 9487 24 Jun 2019 Economic Development Research Group, Inc. (UNITED STATES) in association with EBP Schweiz AG (SWITZERLAND) 155 Federal Street, Suite 600 Boston, Mi Massachusetts 02110 United States Asian Development Bank Consulting Services 164056.00
Policy and Advisory Technical Assistance 9487 15 Apr 2019 Nine Steps Corporation (JAPAN) in association with Asia Air Survey Co., Ltd. (JAPAN) #205,1-43-14 Kamiikedai Ohta-ku, Tokyo 1 Japan Asian Development Bank Consulting Services 139950.00

Procurement Plan

None currently available.