The proposed TC Project (the “Project”) is in support of the EBRD’s (the “Bank”) activities to develop safe, secure and sustainable transport systems in its countries of operations, ultimately supporting economic growth. The Bank’s priorities in the transport sphere include i) promoting market-based transport systems with an emphasis on private sector involvement, ii) developing sustainable and integrated transport networks, and iii) broadening economic activity through the development of the sector. The Project will focus on the potential of Central Asia as an integral part of the development of new sustainable and integrated transport networks amid global initiatives, and the constraints to the realization of this potential. The main objectives of the Project are: i) to quantify Central Asia’s transportation potential as a transshipment land bridge, ii) to assess trade costs and single out measures to reduce them, and iii) to suggest programmes and institutional reforms needed to implement these measures.
The TC is the first stage of further policy engagement in the Central Asian transport sector, and it will open up new policy and investment opportunities. It will focus on assessing the current situation of the transport environment, and identifying potential opportunities to improve the institutional environment, to be targeted via future investments. There are several stand-alone transport projects in the region, with individual policy engagements. However, with the on-going regionalization efforts in Central Asia (around the BRI and CAREC initiatives, for example), new over-arching themes are emerging, and countries are taking steps to comply with the requirements of a regional agenda. Several IFIs and development partners currently pursue regional projects, and policy agendas in Central Asia. Accordingly, there is a current opportunity for the Bank to enhance its regional policy agenda as well. Hence, this TC will contribute to the development of a regional agenda for the Bank by identifying new themes, and allowing for selection of the themes/issues for which the Bank can lead the policy dialogue in the region. In the aftermath of this TC, the Bank can pursue policy dialogue via individual projects in a more coherent way, contributing to a systemic impact. A key component of the TC is to hold policy dialogue round-table meetings in each country, which will serve as a platform to discuss the priorities with key stake holders, and enhance the Bank’s visibility even further. The TC will also identify the investment needs in each country’s transport sector, through the development of a ‘distance to frontier’ assessment. This assessment will benchmark the existing physical and soft infrastructure against the best practices, under the current constraints, and contribute to assessing possible investment opportunities. The involvement of transport bankers in the TC team would allow for identification and utilization of investment opportunities at early stages.
The Project is also aligned with the objectives of the UN’s overarching programmes, including the Almaty Declaration and the Programme of Action for Landlocked Countries and the Vienna Programme for Action for Landlocked Developing Countries (2014-2024), which encourages technical assistance and capacity-building programs by IFIs aimed at landlocked countries to improve the institutional environment.
EBRD intends to engage a consultant (the “Consultant”) to assist the Project. The Consultant’s tasks and responsibilities will encompass the following:
1) Gaps assessment for individual Central Asian countries to identify options for creating seamless transport networks and challenges hampering the development of efficient logistics systems, with a focus on i) physical infrastructure needs to develop roads, railways, airports, border crossing points, logistics centers and dry ports, ii) soft infrastructure needs to improve tariff structures, customs procedures, skills and competencies of logistics personnel in each country to achieve higher efficiency, and to eliminate non-tariff barriers, and environmental and social aspects, including road and rail safety, iii) primary and secondary legislations, iv) distance to frontier matrix to assess the steps to achieve best practice standards (including potential for greener solutions);
2) An assessment of trade costs and shipment times in comparison to comparator countries and routes;
3) An analysis of current and potential trade and transport flows in/through the Central Asian region until 2030;
4) An assessment of determinants of regional users’ choices for transport modes and logistics services, with an emphasis on SMEs, to explore the constraints limiting higher utilization of logistics services, bilateral shipping services and transshipment services; as well as an assessment of the current state of the local logistics and freight forwarders sector and of the prospects for the sector in case of change of regulations;
5) An overview of on-going regional programs and initiatives in Central Asia, led by IFIs, international organizations, bilateral development banks;
6) Structured meetings and policy dialogue round-table meetings with private and public stakeholders, as well as IFIs and international organizations in order to assess alternative roadmaps and contribute to regional discussions.
Any competitive selections for business opportunities relating to this project will be published on the EBRD's website: Consultancy Procurement Opportunities.
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