India, Turkmenistan, Pakistan and Afghanistan have incorporated a new, joint company that will be used to commission the construction of the TAPI pipeline. The joint company will be owned in equal 25% shares by the four interested parties and will consult with the Asian Development Bank on the pipeline’s eventual development. The TAPI pipeline will funnel Turkmen natural gas to India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The pipeline, which has seen sporadic development and interest from varying sources for years, is in the final stages before construction can actually begin. Incorporation took place legally on the British Isle of Mann, a common locus for multinational company formation due to lenient tax laws. The pipeline will export 33 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan, down to Pakistan and India. However, a consortium leader has yet to be selected and French oil major Total recently pulled out of the running to lead the project. It is still unknown how the consortium and the ADB will interact to select the consortium leader.
Follow us on Twitter: @SteppeDispatch
- The stretch of road and rail infrastructure connecting Gorgan, the capital of Iran’s northwestern Golestan province, has been recognized by Turkmen Roads and Urban Developmenet officials as crucial for economic relations between Turkmenistan and Iran. Officials who recently paid a visit to the region reported that the two countries will continue to develop already extant transport networks in order to boost the region’s status as an economic corridor east of the Caspian Sea, eventually integrating it to a railway network linking Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran.
- Opium production within Afghanistan has reached an all-time high, the product, the United Nations says, of unregulated poppy cultivation throughout the country. A new report issued by the UN shows that cultivation has grown by nearly 20% since 2013, in spite of anti-trafficking efforts carried out by Afghan and US sources within the country, and by export destinations like Iran and Tajikistan.
- Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich hinted that a deal with Iran will not be possible by the November 24 deadline. Russia, which appears to be adopting the policy of “middle man” between Western nations and Tehran, has given the indication that any type of lasting deal will not be possible unless an extension is granted. This extension may not be possible, given the US Congress’s need to approve the prolonging of any deal.
- According to Russian presidential aide Sergey Glazyev, Kyrgyzstan’s investment appeal will be greatly increased through its accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. Kyrgyzstan’s authorities all said that all of its procedures for accession have bene accelerated as the official date of acceptance stands on December 23. Glazyev said that “If all conditions are met, the integration effect will cause the economy to grow by a large percentage,” he said at a conference called “Economic security of Kyrgyzstan: risks and opportunities.”