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Georgia: Hands over Railway to Investment Fund

August 2007.

Management rights of the Georgian Railway company will be handed over to “a British investment fund, Parkfield, for 89 years,” Giorgi Arveladze, Georgia’s economy minister, said on August 16.

“We did not sell the railway; we have chosen to hand over management rights, instead,” Arveladze said.

He said that the company had pledged to invest USD 1 billion to rehabilitate railway infrastructure within the next ten years. “Most of these funds will be invested within the next three or four years,” Arveladze added.

It will be, Arveladze said, Parkfield’s first investment in the railway business.

No other information about this investment fund was available at the time of writing this report.

Arveladze also said that Parkfield would delegate management responsibilities to a separate company. The government, he said, would not interfere in the selection process. The selected company, however, Arveladze added, “should be a leading international company with experience in railway management.”

Existing passenger and cargo tariffs will be maintained until 2009, Arveladze said, and for five subsequent years tariffs will be determined jointly by the state and the company.


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