WB to help Azerbaijan, Georgia to create 21st century Silk Road

Wed 15 November 2017 16:51 GMT | 20:51 Local Time

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The World Bank team has presented the initial findings of its study on improving freight transit and corridor performance of the Caucasus Transit Corridor to main stakeholders in Azerbaijan, WB’s Baku office told Trend Nov. 15.

The study is expected to be prepared by December 2018.

This technical assistance, funded by the World Bank-China Grant Facility, is helping governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia identify impediments along the Caucasus Transit Corridor, assess its performance by using the method known as corridor performance monitoring tool and recommend actions to improve the corridor’s competitiveness and logistics.

“This technical assistance helps determine the remaining steps to turn the Caucasus Transit Corridor into the 21st century Silk Road”, World Bank Country Manager for Azerbaijan Naveed Naqvi said. “The study will systematically uncover the focus areas to further improve efficiency and competitiveness of this important transport corridor”.

“The Caucasus Transit Corridor (CTC) links Azerbaijan and Georgia with Europe, China, Kazakhstan and other regional partners,” WB Baku office said. “The corridor has the potential to be a serious player in connecting China with Western Europe, which receives 16 percent of all Chinese exports. It also has potential to become an important component of China’s Belt and Road initiative. Freight shippers, which now prefer other routes for such goods, would switch to CTC if it offers cost-efficient and high quality transportation and logistic services.”

The countries need to deal with several issues to improve performance of CTC, including border crossing management, ferry operation and container capacity of ferries in the Caspian Sea, efficiency of Batumi and Poti ports, interchange between Port of Baku and railway, logistics and supply chain management in both countries, etc.

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